Design Week Challenge

FOX DESIGNweek 2011    Challenge: North Broadband

The week of March 14, 2011 Temple’s Fox School of Business held there first annual DESIGNweek Challenge. The challenge was to come up with an innovated idea that can change the problems in North Philadelphia area. This event was hosted and organized by the Center for Design and Innovation and the Fox School of Business in cooperation with the city of Philadelphia. This challenge brought together college and university students from the Philadelphia region to work together to create innovative solutions to some of today’s most challenging urban issues. The facilitators were James Moustafellos, Fox School of Business and Lucy Kimbell, Oxford University. The panel of judges consisted of industry leaders from the Philadelphia area. My team consisted of two other AIS members, Brian Connelly and Ryan Oliveira.

On the first day of the competition all the teams had to meet on the MBA floor of Alter Hall to listen to a series of expert speakers. These speakers went over the problems facing the North Philadelphia area and how they want to see the area grow into an innovated area. The speakers ended up actually being our judges for the competition. After listening to the experts we had two days to go out and do field research. For the next two days we went around taking pictures of dark areas, vacant lots, streets, abandon buildings and areas with no trees or plant life. We also had the chance to speak with two Temple police officers. We asked them what they would like to see around the area to make it safer and innovated. On the final day we took all of our information and built a plan on how we can implement our ideas and research. We went through a serious thought of process on how we can take all of our ideas, thoughts and research and put it into one plan.

Our idea was to come up with an innovated way to add more lighting into low lighted areas to help deter crime. We had two ideas that we came up with. The first was to plant trees that were infused with gold particles that would glow on their own so that there wouldn’t be a need to add more street lights that would rise costs. The second was to plant energy harvesting trees that can produce their own energy by using wind and solar power. We decided to use plan two, it seemed possible because there are places that these trees are currently being developed. The trees are not real but to the naked eye they look like an ordinary tree. Each tree can produce enough energy to power up to 60 households and power over hundreds of street lights. The tree also acts as an air filter cutting CO2 emissions tremendously. They are a low investment with a high return and can survive in any weather. Our plan was to implement these trees throughout the area to help the city cut the costs of their street light bill, help add some decor to the North Philadelphia area and hopefully lower crime.

Our team did not win the challenge but was in the finals with five other teams. This challenge gave me the knowledge on how to formulate ideas in a short amount of time just by using a certain thought process. The experience was something I will not forget and use throughout my career. I highly recommend this to all students that have not heard about this challenge to compete in it in the up in comings years. Also first place wins $1000 and second wins $500!!!


Here is the site where we found the trees:




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