Window of Opportunity: Combining Technology and Design to Build a Career

Nariyah Gonzalez
January 2, 2024
Susanna and her teammates smiling at CERN

Susanna Lammervo (MS in Human-Centered Design ‘23) first learned about the NYC Design Factory program sitting in her Information Architecture class, taught by Seidenberg Professor Andreea Cotoranu.

“Through my first semester of the HCD program, I started learning little by little about the NYCDF and became curious about what they do,” Susanna says. She was determined to find out more. From then on, Susanna would be taken on a transformative journey to Geneva, Switzerland, where she joined Team Fusion to solve complex, global issues with radical solutions first-hand.

NYCDF is part of the Design Factory Global Network (DFGN), a group of education and research institutions worldwide dedicated to innovative solutions. Priding itself on complex problem-solving, the network aims to spark new developments in the world of cutting-edge research and advanced learning practices, connecting universities and research institutions from all across the globe to participate in the pursuit of knowledge. Despite specific obstacles–language barriers, time zones, organizational differences–these international hubs provide a ground-breaking edge to the concept of collaboration and efficiency.

Professor Andreea Cotoranu, along with Luke Cantarella, Dyson Film and Screen Studies chair, traveled with Team Fusion to Geneva where they would discuss their assigned project and primary goal at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Yes, Pace students go to CERN! Team Fusion’s goal was to work towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3, contributing to proper well-being and good health. As Susanna puts it, “My team was working with a problem space focused on New York, where we aimed to innovate a future-focused, tech-based solution to reduce traffic accidents and injuries in urban settings.”

“A really cool aspect about the trip is that you get to discover so many things related to the universe, world, society, people, and about yourself that you had no idea existed," said Susanna.

The two-week immersive trip to Geneva was a great way to get inspired for a better future and find my identity as a fresh designer in the field. I don't think I have ever learned as much as I did during this trip to CERN.

“You will learn how to view problems from a bigger perspective, but still dive into the deep end when getting to know different societal challenges and technologies in big science.”

How did the project turn out for Susanna and Team Fusion? “Our eight month long journey culminated in a presentation of our research findings alongside design innovation to the Global Design Factory network, followed by an opportunity to exhibit our work at a showcase event held at the University of Bologna in Italy. I had the honor of traveling to Europe for the second time during our project and serving as an ambassador for our team while sharing the outcomes of our work with a diverse audience of students, educators, scientists, and researchers from all over the world.”

The NYC Design Factory offers a window of opportunity for any student looking toward a career in technology and design. “If you are not yet sure what your concentration in the design field could be, this class with Design Factory can help you find it.” For Susanna, her particular interest lies within urban studies and digital infrastructure, something that she might’ve taken a bit longer to figure out herself. For any student wanting to expand their academics, as well as a career outside of college, the New York City Design Factory might be the program for you.