D-Lab

MIT Connection connects D-Lab to MIT alumni in New York.

D-Lab co-director Victor Grau Serrat addresses the attendees.

Enjoying the event!

Learning by doing: trying out D-Lab cornshellers.

Question and answer period.

On Monday, May 11th, D-Lab co-director Victor Grau Serrat and development officer Peggy Eysenbach traveled to New York City to present at an MIT Connection event for New York City-area MIT alumni.

This was the second event in The MIT Connection series developed for MIT alumni 11 to 24 years past graduation as a way to stay connected to MIT by attending MIT volunteer led events, sharing ideas for future activities, and giving back to support MIT’s mission.

The D-Lab presentation centered on Creative Capacity Building and D-Lab's participatory approach to building innovation capabilities in local communities. The presentation was followed by a panel of D-Lab alumnae including Tiffany Guo, Caroline Hane-Weijman, and Tina Leimbach (formerly Tina Ro), moderated by Victor. Panelists reflected on their D-Lab trips and experiences followed by a lively question and answer session! See Three D-Lab Alumnae, Four Questions to read their reflections on their D-Lab experience.

Following the panel discussion, guesst had the opportunity to interact with some of the tools that have been created at D-Lab to tackle the global poverty challenge and to support current Institute initiatives that are redefining technological solutions for people living at the base of the economic pyramid.

Reflections on an earthquake: moving from plight to promise

By Kofi Taha, D-Lab Associate Director

Kofi Taha

When tragedies such as the earthquake in Nepal strike, we are all called upon to act, be it through active participation in relief efforts, donations, prayers or reflection.

These moments highlight our shared humanity, our collective vulnerability and resilience, and our inescapable dialogue with the earth. Our hearts ache, our hope endures, we learn and we seek pathways between plight and promise. 

I feel deeply privileged to be part of D-Lab where we collectively try to learn how to best answer the call to act, not only in moments of dramatic crisis, but also in response to the quiet crises that threaten opportunity and well being every day for half the world's population.

Through our small program – where an exciting mixture of students, staff, faculty, alumni and international collaborators from the public and private sector regularly interact with creative force – we will only touch a tiny fraction of the need we speak of when discussing "global poverty," but without a doubt, we are learning more everyday about moving from plight to promise. 

You are invited to explore the wide range of ways we pursue this knowledge, be it through class projects that will be highlighted in the D-Lab Spring Student Showcase, hosting the multi-disciplinary MIT Scaling Development Ventures conference, partnerships with international organizers to hold International Development Design Summits in three countries this summer, launching an alliance of corporate, social sector and nonprofit actors interested in social impact, or disseminating our research briefs.

All of these activities are outstanding examples of how D-Lab strives to learn how technology and innovation can measurablly and ethically contribute to ending poverty.  

D-Lab Spring Student Showcase & Open House 2015

Final presentations & working prototypes from current D-Lab students

Friday, May 8, 5:30-7:30 pm - D-Lab, MIT N51 3rd floor (350)

 

 

Students from D-Lab: Design, D-Lab: Earth, D-Lab: Energy, and D-Lab: Dissemination WASH-Env will be presenting projects. In addition, several UROPs will present the work they have done this semester through D-Lab. See below for projects that will be presented.

To kick things off, students will give brief presentations. Attendees will then be able to view all the working prototypes on display throughout the D-Lab space! All welcome.

Courses & Projects

D-Lab: Design addresses problems faced by underserved communities with a focus on design, experimentation, and prototyping processes. (Instructor: Matt McCambridge. TA: Jessica Artiles.)

Student Projects:

A means of fermenting Cacao in small batches to make it possible for small farmers to sell rare varieties at higher cost (Puerto Rico)
A means of manufacturing durable, high-traction crutch tips locally (Guatemala)
A device to allow riders who have only one arm to propel a wheelchair (Guatemala)
A means of separating the fine-grained sawdust used to manufacture ceramic water filters (Uganda)
A means of producing high-grade avocado oil at the village level (Tanzania)
A means of extracting essential oils for adding value to locally produced cosmetics (Ghana)
  • A means of fermenting Cacao in small batches to make it possible for small farmers to sell rare varieties at higher cost (Puerto Rico)
  • A means of manufacturing durable, high-traction crutch tips locally (Guatemala)
  • A device to allow riders who have only one arm to propel a wheelchair (Guatemala)
  • A means of separating the fine-grained sawdust used to manufacture ceramic water filters (Uganda)
  • A means of producing high-grade avocado oil at the village level (Tanzania)
  • A means of extracting essential oils for adding value to locally produced cosmetics (Ghana)

D-Lab: Energy offers a hands-on, project-based approach that engages students in understanding and addressing the applications of alternative energy technology in developing countries where compact, robust, low-cost systems for generating power are required. (Instructors: Libby Hsu & Amit Gandhi)

Student Projects:

  • An energy assessment of an off-grid village, with a plan for bringing electric lighting options to community members (El Salvador)
  • A new biodigester design targeted at key community members or future dissemination (El Salvador)
  • Testing of a passive heating strategy for a high-altitude school (Peru)
  • A solar cooker design targeted towards the needs of residents of the Andes (Peru)

D-Lab: Dissemination WASH-Env focuses on disseminating Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) or water/environment innovations in developing countries and underserved communities worldwide. (Instructor: Susan Murcott.)

Student Projects:

  • Initiative WASH (Burkina Faso)
  • Water Ecuador (Ecuador)
  • Change: WATER (Jordan)
  • SoapMagic: Waterless Hand Hygiene (Ghana)

D-Lab: Earth is a hands-on, multi-disciplinary exploration of the dynamic nexus between global biodiversity and human well-being. (Instructors: Eric Reynolds & Ariel Phillips)

Student Projects:

  • Creative Capacity Building Workshop with City Growers (Boston)
  • Alternative Waste Streams (Bangkok)
  • Ecotourism (Nepal)
  • Awesome Aquaponics
  • Permaculture and Land Restoration (China)
  • Affordable Soil Sensing
  • Water Filtration/irrigation System (Bali)
  • COMACO Case Study in (Zambia)

UROPs, IROPs, and Independent Studies: Each semester, through the MIT Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) several students engage in research at D-Lab. This semester, students working with D-Lab research scientists Rich Fletcher, Dan Sweeney, and Pedro Reynolds-Cuéllar will be featured at the Showcase. 

D-Lab UROP Projects from Dan Sweeney's Biomass Fuel and Stoves Group:

  • MIT Engineers Without Borders Charcoal Project (Uganda, Tanzania)
  • Charcoal UROPs Justin Carrus and Sally Miller (joint presentation) (Botswana)
D-Lab UROP Projects from Rich Fletcher's Mobile Technology Group:
 
  • USB for Android (India)
  • Digital Farming (India)
  • Diagnostic Platform for Pulmonary Disease
  • Induction Stoves (India)
  • Mobile Fluorometer for Low-Cost Diagnostics (India)
D-Lab UROP, IROP, and Independent Studies with Pedro Reynolds-Cuéllar
 
  • Waste Free Myanmar (Myanmar)
  • Kepler-MIT Lab (Rwanda)
  • Cocina Cohetres  (Peru)

 

 

 

 

 

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