Two DUSP Students Named 2024 MAD Design Fellows

Each year, the MIT Morningside Academy for Design (MAD) supports MIT graduate students with a fellowship allowing them to pursue design research and projects while creating community. Pulling from different corners of design, they explore solutions in fields such as sustainability, health, mobility, urban planning, social justice, or education. On May 1, 2024, MAD announced the 2024 cohort of Design Fellows at the MIT Museum.

The event “Designers for the Future,” which was part of Boston Design Week, was the occasion to put in dialogue three generations of Design Fellows — the 2022 inaugural cohort, the current 2023 cohort, and the incoming 2024 cohort — to explore how to design across time, space, and disciplines.

The 2024 cohort of Design Fellows includes two DUSP students, Sofia Chiappero and Dení López, in addition to eight other MIT graduate students from across the Institute. Additional members of the cohort include: Clemence Couteau (Sloan School of Management), Mateo Fernandez (Architecture), Charlotte Folinus (Mechanical Engineering), Alexander Htet Kyaw (Architecture, EECS), Zane Schemmer (CEE), Maxine Perroni-Scharf (EECS), Caitlin Morris (Media Lab), and Lyle Regenwetter (Mechanical Engineering). 

Chiappero, a Fulbright Fellow from Argentina, is currently a MCP candidate at DUSP. Her work is centers  the intersection of community development and technology, aiming to address the challenges faced by underserved communities at risk of displacement in Latin America. Through a blend of social science and digital inclusion, she seeks to design a new approach to researching human interactions and replicating them in virtual settings, with the ultimate goal of preserving the identity of these communities and giving them visibility for resilient growth.

López, a PhD candidate at DUSP, studies the intricacies of disaster risk planning and governance across different scales, focusing on areas facing recurring socio-environmental challenges. Her research emphasizes participatory action research (PAR) and design as crucial tools for engaging with and addressing the needs of communities at the edge of policy and geography, fostering both immediate solutions and long-term disaster resilience. As a Design Fellow, López uses design research to evaluate and extend the scope of Bicheeche Diidxa’, a longstanding Participatory Action Research initiative for disaster resilience focused on five Zapotec communities along the Los Perros River in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The Design Fellowship is an opportunity for approximately ten continuing MIT graduate students to engage in MAD’s activities and propose a research-oriented or personal design project throughout the academic year (nine months), while receiving full tuition support, a stipend, and health insurance.


Learn more about the MIT MAD's Design Fellows