Business and Humanities students come together for a design session

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SMME Seminar Hall, NUST Islamabad was packed with 250 plus students hailing from Business, Social Sciences and Engineering schools where the session on Human-Centered Design was about to begin. The session was organized by Design for Pakistan and NUST Community Service Club (NCSC) with support from the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan and the Fulbright Commission. Senior NUST faculty members and accomplished professionals from the industry graced the occasion with their presence. Mentors representing Design for Pakistan included Amna Mahmood, Senior Research Associate at CERP, Ibraheem Ahmed, CEO at GOAL Trainings, Ahtasham Rizvi, Project Manager at Croda International-UK and Ehsam Ullah, Founder at Pakistan Innovation Summit for Education.

NUST Business SchoolThe audience was energetic from the get go and the ambience turned electric as soon as the session began. Ms. Maheen Mumtaz, Assistant Manager at NCSC, delivered a thought provoking lecture on social entrepreneurship citing examples of social leaders around the globe. She explained how students can take an idea forward and create social impact for the country. After a break of ten minutes, Ahsaan Rizvi, curator of Design for Pakistan, started off with an overview of the organization and the purpose of the workshop session. He emphasized the importance of social entrepreneurship and the need to have involvement of young minds towards solving problems of the community.

Students were then taken through various steps of the design process using the framework of the Stanford dSchool. The social challenge assigned to the students was to improve health in everyday life for their users. Mentors guided the students through each of the timed sessions as the Ahsaan Rizvi lead the workshop with brief overviews of the activities. The creativity of the participants came to light when they were asked to prototype their ideas in mere ten minutes using only scrap material. Remarkable solutions were presented by the students that exceeded expectations of mentors and faculty members at the venue. Miniature models of well thought-out ideas were embodied into a physical form using only colored sheets, paper clips, cardboards and flower wires. Students shared their models with each other to receive feedback as a final activity of the workshop. Curator Ahsaan Rizvi and mentors were provided with shields on behalf of Rector NUST Muhammad Asghar by Faculty Head and Course Director CSL-401 Dr. Muhammad Safdar to conclude the program.