Marymount Hosting Strong By Design-athon on March 30-31

Marymount University interior design students are asking disabled veterans and their advocates to help find solutions to the challenges disabled vets face. Those with intimate knowledge of veterans’ issues will serve as experts and mentors to student design teams at a Strong By Design-athon on March 30-31 on the school’s main campus, 2807 North Glebe Road. Volunteers may sign up to participate for either one or two days.

“Our goal is to use design thinking to go beyond stereotypes and build compassionate solutions from a broad group of community members,” said Moira Denson, an assistant professor of interior design who is coordinating the design-athon. “The event is about teaching empathy and how to engage the end-user in the design process.”

It will bring together designers, faculty and caregivers from throughout Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. The keynote speaker will be Chaitenya Razdan, co-founder and CEO of Care+Wear, a company that makes innovative healthwear to improve the healing experience for patients. Other speakers will give brief “lightning talks” on design subjects.

Students will engage in empathy exercises, such as trying to open a door while in a wheelchair. They will also engage in problem solving and work on design, prototyping and marketing strategies that will be judged by professional practitioners.

The design-athon will take place at Marymount’s Main Campus, 2807 North Glebe Road from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, March 31. Volunteers who sign up for the first day will receive free breakfast and lunch. Cost for those who choose to attend both days is $30 and includes breakfast and lunch. Volunteers should contact Denson by email.

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