About D4SD

Design for San Diego (D4SD) is a combined effort to solve complex city problems through design thinking and crowdsourcing, led by the UC San Diego Design Lab—with support from the National Science Foundation, Design Forward Alliance and SCALE SD. The D4SD processes for discovery, ideation, prototyping and for implementing solutions through structured feedback was inspired by human-centered design research and crowdsourcing systems. Through this open civics approach, we hope to create opportunities for government, academia, and industry to collaboratively design innovative civic solutions.

UC San Diego Design LabCity of San DiegoDesign Forward AllianceScale SDSanDagPort of San Diego

Our Team


D4SD comprises an interdisciplinary group of designers, researchers, and developers led by UC San Diego professor, Steven Dow. By combining our team’s diverse talents in computer science, cognitive science, and interaction design, we have worked tirelessly to create a website and discussion platform, to provide educational resources on design and technology, and to partner with SCALE SD and the Design Forward Alliance to host a series of exciting events.

Our Mission

D4SD strives to create a platform that demonstrates the value of human-centered design and produces solutions that could incubate into companies or longer-term projects that foster economic activity in the City of San Diego and beyond.

Postdoctoral fellow Narges Mahyar and PhD student Brian McInnis are leading research on this project. Narges is interested in extending crowdsourcing technologies to engage the public in complex civic processes. Her research investigates how a mix of online technologies and traditional face-to-face engagement approaches can support new forms of collective innovation for local issues. Brian explores how to use semi-automated moderation methods to improve online forums for civic discussion and idea generation.

All of us have the common goal of making this first ever city-wide design challenge a raving success for both the city and our research, but most of all for the residents of San Diego!

Who We Are

Summer 2017 team: Alejandro Panduro, Allison Endo, Andrew Dennis, Brandon Hong, Brian McInnis, Echo Ma, Gabriel Amoako, Joseph Le, Lauren Liu, Michael James, Michelle Ng, Nancy Zhang, Nanna Inie, Narges Mahyar, Reggie Wu, Sanika Moharana, Shawn Kang, Yikun Huang, Yujin Cho, and Yutong Zhang.

Spring 2017 team: Alejandro Panduro, Ariel Weingarten, Alvin Ho, Anna Le, Catherine Kim, Chris Lim, Cody Pham, David Luu, Diana Nguyen, Donna Yee, Eric Richards, Eric Tseng, Gobind Sethi, Grant Chinn, Joanne Cho, Joseph Le, Karen Ma, Karthik Komatinei, Lauren Gong, Lauren Liu, Mai Eguchi, Nancy Zheng, Narges Mahyar, Qinzhuo Gong, Sanika Moharana, Tara Nejad, and Susan Lee.

Special thanks Michele Morris and Don Norman in the UC San Diego's Design Lab, and to our partners at Design Forward Alliance (Scott Robinson, James White, and Bobby Buchanan), SCALE SD (Daniel Obodovski, Greg Hoover, Marc Bielas, Morgan Brass and Sarah Hernholm), and Charles Chamberlayne, Inga Kiderra, and Tiffany Fox for their PR expertise.

D4SD also wants to acknowledge the early need finding efforts by UC San Diego undergraduates in DSGN100 who surveyed residents, attended local meetups with city and community leaders, and conducted targeted interviews. Their efforts led to important insights that helped us understand the city’s unique mobility needs.


Reach out to us at team@d4sd.org to give us feedback on the site or to share ideas or problems related to mobility in San Diego.


Landing header image by vxla on Flickr.
Challenge Brief Fatal 15 image by Steven Vance on Flickr.