Design Panel

Panel Organization and Moderation

Design Panel


"Design in the Real World" was a panel I organized and moderated in which four design experts from the Chicago area came to talk about careers in design, design skills and the future of design.

Design Panel with Sara Aye, Nicholas Evans, Dr. Elizabeth Gerber, and Maura Shea moderated by Sameer Srivastava


Role ― Panel Organizer and Moderator

I reached out to four designers to participate in the panel and booked the room for the event. With my Design for America (DFA) members, I marketed the event to the broader Northwestern University community. Finally, I brainstormed with other students to come up with questions and moderated the panel.


One of the struggles I feel as a student learning the design process is not knowing what careers related to design are out there. Many of my fellow students feel the same way. So I wanted to get insights into using design beyond school for fellow students like me.

How can we use design in our jobs after we graduate from college?


I wanted to organize a panel of individuals that used the design process, but were not necessarily in a design job. I named the panel "Design in the Real World".

The Panelists

  • Sara Aye:
    • Co-founder of Greater Good Studio, a design firm focused on social impact
    • Perspective: Design to make social impact
  • Nicholas Evans:
    • Director of UX at
    • Graduate of Northwestern's Engineering Design Innovation (EDI) Program
    • Perspective: EDI program and UX Design
  • Dr.Elizabeth Gerber:
    • Breed Junior Chair of Design and Founder of DFA
    • Perspective: Design in academia and DFA
  • Maura Shea:
    • Senior Director of the Strategic Innovation group at YMCA of the USA
    • Perspective: Using design in work, rather than as a career
Design in the Real World Panel Flyer

Panel Flyer

The Panel

I was very fortunate that the panelists knew each other beforehand, which helped greatly with the conversation. I focused on three broad questions and let the panelists drive the discussion. Students were able to ask questions. Audience members came up to me afterwards and told me they learned a lot and enjoyed this event.

Next Steps

I actually organized the first Spring Design Expo as a follow up event this year (2016). I partnered with Segal Design Institute for the event, and there were over 50 student presenters.