Living in California, one quickly becomes familiar with the images of roaring walls of fire that seem to overtake the news cycle every summer. The dangers of such events are obvious and have come to seem inevitable. But what if there were other ways of taking care of both the environment and our communities? What if there were ways to prevent the disaster, rather than react to it? This Spring, The Design Lab is partnering with The San Diego Supercomputer Center and WIFIRE Lab to help transition our approach to wildfires from reaction to prevention.
The collaboration, a pitch-style challenge titled “Design-A-Thon: Mindshifts on Megafires,” will be spearheaded by Chief Data Science Officer of The Supercomputer Center and WIFIRE founder Ilkay Altintas and Design Lab Program Designer Kevin Popovic. Working together, both institutions have produced an interactive and engaging program that will help members of the general public understand the benefits and safety that come with prescribed burns, as well as the dangers of wildfire suppression and its creation of wildfire deficits.
The “Mindshifts on Megafires” calls upon teams of innovative UCSD students eager to engage with real-world problems and solutions to come together and construct a convincing pitch, the best of which will be rewarded with a summer internship at The San Diego Supercomputer Center and the opportunity to bring their ideas to life. Students looking to participate can either sign up as a team or individually, those who register as individuals will subsequently be matched with a team. All teams will have access to subject matter experts and materials to aid them as they build their pitches. No prior experience is required, and students of all disciplines and majors are welcome to participate.
The official Design Challenge kickoff will take place this Thursday, April 7th, at 4:00 P.M in room 202 of the newly built Design and Innovation Building. To receive kickoff information, as well as specific details about the challenge, prospective participants are encouraged to register at the event page: https://designlab.ucsd.edu/designathon-mindshifts-on-megafires/
For a full list of Design-A-Thon related dates and events, see below.
Key Mindshift on Megafires dates and events:
- April 7 @ 4 PM – Design Challenge unveiled at kickoff
- April 15 – Registration & design-thinking workshop, lightning talks, and mentor sessions
- April 16 @ 11:59 PM – Submissions due
- April 20 @ 5 PM – Project showcase at Design@Large