Penn Design Challenge 2018:



Interdisciplinary teams will work together to develop new products and solutions in partnership with people with disabilities from Philadelphia to respond to the challenges that differently abled folks face in the arenas of work, life and play. Teams will work alongside the Challenge sponsor, Gensler, people with disabilities from Philadelphia and design consultants from Design Dream Lab to understand user needs and pain points, and ideate innovative products in the space of universal design.

In addition to sponsoring the Challenge, Gensler will be supporting the continuation of the winning team’s solution. Research and ideation sessions will be led by our consultancy partners, Lee and Dianne Kim.


Applications for the PDC 2018 are closed.

If you have been accepted, you'll be placed on a multidisciplinary team with students from Wharton, Engineering, Design and beyond!

The challenge is open to all graduate students, and targeted towards students studying business, design, engineering, & social practice and medical innovation.


Challenge Dates:

November 9th: (5:30-7:30pm): Happy Hour Kickoff

Nov 16th: (10-4pm): Design thinking & ideation workshop

November 17th (10-4pm): Prototyping & iteration workshop

Nov 30th (10-1pm): Mid-Session Consulting

December 7th (4-7pm): Pitches and Judging 

Our Partners


Gensler is widely recognized as the world’s leading collaborative design firm, not just the largest. The ability to work together as an integrated team is part of Gensler’s DNA, and the company has embraced it at every level, from Co-CEOs to studios and project teams.

With more than 3,500 active clients, Gensler works across the global economy with a one-firm firm ethos that saves time, cuts costs, and delivers innovation. Gensler offers the design industry’s deepest bench of expertise, matched with experience gained by working with clients across the globe.


The Design Dream Lab (DD Lab) is a community collective focused on bringing together people interested in human-centered design, community building, and purpose-driven social impact.

Lee Kim and Dianne Kim are co-founders of the DD Lab.


A Center for Independent Living for the Philadelphia area, which advocates for and works with Persons with Disabilities to ensure their civil rights and equal access to all aspects of life in our community.