Wildlife Conservation: Design Jam Recap

On February 29, the Design Lab at NYU MakerSpace hosted the Wildlife and Conservation Design Jam in partnership with Zooterra! This was a part of our Sustainability theme at the MakerSpace in addition to the Design Week. Students became aware of current wildlife challenges that those working on conservation efforts are experiencing with a lack of funding and interest from younger age groups. Students used Zooterra ’s current platform and ideated ways to increase gamification and drive consumer engagement. The Design Jam had a cheerful and lively atmosphere where a total of fourteen students from all over NYU participated and were mentored by Christina Lafontaine, the Design Specialist for MakerSpace, to understand the importance of Design Thinking and Human-Centered Design. 

The Design Jam participants with the panel of judges 

The Winners of the Design Jam won up to $500 in cash prizes and an opportunity for mentorship to help further their work! From immersive live experiences to e-wild pets to combat “Nature Deficit Disorder”, the concepts generated lived in a spectrum of ways to push forward the conservation experience.  In first place was E-Wild Pets, a way to increase personal connections and virtually adopt wild animals as your pets. This team designed an interactive game that allows the users to virtually feed the pets and monitor their growth with the help of donations.  In second place was Zooterra: The Experience, a pop up installation with ten rooms including an infinity mirrored tunnel, virtual/augmented reality components, interactive feeding, and much more.  

“I was very impressed by the focus from the students throughout the day.  They showed a hard-core commitment to tackle this challenge to get more people involved in protecting nature!  We need to give the new generations more opportunities to co-create a sustainable future,” says Julio Corridor, the founder & CEO of Zooterra. 

Julio Corridor, the founder & CEO of Zooterra

Winners of the Design Jam:

Second Place: Florentina Sergiou, Suqi Wu, Xue Yang

All the teams came up with great solutions and innovative ideas and worked collaboratively. We appreciate the efforts and hard work showcased in their presentations and hope that they will keep working in the wildlife conservation space and contribute towards a sustainable future!

It was an ideal scenario of collaboration bringing a startup, Zooterra, NYU MarkerSpace with Anne-Laure Fayard and Christina Lafontaine and the Design Lab team, and conservation partners and event judges Wendy Hapgood from Wild Tomorrow Fund, Morgan Pecora-Saipe from African Parks Network, Daphne Liu, Michael Marston and the students to explore paths forward in consumer engagement.  We are looking forward to seeing where the ideas can lead as students further explore their ideas and receive mentorship!

Stay connected with The Design Lab @ NYU MakerSpace, we are organizing virtual workshops and events to bring you the best learning opportunities, keep an eye out on our social media and our newsletter for the latest updates! Check out our Design Week Overview to know more about our efforts focused at sustainability.