My 2020 Reflections on the Harvard Masters in Design Engineering Journey

Happy times from online graduate school
  1. Classmates — Self explanatory. They care so much about the world and are scarily good at context switching. They often tend to have seemingly crazy but always thoughtful ideas and experiments. For example, two of them taught us how we can design environmentally friendly chairs out of mushroom protein, and my mind was blown. It’s like Elon Musk-lites running around.
  2. Exposure — This program has taught me the importance of learning about other domains. It helps to recognize patterns elsewhere and apply them to your own domain. For example, want to design sustainable and weather-resilient housing? Take a look into biology to see how biomimicry can be applied to your design context. Want to work on social media content moderation? Take a look into legal history to understand precedent contract and competition law cases. Thanks to all this exposure along the way, I have also developed an interest in city / urban planning, sustainable design, data governance, misinformation studies, and more now.

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Arushi Saxena

Arushi Saxena

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Harvard Master in Design Engineering (MDE) Candidate. Responsible tech, data ethics, and cultural studies. Live to eat. Recent Silicon Valley emigrant.