Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies

Collaborations: MFA CD Blog

Software Ecosystems Design Presentations


The fall semester wrapped up with an informal Open House at the Collaborative Design studio, focused on a series of three presentations from the students involved in Mayank Sharma’s Software Ecosystems course. As outlined by Intel Designer and anthropologist Sharma, this studio lab was designed to address the following:

Small enterprises, including various social-good players like NGO’s, education, small government, social entrepreneurs, and impact investors, have traditionally been relegated to developing their own applications (one-offs) for running their own businesses. OR they have been required to shoehorn other large enterprise applications to accommodate needs from certain parts of their smaller and more unique businesses. Within the last three to four years, the software application landscape is undergoing drastic transformation from a multi-function/user/“shrink-wrapped”/several-hundred-dollar marketplace, to a simple/focused/function/individual user/few bucks marketplace. Can this changing software application landscape provide opportunities for small enterprises in a local community to band together with a goal of innovation, efficiency, and economic sustainability?


Students tried to deal with some of these questions and issues by developing their own software ecosystems for three specific demographics: teenagers, small start-up businesses, and individuals who are afflicted by homelessness. The images represent some of the research material and software systems created by the students over the course of the semester to build creative solutions for these particular communities. 


Photos by Halley Roberts MFA ‘13

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