MASD Students

Meet the current MA in Social Design students.

MA in Social Design students have a variety of backgrounds and experiences and come from around the world to explore the designer’s role and responsibility in advancing equity and social justice.

MASD '23

Ana Mengote Baluca '23

Ana is a multidisciplinary designer and strategist. Her background in Industrial Design and Urban Studies puts her at the intersection of community-building and creative problem-solving. She aims to create work that provokes its audience to question the norms of our society. She is a proponent of using design as a medium to weave culture, history, and philosophies to create impactful products, services and solutions. She is currently one of the leaders of IDSA’s inaugural DEI council. She is also helping ensure the future of design as an educator at the Pratt Institute.

Lindsay Brenner '23

Lindsay is a graphic designer with a passion for nonprofit work, specializing in women’s rights. She recently graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Graphic Design and minor in Marketing. Throughout college, Lindsay served various roles in her school’s chapter of Omega Phi Alpha, a national service sorority. Serving as president in her senior year, she helped facilitate trainings on diversity and inclusion for every member. She was raised to always serve the community and to help anyone around her. Once she found her place in art, she sought out ways to combine both interests. Her goals are to create impactful brands for social justice organizations to increase their awareness and become successful in their missions. In her free time, Lindsay is an avid reader, record collector, and explorer of new places.

Thomas Cudjoe '23

Thomas K.M. Cudjoe was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Macon, Georgia. Since graduating from college at Hampton University; he has lived in New Jersey, Boston, and Washington D.C. Over the last six years he has called Baltimore City his home. Thomas cares for older adults in their homes and studies how social isolation impacts the health of this population. His passion to support the health and well-being of older adults stem from formative interactions throughout his youth with his grandparents in Georgia, and Ghana. Thomas has a strong inclination to engage communities to solve complex social challenges and advance health equity. He serves on the Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Services and the East Baltimore Community School Board. He is overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to be apart of MASD Cohort 2022 and to receive the generous support of MICA and the Leslie King-Hammond Fellowship.

Akira Holland '23

Akira is interested in the influential connections between social justice, African American studies, and design and how these things shape the world around us. She was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Akira received a BFA in Interior Design at Virginia Commonwealth University where she was able to become a LEED Green Associate and discover her “why” while in the program. Undergrad allowed her to embark on a path to want to create design that will be accessible and achievable for all. Thus leading her to the MASD program. She strongly believes that design has a strong impact on the livelihood of a community and the individuals within it.

Jigyasa Tuli '23

Jigyasa Tuli is a thinker and maker interested in designing with othered communities for empowerment, solidarity and healing against oppressive systems. She is curious about using technology, speculative worlds, language and visuals as tools to advance social justice and innovation. She has been involved with co-leading design and research in projects supporting housing equity, homeownership, neighborhood identities and state-based judicial institutions. She has collaborated with city officials, community leaders, social-good studios and most importantly — the families in these communities. She is also an active un-learner of the singular, siloed euro-centric view of design theory and practice. At MASD, she will continue to experiment and explore different strategies to enact change and respond to systemic inequities.

Alice Weston '23

Alice is a community-building creative who is passionate about advancing equity and access in southern cities. Professionally, Alice has been creating and facilitating community programs in the nonprofit sector in Atlanta for eight years. Through this work she has developed friendships, community, and professional partnerships with individuals who have varying perspectives, passions, and principles -all of which have shaped her views on collaborative design practices and social justice. Alice is interested in public greenspace, environmentally sustainable systems, public art, visual culture, and equitably built environments. Alice graduated from Bard College with a B.A. in Human Rights and a B.A. in Photography. She is an animal lover, thrifter, and perpetually planning her next vacation. As a MASD student she hopes to expand her design literacy, enhance her collaborative design practices, and imagine new tools for constructing better systems.