Design Global Change began as a University of Hartford course called Issues in Design created by Professor Natacha Poggio.
In Spring 2008, Natacha developed the Water for India sanitation campaign to partner the works of the Engineers Without Borders Student Chapter at the University of Hartford. The campaign for Abheypur, India began as an assignment for her students, but after the semester ended, the project kept moving forward. The student projects were sent to Abheypur, where the villagers reviewed the work and returned it with feedback.
Seven students from the class volunteered over the next four months to revise the chosen campaign and traveled to Abheypur in January 2009 to distribute the work, which included printed materials, t-shirts, and a painted mural at the girls' primary school.
What began as an assignment for a grade grew into a fervent effort from the students and Natacha to continue using design as as a way to educate and empower people from Hartford to the nations beyond. Since the start of this project, the students worked in the process of a wide-reaching project, one that involves collaboration with other disciplines, team members and cultures. The social consciousness and awareness of those involved grew through the process of research and learning to design for a more universal audience.
The effort continued in her next session of Issues in Design in Spring 2009, where the students worked on a new wellness campaign by designing "kangas" (traditional cotton garments that Sub-Saharan women wear) for local communities in the Lake Victoria region, in Kenya.
With students, professors, and friends on board, Water for India and Issues in Design have become a group called Design Global Change, which continues to work on design projects.