In response to hurricane Katrina, students led by Jerry Malinowski at the University of Louisiana (Lafayette) felt the need to take action. The students created "The Book of Ideas for Disaster Relief", which proposes ideas for improving contaminated water, evacuation routes, and helicopter food drops.
Stephanie Tharp received a master of industrial design degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a bachelor of mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, and coordinator of their foundations program.
She has work experience with Ford Motor Company, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Armstrong Industries, and amazon.com. Most recently, with her husband, Bruce, Stephanie runs Materious, a design studio that produces discursive and speculative design work. They are currently working on a book, Design as Discourse: Tools for Thinking, which seeks to further legitimize and problematize alternate forms of design practice that extend designers’ cultural agency.