This Virtual Fair invites you to meet and celebrate an extraordinary class of DCC students and explore some of their Capstone presentations, digital projects and artifacts, and keepsake book.

The Capstone Project is the culmination of two years of learning and living in the Design Cultures & Creativity (DCC) program in the Honors College at the University of Maryland, College Park. From their very first day in the program, students begin learning fundamental principles of design, culture, and creativity. During their first semester, they begin to envision a sophisticated, largely-autonomous Capstone Project that not only engages this curriculum, but also resonates with their own personal, academic, and/or professional interests. At the start of their second year, they further work with DCC staff and faculty to craft a compelling proposal—similar to any proposal that they would write for a professional research grant or other funding opportunity—for their Capstone. Finally, students spend their fourth and final semester in the DCC program executing their vision, undertaking the intentional process of implementing, testing, and revising their ideas under the guidance of DCC faculty. In building their own unique Capstone project from start to finish, DCC students learn to think both within and beyond disciplinary boundaries, take creative risks, and approach questions and problems from multiple, ever-shifting perspectives.

Capstone Fair 2021 showcases primarily the work of DCC's tenth cohort, affectionately referred to as the Kappa class, as well as some members of DCC's ninth cohort, the Iota class. These students faced a unique set of complex circumstances while enrolled in the program, marked meaningfully by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. and around the world; widespread grief and collective trauma; increased physical isolation alongside hyper-engagement with digital technologies and learning tools; and rampant violence—committed by civilians and state officers alike—perpetrated against Black people, Asians and Asian Americans, queer and trans individuals, and indigenous communities. While navigating these extraordinary (and, in some ways, alarmingly routine) challenges, Kappa and Iota students have engaged in creative practices to advance new and existing skills, seek joy and pleasure, restore their energy, and imagine possibilities in the face of dire constraints.

With the support of DCC staff, especially DB Bauer (Graduate Assistant & Ph.D. Candidate, Women's Studies), Dr. Evan Golub (Senior Lecturer, Computer Science), Dr. Jessica H. Lu (Associate Director), and Eva Peskin (Graduate Assistant & Ph.D. Candidate, Women's Studies), the Kappa and Iota classes have cultivated their own creative instincts, processes, and inspirations, culminating in DCC's first-ever Virtual Capstone Fair.

The Capstone 2021 website was designed and created by Dr. Jessica H. Lu (Associate Director, DCC),
Sarah Choi (DCC Iota Class '20, UMD '22),
and Tyla Holoman (DCC Theta Class '19, UMD '21).