My name is Glory Dang.

I’m a recent grad looking to help people lead fulfilling lives through human- and community-centered design. I’m passionate about understanding why we act the way we do, getting to the root of social issues, and looking at life from a bigger picture. I’m currently a Research Fellow at Design for America, a national non-profit org.

Project Highlights
  1. Improving DFA Studio Support (coming soon)
  2. Care Home Connections
  3. Koocook Community
  4. Democracy for Climate Health

Take a closer look—
Portfolio PDF

(coming soon)
More Projects
  1. The Future of Libraries
  2. A Voice for Boston Chinatown
  3. Trader Joe’s Resilient Communities

  1. Augmented Reality Biking
  2. Amazon Alexa Lie Detector
  3. Compelling Organisms
  4. RISD Industrial Design Faculty Site Scoping Project
  5. Petfinder App Re-design

  1. Exhibit Designs
  2. Product Designs
  3. Graphic Design Gigs
  4. RISD Foundations

More about me—
I studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University focusing on Experience Design and Cognitive Sciences. I’m based in Chicago, IL and grew up in sunny San Jose, CA. I like to read, write, and make hand-bound books.

This is what I look like.

Photo of Glory, Smiling

Drop me a line!
Snail Mail, if it’s personal...

︎!      ︎︎

4. Democracy for Climate Health

How can we motivate American citizens to make lifestyle changes needed to prevent disaster?


Project Length
6 weeks

Experience Design Community Engagement Healthcare
Concept Development
Glory Dang
Yijie Li
Sean Kim

The Problem
By 2050, the sea level is predicted to rise by 1.5 feet. For coastal areas like New Englang, this means permanent flooding and mass dislocation among other drastic issues. Despite the scale and imminence of climate change, there is still a huge knowledge gap in the public. Misinformation, distrust, fear, and short-term outlooks hinder our ability to take action, change behaviors, and plan for a better future. 

The Approach 
As part of the Strategic Futures course, my team worked closely with both the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Counsel to understand existing initiatives in the climate change and health realm. After conducting observational research and intercept interviews, we worked individually to further our concepts.

The Solution
The Environmental Health Assessment and Action Toolkit is a holistic tool and program for preparing for and mitigating future climate risks. Designed to be executed by the local government in partnership with community-based organizations (CBOs), this concept empowers citizens, builds community resiliency, and strengthens relationships between these disparate sectors. 


Stakeholder Research

State Government
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH)

RIDOH recently started a Climate Change and Resiliency Program in efforts to protect peoples’ health from adverse climate changes.

From hearing presentations, investigating strategy reports, reading informational pamphlets, exploring their website, and conducting phone interviews, I learned that the biggest problem for the state government was communicating to the public.

Bureaucratic jargon, information overload, and lack of actionables result in information that is impossible to digest, let alone make use of. 

Community-Based Organization—
Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council (WRWC)

WRWC was one of the partners who received a grant from RIDOH for community engagement. As part of this grant, WRWC conducted a 3-month-long community engagement effort involving multiple bottom-up approaches.

This resulted in a single volunteer willing to take on a leadership role for community health. While WRWC was hopeful about their results, the impact is debatable—was it actually successful?

Independent field visits to Olneyville, where WRWC is located, revealed that vulnerable communities are at the greatest risk with climate change, but have more pressing financial and health issues to deal with. Yet, these groups are crucial for the diversity and economy of Rhode Island.

Photos from our field observations in Olneyville. Major flooding was already beginning to happen; Stores were utilitarian; and yet the community bond was strong. 

Public Perception
Intercept interviews in Olneyville revealed that residents had no idea that their town would be permanently flooded in 2100. This lines up with statistics that people don’t relate to climate change regardless of scientific or observational evidence.

Yale Climate Opinion Maps 2018, Rhode Island. Data produced by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication.


Research Synthesis

By observing how different stakeholders were dealing with climate change, it was clear that their efforts were fragmented.

It simply isn’t feasible to tackle a global issue as individual, independent organizations. Collaboration is necessary to enact action and make effective change. 

The Focused Problem Space

How can we leverage individual powers to collectively tackle climate change?

Case Studies

2013 RWJF Culture of Health Prize Winner

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, cross-sector partnerships of the Health Department, schools, businesses, and nonprofit organizations simultaneously strengthened community ties and improved trust with public agencies.

Award Winner at New York Digital Government Summit

Cross-collaboration between over 15 government agencies, the Service Design Studio, and the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity led to the redesign of this public screening tool for benefit programs. Effective face-to-face outreach helped completion rates improve to 68%.


Vision Map

Concept Storyboard/User Journey


We presented our projects to one member from the Rhode Island Department of Health. While the guest was not familiar with design processes and had a strict feasibility mindset, I took away 2 key points. The first is that this concept would realistically require a design team to test and execute. A data scientist to configure the survey, a visual designer to establish materials and branding for gaining trust when engaging with community members, and another designer at minimum. Secondly, this concept would never come to fruition without the active support of a government entity. RIDOH already had their own Climate Change Program under way. This radical, collaborative, bottom-up,  engagement-heavy method would likely fall under the Innovation Team within a government branch because it is foundationally different from the typical “strategic” processes that exist within government. 

This project was one of the reasons I chose to take a course in Experience Design—I knew none of the key processes during this project, and only realized afterward that storyboarding and journeymapping would have been vital for conveying my concept. If I were to take a second pass, I would actively engage with the community more; test assumptions; and co-create if possible. 

Many thanks to my partners and contributors.