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Masters Theses

Product design

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Memory.Zip, Yu-Hsing Wu Jun 2018

Memory.Zip, Yu-Hsing Wu

Masters Theses

I want to turn the unintentional “digital traces” we leave on the Internet into a tangible format so that we can be more aware of the traces we are making. To do this, I have created a series of physical objects that capture those digital traces. My hope is that this series will eventually reflect our relationship with these traces and how we feel connected to the people we care for today.


Radically Normal : The Menstruation Issue, Kathryn Smiley Jun 2018

Radically Normal : The Menstruation Issue, Kathryn Smiley

Masters Theses

Hey readers, Periods are normal. But you’d never know that by checking out the average bathroom. The only menstruation-related public restroom fixture considered remotely standard is the trash, the one used to hide the evidence. A tampon dispenser is a rare sighting –a functioning, stocked dispenser, even rarer still.

Dispensers’ exclusion from public space reveals the ways that menstruation is not treated like other natural body functions. Instead, it has long been considered a sign of imbalance and weakness, discussed mainly in hushed tones and sly euphemisms. Historically, the medical profession has greatly contributed to cultural anxieties about women ...


Talking To Computers, Jen Spatz Jun 2018

Talking To Computers, Jen Spatz

Masters Theses

A popular belief amongst UX designers is that the more voice user interfaces (i.e. Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant) speak and behave like people, the more functional they will be. But, conversational mimicry is not the only way a screenless computer can communicate information. The scope of sounds humans can interpret, manipulate, and make is broad. This project seeks to identify ways designers can mine this domain for interaction cues that promote a deeper understanding of digital content and the systems that deliver it.


Harmless Studio, David Thomas Pittman Jun 2018

Harmless Studio, David Thomas Pittman

Masters Theses

This thesis project is oriented around a vegan concept brand called “Harmless Studio.” The project recognizes that industrial design causes and supports the harm of animals through the use of animal materials. This book presents the historical, social, and scientific background of the human-animal relationship as it exists today, and it challenges the common acceptance of that relationship as it is— ultimately suggesting that industrial design need not harm animals to serve human needs. This vegan approach to design is presented through a selection of sustainable, non-animal materials and objects made from those materials. The objects are presented as part ...


From Armor To Augmentation : Reclaiming My Everyday Body, Molly Palecek Jun 2018

From Armor To Augmentation : Reclaiming My Everyday Body, Molly Palecek

Masters Theses

My work explores the silhouette of the body and how we can be empowered to augment it. First impressions are formed instantly and inform much of our social interactions, but these impressions are often made with the limited information of a quick glance and the simple outline of a body shape. There is a negative stigma about some body types and this can make social interaction daunting. This is especially true for women in general, for whom physical appearance is closely tied to perceived value by society. It is even more of an issue for women like myself, whose body ...


Biovice: A Survival Tool Company, Chubai Liu Jun 2018

Biovice: A Survival Tool Company, Chubai Liu

Masters Theses

This fictional dystopian society is the background of my work: In the year 2057, Earth’s environment has been deeply polluted, humanity has come to rely on external survival tools to live. BioVice as one of the largest bioengineering company in the world, committing themselves to the production of the most advanced survival tools.

There are two production lines in the BioVice Company. One is the economy line which targets the majority, especially the middle class; while the luxury line targets the wealthy and the elite. The designs of both production lines have futuristic appearances, combining forms from clinical devices ...


Love View, Wudi Hong May 2017

Love View, Wudi Hong

Masters Theses

There are many kinds of love, but for some people, romantic relationships are the most meaningful element of life, providing a source of deep fulfillment. I am designing a new service to track, rethink, and improve relationships with people who move to a new environment and are separated from loved ones or for those who are in unsatisfactory relationships. People in long distance relationships lack physical interaction and the ability to share feelings daily. I am working towards designing a digital service and accompanying physical tools which aim to strengthen and maintain close personal relationships across distance for people.


Body (Less) Fitness, Dan Gioia May 2017

Body (Less) Fitness, Dan Gioia

Masters Theses

It’s too cold outside. You stubbed your toe. You had too much Chipotle. You didn’t have enough Chipotle. There’s no shortage of reasons to abstain from exercise on any given day.

Designing a product or system to get someone to exercise is almost anti-design. So much of design is making things seamless and easy for whomever your user may be. You want to make it easy for people to accomplish things they want to do. But designing to get someone to exercise? You’re trying to get someone to do something unpleasant. You’re asking your user ...


Talistones : A Handful Of Help For Homecoming Soldiers, Atulya Changanty May 2017

Talistones : A Handful Of Help For Homecoming Soldiers, Atulya Changanty

Masters Theses

We are creatures of habit influenced by our environments. We function on a 24-hour clock known as our circadian rhythm that is dictated by the solar cycle, seasonal shifts, and our daily schedules to determine our understanding of time to que our behaviors. The circadian rhythm can be disrupted by trauma to the brain, shift in lifestyle and habits, or inability to determine the passage of time and can lead to profound effects on mental health. Soldiers who are transitioning out of military service into civilian life, particularly those who have experienced combat, are an archetypal population who encounter damage ...


Connections : A New Model To Customizing Everything, Shao-Hsuan Hou May 2017

Connections : A New Model To Customizing Everything, Shao-Hsuan Hou

Masters Theses

Mass customization has long been a dream. However, thanks to evolutions in technologies (e.g. Industry 4.0 and big data analytics), there are more and more enterprises that offer configured customization to consumers. In this business model, the customers have limited choices to customize their own goods, nevertheless, these limited choices may not be enough to satisfy all of the consumers’ physiological and psychological needs.

In order to fulfill this need in the market, I propose a new ecosystem that connects consumers, design firms, and manufacturers. Moreover, based on this business model, I have designed an on-line platform and ...


The Emotional Intelligence Of Machines, Lokesh Zope May 2017

The Emotional Intelligence Of Machines, Lokesh Zope

Masters Theses

Technologies today claim to be capable of detecting human emotion. When such technologies appear on our everyday objects, how will our interactions be like? Can these objects know when we are frustrated with them? Wouldn’t that radically change the field of user experience design? However, would people be scared of such capability?

Born from this curiosity, this thesis project is a speculative and an experimental approach that explores the overlap of the fields of User Experience Design, Affective Technologies, and Artificial Intelligence. This exploration is aimed at investigating its need and illustrating a newly designed adaptive nature of domestic ...


Transforme : A Look At Sports Beyond The Gender Binary, Courtney Skabelund May 2017

Transforme : A Look At Sports Beyond The Gender Binary, Courtney Skabelund

Masters Theses

This work explores the next wave of athletes. Using speculative design, it questions institutionalized social constructs that many take for granted but that are a daily struggle for others. It looks to broaden the expressiveness and individuality of sport. Through careful consideration, research, and testing this thesis represents my views and ideas of how sport might evolve to represent the next revolution of athletics. Because without a gender revolution, the true ideals of sport will suffer.


Impractical Community, Zixin Xiong May 2017

Impractical Community, Zixin Xiong

Masters Theses

Zixin lost her phone and she went on a journey with a girl to find it. During the journey, they collected cellphones to let these machines get a good rest; they explored a sandwich city and took a risk to follow an insect who ate people’s profiles. They were trapped in a forest of lies and heard about lots of silly questions, etc. After experiencing these weird adventures, Zixin found a new friend underground and dove into a magic river to live with her.

The Impractical Community is a magic realist fiction that reveals the disadvantages of our technology ...


Retooling : Experiments In Digital Apprenticeship, Ryan Ferguson May 2017

Retooling : Experiments In Digital Apprenticeship, Ryan Ferguson

Masters Theses

Over the past decade, rapid advancement in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning has led to an abrupt shift in the skills we designate as “human” and the skills we delegate to machines. This shift can be characterized, to some degree, by the transformation of tacit knowledge–knowledge that is difficult to transfer or quantify, into explicit knowledge–a language that machines can both understand and act on. An adjacent surge in democratized education platforms has made it possible for anyone to begin learning a new skill. Mastering a skill however, especially hands-on skills, often requires a level ...


Jettison All Stories : Experimenting With Our Relationship To The Physical, Alyssa R. Mayo May 2017

Jettison All Stories : Experimenting With Our Relationship To The Physical, Alyssa R. Mayo

Masters Theses

At the start of this project I set out to explore the concept of ownership, if and how it is changing and what that meant for the work I would do in the future. In the field of industrial design, matters of ownership are important considerations we must grapple with. Things, the products of our design process, are 1. Subject to new (or maybe not so new) models of ownership, responsibility and maintenance, and 2. No longer limited to forms that are owned in a traditional, physical sense that is easily understood.

The matter of form – physical vs. digital vs ...


Motivated Motivation : A Consulting Tool To Find New Platforms For Business, Xiaoxio Jin May 2017

Motivated Motivation : A Consulting Tool To Find New Platforms For Business, Xiaoxio Jin

Masters Theses

Consumption motivation is the drive to satisfy needs and wants. It is also a desire for a product, service, or experience. The continual raising of the consumption desire has brought us where we are today. When old needs are met, new needs emerge, then we can create the infinite desire in our modern society. As brands are in a market full of competition, they are aware that they cannot stay in the same place when others are putting effort on business expansion. Our customers are calling for new service, thus brands need to keep being energetic and innovative.

Understanding consumption ...


Bodypart + Object, Creama Wong May 2017

Bodypart + Object, Creama Wong

Masters Theses

This thesis is about exploring the possibilities of combining objects with physically realistic body parts. This book is just the beginning of a whole new fantasy.


Communicatronics, Adi Azulay May 2017

Communicatronics, Adi Azulay

Masters Theses

Design in its nature is a future facing practice. But the future is hard to predict or often even imagine. So how are we as designer to approach these types of problems?

In this thesis I attempt a novel design methodology to derive insights and produce new interaction models for long range communication. The methodology, which can be applied to any topic, focuses on a study of the past. More specifically using experimental archeology, the practice of rebuilding historical objects in order to test functionality and viability of a hypothesis. For this project I learned how to send smoke signals ...


Floop : Improving Eating Habits, Namrata Phirke May 2017

Floop : Improving Eating Habits, Namrata Phirke

Masters Theses

All of us strive to eat breakfast daily, and a lot of us fail. 10% of all Americans skip breakfast daily, and the number increases sharply to 23% for the people in 18-34 age group. Something changes distinctly when people turn 18. This age group includes students who transitioned from their home to college. This shift severely affects eating habits. At home, our parents look after us and make sure that we get the optimum nutrition as we grow. But life isn’t so smooth in college. We realize the importance of our parents who used to worry about our ...


Transitions : Designing Acceptance In A World Of Change, Hanna Mclaughlin May 2017

Transitions : Designing Acceptance In A World Of Change, Hanna Mclaughlin

Masters Theses

As a creative discipline, design works to instigate change. Often, a design’s success hinges on effecting a change in a user’s life, whether that be prompting the user to accept a new way to communicate, provide care, or share resources. A well-designed product can be offered to a user, and even acquired by a user, yet never be integrated into their daily life. This abandonment may be due to a flaw in the product’s function; however, it can also be due to a lacking system of support for the user while they are integrating the product into ...


Empowerment Of People Of All Abilities, Kasia Matlak May 2017

Empowerment Of People Of All Abilities, Kasia Matlak

Masters Theses

For my thesis, I sought ways to redefine disability, by focusing on people with lower limb amputations. I focused on the most troublesome part of their daily interaction with a prosthesis, which is a socket. My primary concern was to improve the experience with it, as it is where prosthesis attaches to the body. I looked at disability, prosthetics, body image, identity, and loss. After an amputation surgery, people experience a grief that is comparable to the loss of a loved one. Historically, some people deal with grief by creating and performing rituals. Those rituals have proved to be helpful ...


Embracing Traditional Chinese Culture Through Design, Jiaxuan Li May 2017

Embracing Traditional Chinese Culture Through Design, Jiaxuan Li

Masters Theses

As a designer from China I am constantly focused on my passion for design of China, This interest comes from both my commitment to deep-rooted Chinese traditions, and my concern with regards to the gradual loss of traditional cultural values within contemporary society.

As a product designer, I really like designing daily object, through exploring the relationship between consciousness and behavior. I consider this connection in order to make objects more meaningful to users.

This project discusses the current situations of Chinese traditions and cultural values, and the challenges they face to survive in the contemporary world. My mission is ...


Good Times, Tim Stoelting May 2017

Good Times, Tim Stoelting

Masters Theses

In this body of work, I set out to show an exaggerated display of the manipulation consumers face everyday Attaching stories to objects drastically increases their value. In benign settings, this might elevate a simple trinket into a family heirloom or drive a bidding war for a piece of gum chewed by a celebrity. On the adverse side, a story can play with our emotions to turn a desire into a need.

In this way, fear-based stories are a particularly powerful motivator; they can drive people to the most extreme actions. When used as a tool, fear can persuade even ...


Balance Speaker : Efficient Work And Break, Jin Cao May 2017

Balance Speaker : Efficient Work And Break, Jin Cao

Masters Theses

The name of this product is "Balance Speaker”. It is aimed to help designers to concentrate better while working and breaking, using sound and light in particular.

In this book, I will show you the design/testing process of the product, show how the working timeline and energy levels influence designers' concentration, and how to design the interaction of the product and test its usability. A


P-Lax : Toys For Adults, To Play & Relax, Zhizi Liu May 2017

P-Lax : Toys For Adults, To Play & Relax, Zhizi Liu

Masters Theses

Adults don’t play enough. There is so much emphasis on working and being productive in modern day life, but this can have negative effects—for an adult this can lead to high stress and a sense of guilt when one isn’t being productive. My mission is to help adults de-stress and take a break from work by reintroducing play into their day-to-day interactions. Toys for children are often used for educational purposes and to help enhance their creativity and social abilities; toys for adults can instead used to improve mood, and to help release pressure that is built ...


Obsessed With Obsessions: Design For Obsession, Vara Yang May 2016

Obsessed With Obsessions: Design For Obsession, Vara Yang

Masters Theses

Taking the notion of obsessions as the starting point for my thesis, I decided to investigate the daily rituals undertaken by a select group of people. I engaged myself in others’ idiosyncrasies, and found myself empathizing with their needs and desires. I found it fascinating how our obsessions vary so considerably. Yet, at the same time, I realized that each of the obsessions I explored was comparable in that the qualities that defined each obsession were essentially the same.

My thesis uses the obsession of Squeegee Girl as an example with which to demonstrate my personal concept of design. For ...


Mealspace : Beyond The Table, Lauren Tedeschi May 2015

Mealspace : Beyond The Table, Lauren Tedeschi

Masters Theses

This is a chronicle of a tableware enthusiast who set out to share her ideas by designing for the everyday eater. The quest began with questioning what an ideal meal experience is and why it revolves around a static, flat table. What are the aspects of present-day eating scenarios that could be improved upon? I considered the conventions of dining, studying traditional forms, materials and spaces related to this practice, and proposed new ways of eating. I designed props for establishing a new kind of mealspace, the objects and events paired together as performances. Each project or act is documented ...