Get Inspired

 


Komorebi

window blind system


Komorebi is a window blind system that offers a pleasant wake-up experience in tune with natural rhythms. The shade slowly fans open letting in natural light, either as the sun rises or based on a set alarm, depending on the desired setting. 

We were exploring how best to create a kinetic movement that would slowly allow light to stream into the room in a way that felt natural. In the end we took a cue from light streams pouring through layers of leaves, which is called "komorebi" in Japanese.

Collaboration with Minsun Mini Kim and Beth Wernet


Soft Light

Plush lightbulb


Soft Light is a plush rechargeable lightbulb. Normally, lightbulbs are hard, fragile, and hot. This lightbulb, however, is soft, cool, and durable, and it can be used without a socket, making it ideal to keep by the bed.

The bulb turns on and off by pressing the top in toward the base. This model could be recharged by USB, but the vision was to have it recharge by screwing it into a standard fixture. The filament is made of LEDs so it gives off minimal heat, and runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. 


Loop

SCREEN-LESS DIRECTIONS


Loop is a directional haptic feedback accessory. It helps people stay more focused on their surroundings by eliminating the need to have a phone out to look at directions. The armband has vibration points spaced evenly, which vibrate clockwise or counter-clockwise when a turn is approaching, which makes it ideal for use while exercising or when touring a foreign city. 

Loop was awarded as the interaction design student runner-up in the 2014 Core77 Design Awards. See more by clicking here.

Designed in Collaboration with Kathryn McElroy for a class on branding led by Aruliden's Johan Liden and Rinat Aruh


Everywhere

Rethinking Mobile Commerce


Everywhere is an app that enables in-person mobile commerce by helping people to buy and sell goods from one another at their utmost convenience.

From our ethnographic research, we exposed the value in making an exchange in person. This fundamentally challenges the goals of "mobile commerce", asking, "Is the phone the platform for making purchases or is it better used for arranging an in-person meeting to buy something from a stranger?"

Designed in collaboration with Richard Clarkson


French Press in a Mug

Coffee mug and filter set


This coffee mug and filter set functions much like a french press but for single-shot coffee. As the white filter is lowered into the mug, the coffee emerges through the filter's porous walls trapping the coffee grounds below.

However, unlike a normal coffee filter, this filter is made of a porous ceramic, which is pleasant to drink from. The product would have been impossible to make without the invention of the new material, sinterable paper, from PTS in Germany.

Collaboration with Damon Ahola, Matt Barber, and Mansi Gupta


Thank You For...

Deepening Gratitude at Work


Thank You For is a set of two platforms designed to promote expressive and specific appreciation in an office environment. These products emerged from research conducted in partnership with Etsy.

The “Thank You For_ Tree” is a seven-foot tall wall decal shaped like a tree, and employees are encouraged to write personalized thank-you-for’s on round “leaves” and place them on the tree. 

"Tiny Favors" is a card and stamp set. The stamped cards have a space for a name, to ensure the thanks is personally directed, a space to write what specifically the thanks is “for…”, and a space to offer a tiny favor in gratitude.

Designed in collaboration with Cassandra Michel and Richard Clarkson


Quo 

Hearing Aid Earbuds


Quo are wireless headphones that allow you to hear your own music without playing it out loud, and yet you still want to be engaged with the outside world. They are unique in that they allow control over the volume of the music and that of the surrounding environment as well. They combine traditional audio playback with hearing aid technology.

The sensor along the back of the right earphone controls the music volume, and the sensor on the left controls the outside volume (from noise-canceling to amplified volume), meaning you can control the volume of your music and the outside world independently. 

This product was designed in a class at Carleton led by Bjarki Hallgrimsson and Wonjoon Chung


Luminesce

Glowing Algae Striplight

 

Luminesce is a carbon-negative off-grid modular lighting system. The light is emitted by bioluminescent algae, which lives in saltwater and feeds off carbon dioxide. During the day it drinks sunlight, and at night it glows blue. Since it casts little light, but still does glow quite clearly, it is used as an alternative to neon, for backlit signage, or for wayfinding. Working off the existing model for farming algae, which is currently done for biofuel, Luminesce houses the algae in clear tubes and a small pump keeps a steady flow of carbon dioxide flowing through. 

This project was done in a sustainability class at SVA led by Luminary Labs' Jen van der Meer and Rebecca Silver.


Flood Warning Game

for the Red Cross in Namibia


This Facilitator’s Workbook is a step-by-step guide for Red Cross Red Crescent aid workers to lead workshops on flood preparedness with the local communities threatened by flooding in the Zambezi River Basin in Namibia.

The diagrams simplify the steps, so the facilitator can reference the book at a glance. It is also made from durable synthetic material as to withstand the abuse that such a well traveled book would likely incur. The spiral binding allows for the pages to be flipped so the book doesn’t have to be held open. 

The game was created in partnership with the Red Cross as part of a class at Parsons taught by Colleen Macklin; the book was created in a class at SVA led by graphic designer Benjamin Critton


Real Life XP

EXERCISE FOR VIRTUAL POINTS


Real Life XP is a way to tap into people's desires to earn virtual rewards in video games as a way to promote physical exercise. XP refers to the experience points one accumulates through playing role playing games. In this game, one can earn XP for Minecraft (for example) by finding gems in the real world, thereby encouraging physical activity. Video games provide an outstanding opportunity to change behavior for the better, because they are inherently motivating. This product was designed 3 years prior to the release of Pokémon Go.

Designed in collaboration with Clay Kippen and David Thonis for a class led by the founders of Antenna Design, Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger


Cultivators' Union

Design Consultancy


Cultivator's Union is a Workshop, Studio, and Design Collective concept, focused on helping people with ideas to bring them into reality. With the proliferation of DIY communities and maker spaces, people have the resources to bring their ideas to fruition, but they still lack the basic design skills to do so. 

The financial viability of this project was an essential part of the project's strategic design. We planned the launch and expansion in two phases, first partnering with existing institutions and later becoming autonomous.

Collaboration with David Thonis for a business class led by Amy Whitaker of Locus Analytics


Design for Education


Lesson Design Apps

software for educators


"Document" and "The Lounge" are apps that helps teachers design and document their work. Reflection and documentation of what happens in class can be tedious for teachers, especially if they have to teach classes back to back. This app treats the practice of documentation more like storytelling, in a process that begins before class even starts, and allows their learnings to be shared with a community.

These apps open the doors of all the brilliant experimental teaching practices that are happening behind closed doors. But more importantly even than that, it serves the teachers themselves, who can now have excellent records of how things went, both to improve their lesson designs and to reflect upon for their own professional development.