Komorebi

window blind system


The Komorebi window blind system 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 very interested in how to create a natural kinetic movement that would slowly allow light to stream into the room. After exploring various options, we chose to take advantage of layering and fanning.

Collaboration with Minsun Mini Kim and Beth Wernet


Soft Light

Plush lightbulb


Normally, lightbulbs conjure up the ideas of fragility, burning heat, hard glass. This plays off those notions and in response is a lightbulb that is soft, cool, and durable.

The bulb turns on by pressing it toward the base. It can also be screwed into a standard fixture. Our unscrew it and play around. The filament is made of LEDs so it doesn't give off heat, and can run on a small rechargeable lithium-ion battery. 


Loop

SCREEN-LESS DIRECTIONS


Loop allows its user to be more focused in the environment and eliminates the need to have a phone out to look at directions. It has many uses from intuitively directing running routes to helping tourists visit all the hot spots while looking up at the sights. We explored various options of ways one could interface with map direction apps, and settled on the sense of touch.

Loop is a directional haptic feedback accessory. The armband has vibration points spaced evenly around the band that guide the user right or left by pulsing in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, respectively. 

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


Lesson Design Apps

software for educators


Documentation, especially for teachers, is regarded as being quite tedious. It often happens as an afterthought, and is regarded without much care. Partly this is because there’s rarely an audience for it. The practice of documentation would be better regarded as a practice in storytelling, beginning before class even starts. 

These apps strive to help make that process more seamless. It strives to serve the larger community, providing access to the experimental teaching practices that are happening behind closed doors. But most importantly, it serves the teachers themselves, who subsequently have consistent records of their work for the iterative nature of their practice, but also to reflect upon themselves in their professional development. 


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. The product would have been impossible without the amazing new material, Sinterable Paper, from PTS in Germany.

As the filter is lowered into the mug, the coffee emerges through the walls of the porous filter trapping the coffee grounds below.

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


These wireless headphones solve for the scenario in which you want to have your own music playing just for you, but you want to still 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). The case serves the additional purpose of being the wireless transmitter that gets attached to your audio device.

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


The Red Cross Red Crescent works with local communities in the Zambezi River Basin to help be prepared in the event of flooding. This Facilitator’s Workbook is a step-by-step guide for the aid worker to refer to while running the workshop for the community.

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 a class at Parsons led by game designer Colleen Macklin; the book was created in a class at SVA led by graphic designer Benjamin Critton
 


Real Life XP

EXERCISE FOR VIRTUAL POINTS


XP refers to the experience points one accumulates through playing role playing games. Real Life XP is a social experiment to motivate gamers to explore the physical world, by offering digital XP for physical activity. Video games provide an outstanding opportunity to change behavior for the better, because they are inherently motivating. We should tap into those desires rather than reject them.

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 effectively. 

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