POWER SUITS: Building Confidence in Children with Mental Health Conditions

POWER SUITS: Building Confidence in Children with Mental Health Conditions

For a long time, when Doug Fertig heard people talking about wanting to live a healthier life, he perceived a problem: the conversation would focus on building better habits around diet and exercise. Through personal experience and research, however, Doug knew that this was only part of the solution. Taking into consideration the fact that one in four people will suffer from a mental health issue in their life, he argues, "'making healthier choices' are not choices that are simply healthier for our body, but rather also healthier for our mind."

PYGMALION: Creating systems to empower people with social anxiety disorder

PYGMALION: Creating systems to empower people with social anxiety disorder

Dayoung’s thesis, Pygmalion, is about creating systems to empower people with social anxiety disorder. She aims to create the Pygmalion effect—also known as the “self-fulfilling prophecy”—to help people with social anxiety. The Pygmalion effect, named after an Ancient Greek myth of a sculptor falling in love with his own works that comes to life, is the phenomenon whereby high expectations and attentions positively affect the outcome of performance.

Announcing the Fall 2018 Lecture Series!

Announcing the Fall 2018 Lecture Series!

We are delighted to announce our Visiting Lecture Series lineup for the Fall 2017 season. Read more below about Chelsea Maudlin, George Aye, Andrea Steele, and Laura Forlano below!

GOOD GRIEF: Inducing eco-anxiety as a call to climate action

GOOD GRIEF: Inducing eco-anxiety as a call to climate action

Conventional wisdom tells us that eco-anxiety—an indirect mental health impact of climate change—is preventing us from effectively responding to the threat of climate change. This form of anxiety is also marked by an existential worry about the future for oneself, children, and later generations. Karen Vellensky challenges this idea through her thesis, Good Grief: Inducing eco-anxiety as a call to climate action.

EATING TOGETHER: Explorations in an Anti-Social Food System

EATING TOGETHER: Explorations in an Anti-Social Food System

Will Lentz master’s thesis Eating Together: Explorations in an Anti-Social Food System promotes a resurgence in the social value of communal eating experiences. In a time when isolation and independence are increasingly common, Lentz offers products and provocations aimed at bringing people back together over food.

PLAYING WITH FIREBRANDS: Amplifying Student Voices in Public Education

PLAYING WITH FIREBRANDS: Amplifying Student Voices in Public Education

Andrea Cameron’s master’s thesis, Playing with Firebrands, explores student agency in education. Inspired by the work of progressive educators and student-centered design, the motivation was to incorporate principles from progressive education into public education. The objective was to take the best practices in privatized education and make them accessible to public schools.

What Is Information Architecture?

What Is Information Architecture?

Information architecture is important to design because it provides the structural underpinning that makes clarity possible. Without thinking about structure, designers can make missteps that lead to things that look good, but aren’t actually good.

WITH, DESPITE, BECAUSE: Living your Best Life with Chronic Pain

WITH, DESPITE, BECAUSE: Living your Best Life with Chronic Pain

After five years of living with a back injury, Alexa Forney made a startling realization: her life with chronic pain was actually better than it had been before. Even more shockingly, her research made it clear that she was not alone.

DIGITAL NATIVE: Promoting Analog Behaviors in Children’s Cognitive Development

DIGITAL NATIVE: Promoting Analog Behaviors in Children’s Cognitive Development

In her thesis Digital Natives, Gahee explores designing technologies for children. She uses as her point of departure the notion that young children today "lack analog activities," as they spend most of their time using tablets and cellphones. She argues that existing products in the market are designed to be addictive—creating passive behaviors in children.

DOMINION: Redefining the Relationship and Humans

DOMINION: Redefining the Relationship and Humans

In her MFA thesis Dominion, Ailun Sai discusses the relationship between animals and humans. Through a series of design—including product design, experience design, and interaction design—Ailun encourages people to reflect on their role in the natural world and to question their perceived sense of superiority over animals.