Giorgia Lupi is an information designer. Her work in information visualization frequently crosses the divide between digital and print, exploring visual models and metaphors to represent rich data-driven stories. Her work challenges the impersonality that data might communicate, through engaging visual narratives able to connect numbers to what they stand for: knowledge, behaviors, people.
We invite you to attend the Masters Thesis showcase presentations of the 2016 graduating class of the MFA in Products of Design program. 20 graduating masters students will each present their year-long thesis work, comprised of research, artifacts, services, experiences, and platforms.
At the close of April, the department sees pretty much its most spectacular frenzy of "making"—but also its most spectacular desk messes. (What looks like clutter is actually a kind of controlled chaos—featuring the latest in cutting edge prototypes.)
We thought it would be fun to document the surfaces of each of the students' studio desks, and asked first-year student Oscar Pipson to take on the assignment. Find below the fruits of his labor—two versions—and do keep in mind that there was NO STAGING of what Oscar filmed. (It would have been tempting to arrange the objects on the desks in a more orderly fashion, but far less authentic.) So here's what a few weeks before the final push of grad school at Products of Design looks like!
"During my first year at PoD, I've had the opportunity to be a part of the unofficial birthday committee, known simply as CMMTTEE. We try to do something special and personal for every member of the PoD family's birthdays—the scale of which can be anywhere between extravagant to intimate. This year, these parties have ranged from Escape Rooms to Historical Battle Reenactments, and it's been a rewarding experience to cater each experience to the individual, providing people with a little joy on their birthday."
WithU is a device-app pairing that helps encourage people to "keep working" by projecting a time-delayed live video image of them—"working"—on the wall in front of them. Designed by Ailun Sai, WithU grew out of a desire to increase her perseverance in completing her school work when working alone. Noticing that her motivation was greatly influenced by having others working around her, Ailun wanted to create a device to simulate this experience. The video feed that WithU projects acts as a kind of "mimic"—reminding you how hard you have been working and helping to build self-confidence.
Fear of public speaking is often cited as the most common phobia, outranking even the fear of death. As Jerry Seinfeld famously quipped, “That means that the average person at a funeral would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy!” At the same time, the ability to express oneself clearly and confidently in group settings is highly valued and admired. To confront this dilemma, designer Julia Lindpaintner created an application called Orator: karaoke for public speaking. Conceived as a way to make the art of oration accessible and entertaining, Orator gives people the opportunity to improve their own speaking by imitating great rhetoricians of the past and present.
On March 16th, Bobby Martin visited Products of Design to talk about his work, his life, and his lessons. Bobby is a designer and educator based in New York City, and co-founded the branding and design agency, OCD | The Original Champions of Design. At OCD, he develops brand identity systems for a broad range of clients that include the Friends of the High Line, Girl Scouts of the USA, the National Basketball Association, The New York Times and Nike.
With the intention of blending digital "schedule optimization" with physical "intention-setting," Adagio is a product-mobile app pairing that promotes stress-relieving activities in our busy daily lives. Designed by first year student Jenna Witzleben—previously a dancer—the project was inspired by the lack of dance in her life, and the resulting accumulation of stress. Adagio assists in helping the user form strong habits around stress-relieving activities—all in a mindful and tranquil way.
Michael Kenney's project, the Personal Holodeck, is a corner-of-the-room-sized riff on the Star Trek technology of the same name. Starting with simple, everyday objects including PC fans, essential oils, and a bundle of 1x1 lumber, Kenney was able to create a world-class VR experience for less than $100.
Alumnus Berk Ilhan is in the news once again around one of the products he designed as part of his Masters Thesis last spring. TRT World is a TV channel serving as the international branch of the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation.
Last Friday, the MFA Products of Design department held its third annual Design:Match Job Fair event, where global and local firms and organizations met with students, shared work, and discussed employment, funding, and entrepreneurship! Here's a list of the attendees: 10xBETA, Aruliden, Arup Foresight, The Barbarian Group, Big Spaceship, BREAKFAST, Collins, Common Cents Labs, ECCO, ESI Design, Etsy, Fahrenheit 212, Fjord, frog, Google Creative Lab, Google Research, Huge, IBM Design, IDEO, IDEO.org, Interbrand, ION Design, Johnson & Johnson, Kickstarter, Lippincott, littlebits, Local Projects, Luminary Labs, Method, Normative, Pensa, PepsiCo Design & Innovation, RED ANTLER, R/GA, Sid Lee, Sunny Bates, SYPartners, UNICEF Innovation, ustwo, Veterans Affairs, ?What If!, Yeh Ideology.
"In preparation for this year’s event, I wanted to lead off each of my interviews highlighting my Sketchnoting. This has become a strong tool for me during my time in grad school— for documenting guest lectures, in-class discussions, or artifact presentations with my classmates. For me, sketchnoting has always been the best way to retain the dense amounts of information coming my way, and I wanted to illustrate how much I “think with my hands”...
Video Storytelling is a first-year course that introduces film as a powerful design tool and medium. Over the course of five weeks, students take their projects from initial script through storyboarding, pre-production, filming, and editing, culminating in an Oscar Night film premiere and award ceremony. The course not only offers the opportunity to take an existing project to the next level, but also equips students with the confidence to make video a more integral part of their design process.
In the past few years, Alexander Osterwalder’s (and co-authors’) Business Model Canvas has become a ubiquitous tool among product designers, entrepreneurs, and business strategists of all stripes. As part of a class at SVA’s Products of Design called “Business Structures”—a course about business itself as a language and a design medium—we experimented with reimagining the canvas.
As of August 2015, more than 293,000 people had made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe, fleeing from war, conflict and persecution. Countries like Turkey and Greece, still reeling from domestic crises of their own, were faced with thousands of migrants seeking refuge. Slow to react, local and national governments debated and negotiated, but citizens of these countries began to take action, offering shelter, food, and clothes to the otherwise resourceless refugees. This extraordinary hospitality displayed by ordinary citizens inspired designers Tahnee Pantig, Roya Ramezani and Lijia Yang to create Plus, a global symbol of support for the European migrant crisis.
On February 3rd, Products of Design welcomed Natasha Jen, the award-winning designer and the youngest partner at Pentagram. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, she joined Pentagram's New York office as partner in 2012. Natasha's work is recognized for its innovative use of graphic, digital, and spatial interventions that challenge conventional notions of media and cultural contexts, and the talk focused on some of her recent work and thoughts about the practice of design.
Designed by 2nd year students Judy Chi, Marianna Mezhibovskaya, and Belen Tenorio, Link is a smart key ring that gives travelers access to an app with a personalized digital guidebook. Link is targeted to the members of Couchsurfing,—an international traveling community of 5.5 million people who connect through the website’s online platform and app. In addition to having a free couch to crash on, travelers, or “surfers”, also have a chance to see a city through the eyes of their host.
In China, the knowledge of food as medicine has been passed down through the generations. It is a common sense that we could use it to treat ourselves in our daily diet, especially when we combine food with spices. "For example, when the weather is getting cold, my mom always makes ginger soup for me to prevent a cold," offers Ailun Sai, designer of "The Spice of Life" project. "When I had the problem of hair loss, she made me a black bean and sesame porridge for a month and it got better." These experiences made a big impression on Sai, and she wondered about the secrets behind those foods, using her studies at Products of Design to delve deeper.