Natsuki Hayashi’s master's thesis, titled Sincerely, explores a contemporary design of assisted suicide. Utilizing design to reimagine the way we die, Natsuki pushes the boundaries of the legally, morally, and emotionally appropriate ways to end life.
“We are living in a contemporary world of slow deaths,” writes bioethicist Margaret Battin. Indeed, deaths have specific shapes to them. But with deaths that are predictable, occur later in life, and can be delayed for longer periods of time using advanced medical technology, doctors can do a lot to prolong life—even if it means more suffering for the patients. Today, most doctors have no choice but to help end the lives and suffering of their patients.
18 new graduate students joined Products of Design this year, and kicking off the experience was a two-day Orientation with a futuring workshop at the start and a (delicious) reception at the end. (Erin Clarkson's Cloudy Kitchen catered the closing event.) Enjoys some of the photos below!
Marianna Mezhibovkaya's Masters thesis, Outsiders: Designing Engagement With the Incarcerated, explores how design can foster compassion for the marginalized and disenfranchised incarcerated population through the creation of social support services and products.
Design strategist and storyteller Roya Ramezani did not feel gender issues in the tech industry before she started working in Silicon Valley—where she found herself in a male-dominated environment in which women were not communicating their ideas. In contrast to the statistics, she joined a diverse team. After a month, however, she discovered something that changed everything: Even when they were equal number as men in the room, women weren’t contributing to the discussions equally. They were being quiet, and she thought of them as “not being present in the meeting room.” Roya’s thesis, entitled Exponent: Amplifying the Female Voices in Tech Discourse, attempts to address these issues using product design, service design design, and platform design.
We are delighted to announce our Visiting Lecture Series lineup for the Fall 2016 season. Read more below about Neri Oxman, Anthony Dunne, Matt Manos, and Matthew Burnett, and don't forget to RSVP for the public lectures if you're in NYC!
The objective of Adem Önalan’s master’s thesis, Vakit: On the Elasticity and Subjectivity of Time, is to reframe our relationship with time—identifying opportunities that lead people to spend time well—from recontextualizing time, to slowing it down through meaningful, memorable life experiences.
Not more than 50 or 60 years ago, the idea of "disposable" did not exist; the physical objects in our lives were intended to be with us for a lifetime...or longer. Today, the convenience of disposability in the United States has become the status quo, and everything from packaging to electronics to even large-scale items like appliances and furniture are now considered throw-away. Spurred by our imperative for constant economic growth, our consumerist culture is having a detrimental impact on our environment. Judy Chi’s master thesis, Permanism: Towards the Obsolescence of Disposable Furniture, looks to reengage people with the physical products in their lives as "objects of permanence."
In order to become more brave and confident, MFA Products of Design student Eden Lew embarked on a year-long experiment to become a better designer by learning the ways of a criminal mastermind.
In her thesis, Masterminds and the Art of Misbehaving, Eden’s definition of a criminal mastermind alludes to the romanticized sector of criminals—including burglars, con men, hackers and heist planners. They are con artists who persuade victims into giving up money and valuables. They are craftsmen and tinkerers who decipher the mechanics of systems in order to later break them down. They are hackers who write inventive code to go around highly-secured firewalls, and drug cartel kingpins who run businesses as effectively as CEOs of major corporations.
The evening of March 2, 2012 will be remembered by Tahnee Pantig as one of the most violent and intimate evenings of her life. On that evening, she was physically assaulted in front of her home. After the assault, Tahnee was faced with a compelling question. “I asked myself, ‘had I somehow contributed to the conditions where this man felt the need to steal from me?’” This feeling of guilt drove her to use her thesis as a way to reconcile and understand the circumstances which led to the events of that evening, and compelled her to research these themes in her masters thesis, This Great Violence.
Products of Design MFA graduate Oscar de la Hera’s thesis, Finding North, plays at the intersection between Western, “social interventions”—such as help from friends, family or professionals—and Eastern, “introspective interventions”—such as yoga or meditation. The work aims to help individuals who have recently suffered emotional trauma transition to a more hopeful, happier, and healthier state of mind.
Products of Design MFA graduate Souvik Paul’s thesis, Unbound, seeks to empower individuals with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), and to tackle some of shortcomings in treatment paradigms for SCI. His thesis journey began—violently—two weeks before his arrival at Products of Design in the fall of 2015. While driving her SUV down a California freeway, Souvik’s close friend, Carina, was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer and paralyzed, sustaining a spinal cord injury in the T2/T3 vertebrae. When visiting her in the hospital, Souvik saw how painful her adjustment to life in a wheelchair was. Believing in the power of design to help his friend, Souvik used his thesis as an opportunity to investigate how design could assist people with spinal cord injuries to recapture their sense of agency and identity in the face of such massive physical and emotional trauma.
Wan Jung Hung’s master’s thesis, Do It Now: Overcoming Procrastination, focuses on the moments when people notice they are procrastinating. Her design interventions aim to change the direction of decision-making—from putting off tasks, to reframing those tasks, to taking care of them immediately.