Lassor Feasley’s thesis You Are on the Fastest Route: Intentional Community and Responsible Autonomy examines how self-driving cars might impact American culture and the habits of everyday life. For many Americans, the traditional motor vehicle mediates access to everything from social and economic connections to childhood independence and family roles. "What happens when the underlying calculous behind motor age culture is rewritten and the way people explore and understand the world is reimagined?”, Lassor asks. Through his research, Lassor wanted to try and anticipate the consequences that autonomous cars might inspire. Over the past year, he has explored the social, the economic, and the ethical aspects of car culture, and leverages the tools of design to imagine how an advanced mobility system might drive positive change.
Nowadays, many people enjoy visiting amusement parks like Disneyland or Universal Studios. These parks are all about theme-based experiences—experiences which, in a sense, are very close to living inside a game. “Why then, can’t a person’s daily life be experience-based in a similar way? What would it look like if we augmented ordinary life with games and experiences to make a new lifestyle for people” Teng Yu questions. In response, he developed Respawn: Activating the Bedroom Generation By Gamifying Public Spaces—a thesis of speculative, service, experience, and product design that imagines near futures where games are designed to help people building character, learning skills, and conquering challenges. Yu’s designs and ideologies subvert the unhealthy lifestyles associated with gamers by providing new and wholesome ways to game in real-world contexts.
Before Jingting He started her thesis, she did a year-long project that consisted of sliding anonymous thank-you notes underneath the Department Chair’s office door every Monday morning. By designing these letters anonymously, she felt she could express herself more freely and creatively. She wouldn't have realized she was creative enough to produce such delightful work if she hadn’t given herself a mask of anonymity. Therefore, Jingting developed A Mask That Reveals: Exploration and Expression Through Anonymity, a thesis that creates anonymous platforms to help people explore and express other sides of themselves.
"Currently, we live in a world that is a consequence of ignoring sound. We have reached peaks of noise pollution in our physical environments—especially in urban landscapes. This has occurred because the visual has been given priority over the aural, and continuous ignorance has led us to create and use noise abatement measures to reduce the effects of unintentionally designed soundscapes." Through his thesis Contemporary Soundscapes: Design to Prioritize Untapped Aural Potential in the Visual World, Antriksh takes the opportunity to explore the use of untapped audio potential as a medium of experience and product design through which he can engage people with the meaning of sound in its various forms.
Reaching the peak performance in competition is something athletes constantly struggle with. Many companies, doctors, research labs, and sports teams invest a lot of time and money developing new strategies and technologies to improve athletes’ performance—ranging from new training techniques to researching failure, success and how the human body works to perform sports-specific tasks. After a year of experience and research on the subject, Sebastian Harmsen states “to this day, there hasn’t been a perfect formula for success in sports, but some athletes are pretty darn close!”
To start off the day for the fifth annual MFA Products of Design Thesis Presentations, program chair Allan Chochinov welcomes guests, families, and simulcast viewers, discusses the role of design in the world, and how "the design anything means the design of everything." Enjoy the opening remarks below, and be sure to check out all the thesis projects that follow here!
We are extraordinarily proud that for the entire month of April, the two New York-based MoMA Design Stores are dedicating their windows and in-store displays to the collaboration with MFA Products of Design department! For the launch of 6 new products, an Opening Reception was held in midtown Manhattan last Thursday night. Check out photos below of the packed house, guests, and featured products designed by Products of Design students!
Designed by first-year student Gutav Ole Dyrhauge, The Sketch Book Lamp is an Arduino-powered lamp that connects to a mobile app. "I designed the product/app to remind designers to sketch, since it's consistent practice that helps us to improve. In the app, you can choose when to sketch, what to sketch, as well as the sketching duration. The app will keep alerting you—the "reminders"—and it will only stop once you turn the lamp on."
Florence Fabricant (herself!) wrote up an item in the New York Times about Josh Corn's Multi-ccino Mug in the New York Times this week—one of 6 MFA Products of Design objects that will be celebrated during the month of April in both MoMA retail stores! (The department is also designing the window displays for both the midtown and SoHO stores.) Congratulations Josh!
SPITMUS is a personal saliva testing system that uses litmus paper to help mental health inpatients detect cortisol levels during and after being provided hospital-resourced wellness tools. Developed by student Carly Simmons, the product tests saliva four times on a daily basis, and records a wide range of stress throughout the day. By observing the different levels, patients can connect moments of low stress and realize the wellness tools that work best for them.
We invite you to attend the Masters Thesis showcase presentations of the 2017 graduating class of the MFA in Products of Design program on Friday, May 5th at the SVA Theatre from 11am - 5:30pm. 17 graduating masters students will each present their year-long thesis work, comprised of research, artifacts, services, experiences, and platforms.
SENSR is a speculative system of objective pain measurement tools designed for patients who are experiencing pain and their doctors. Designed by first-year students André Orta, Ellen Rose, Micah Lynn, Gustav Dyrhague, and John Boran, the components of the system are three-fold: A small wearable sensor patch for the patient, a hand-held transducer that the medical professional uses, and a visualization dashboard.
Mighty Moon is a subscription-based tampon and comic delivery service for geek girls. Students Jingting He, Kuan Xu, Manako Tamura, and Teng Yu came up with this idea to combat period shame among young girls, and encourage them to embrace menstruation from a young age.
ALLON/Z (from the French allons-y—meaning "let’s go!") is a fashion line specifically designed for parkour practitioners. The convertible wear allows athletes to transition seamlessly from their regular exercise routine to a social event. Students Smruti Adya, Bernice Wong, and Andrew Schlesinger and were inspired by parkour's philosophy of freedom, balance, and self- expression. "We wanted to design apparel that integrates with every aspect of your life—whether that means work, sport, or play," offers the team.
Visual Arts Press has just published a feature on the 5 next products to be manufactured and sold by the Museum of Modern Arts Wholesale Division. Now in its 4th year of the partnership, the MFA Products of Design students design products for inclusion in the museums revered catalog—now 6 in all!—selling all over the world. Enjoy these spreads from VAP! In addition to Products of Design graduates Panisa Khumpresert and Oscar de la Hera Gomez, new products debuting next month have been designed by Class of 2017 Alexa Fourney, Josh Corn, and Oscar Pipson!
Created by first-year student Evie Cheung, Peachee is a product/app combination that is on a mission to better your living environment by creating a social roommate experience and system for rewarding good behavior. Using a physical treat-dispensing device, attractive mobile app, and in-app integration of political action, Peachee will help keep your apartment (and the world) peachy keen.
We are thrilled to welcome three veteran design practitioners in the social innovation field to the faculty of Products of Design in the spring—who will be co-teaching the Business Modeling Class. Meet them below!
'Nightfall' is a wild fashion coat with an unexpected ability: it magically lights up as the surrounding light dims.The coat was created by first year student (and first time Arduino user!) Ellen Rose in celebration of the repeal of New York City’s outdated Cabaret Law. Whether you head out to [legally!] dance at a nightclub or at an underground techno party, you’ll have the outfit for the occasion.
This year, Products of Design was invited to participate in the Global Grad Show—one of the highlights of Dubai Design Week. The brainchild of writer, curator, and designer Brendan McGetrick, over 200 projects were chosen for of the exhibition, coming from 91 design schools from around the world. 6 SVA projects (and their student creators!) flew to Dubai, accompanied by department chair Allan Chochinov, to exhibit work that spoke to the three themes of the event: Empower, Connect, and Sustain.
We're excited to share this year's Open House and Information Session videos and photos, which took place on November 10, 2017. We had an amazing display of projects, alumni, faculty, current students, and our Open House Competition winner who flew in from Chicago! A packed house of prospective students enjoyed the afternoon (along with tons of livestream viewers), but if you couldn't make it then, enjoy videos from the day below! Be sure to contact us if you'd like to arrange a visit to the department or sit in on a class!
Gummy Bugs is a delicious fruity treat made with real bugs. Students Jiani Lin, Juho Li and Louis Elwood-Leach created these edible treats as a way to get highly sustainable and nutritious foods into children’s regular diets.
Designed by first-year student Phuong Anh Nguyen, U•NITY is a platform that asks the question, What is a person's cultural identity when s/he can identify with two contradicting cultures? "For users with a mixed cultural background and are confused about their cultural identity," Phuong Anh offers, "U•NITY is an app that helps them redefine their identity."
Although thesis students are encouraged to start "naming" their theses right from the start, we thought we'd share what's in store for this year's crop. Here are the (sometimes "working"!) titles and topics for this year's projects, and be sure to join us on May 3rd at the SVA Theatre to see them live!
MOVE is a set of design projects—created by students Alexia Cohen, Lassor Feasley and Will Crum—for organizers, revolutionaries and dreamers to help amplify their message. The flat-pack gear includes foldable megaphones, floating lanterns, and customizable signs that can be decorated on the go.
The Water Token Project is a cryptocurrency basic income program designed to create a more equitable distribution of water. Outlined as a policy proposal for the state of California—a notoriously problematic and overextended watershed—the Water Token Project would use an array of machine learning algorithms to constantly recalculate the gallon-value of a water token on a monthly basis and sustainably distribute these tokens to corporations and citizens alike.
On October 27, the first year students of the MFA Products of Design and the MFA Design Research program exchanged their Manhattan classrooms and studios for the vegetable farms, apple orchards and open fields of Washington County, New York.
As part of Elizabeth Galbut's Leadership and Strategic Management course, Class of 2018 students took a week to reimagine sets of business terms in a "designerly" way. Take a look below at some highlights, and maybe try your hand at some others! (Featured illustrations below by students Smruti Adya, Bernice Wong, Will Crum, Jingting He, Chris Rand, Alexia Cohen, and Andrew Schlesinger.)