The d.school’s fantastic Design for Extreme Affordability program pairs design teams to create products and services that will change the lives of the world’s poorest citizens. Using human centered design methods, students work with international partners on real world problems.
We worked with Kiwa Life in Ecuador to provide stable incomes to more Andean beet farmers. To do so, we conducted extensive interviews and research, with farmers and stakeholders in Ecuadors as well as analogous industries in the States.
Over the course of sixteen weeks, we uncovered insights and needs in order to craft a cogent point of view for Kiwa and their farmers. Using that POV, we ideated solution paths, ultimately drafting implementation plans for three.
In order to give Kiwa the flexibility they needed, we came up with an affordable physical beet sorter, a suite of strategic “low-hanging fruit” efficiency-increasing business strategies, and an ExtendSim simulation of their factory floor that would identify bottlenecks and areas of improvement.
Day After Day
Computer Aided Manufacturing
“day after day, the chaos of the world.” Inspired by the final line of poem by Du Fu, this project houses three spices (Sichuan green peppercorns, saffron, and black garlic) key to helping my family find stillness in our lives through sharing time and creating wonderful meals together. The aluminum base derives its form from Japanese pebble gardens and intentionally conflicts against the piece’s overall dominant verticality.
Materials: Aluminum (milled, sandblasted, clear anodized), Tigerwood and Olivewood (turned, finished with mineral oil)
Manufacturing, Industrial Design
The tradition of Chinese tea has always been a source of comfort for me, as an immigrant, growing up in a community without many families that looked like mine. This project takes the traditional Chinese tea tray and gives it verticality, sculptural form, and storage capabilities by taking the form of three interconnected terraces. When in use, discarded tea flows from one terrace to another.
After ideating 100+ ideas and sketches, I settled on a modern look of a food-safe aluminum frame with elegant, sustainable bamboo. After a misguided attempt to laser-cut the bamboo parts, I turned to the wood shop for less precise but more beautiful wooden tops. I went through three sets of aluminum frames in the course of two weeks, adjusting dimensions and press-fits to be more structurally sound. Finally, the aluminum was bead-blasted and the wood finished with food safe oil.
Sonim User Research
Sonim builds phones to withstand extreme conditions and intense use cases. We decided to explore the user group of zookeepers, who need consistent reliability and durability in their communication devices, in order to inform product development strategy for the next generation Sonim device.
This included spend extensive time with zookeepers at the SF Zoo and distilling their needs into actionable insights.
Created for a human-centered design course at Stanford: A visual roadmap of the experiences I’ve acquired (flags up) and the things I hope to achieve (flags down).
I dig the clean colorful look of this isometric style of vector art. It’s a surprisingly personal and labor intensive task, each detail handmade and crafted. This piece in the end took 90+ hours to create.
UI/UX, Visual Design
The goal Verdigris Analytics dashboard is to deliver relevant building energy data to different user groups (executives, building managers…) within the clientele. I coordinated and tested mockups using Sketch, Invision, Craft, and Zeplin.
I worked with the marketing team to create dynamic, minimalist visuals that would tailor relevant energy & cost estimates to potential clients based on similar, current Verdigris clients
Villa Savoye Opener
One of French Architect Le Corbusier’s tenets of modern architecture is the open façade: the idea that modern buildings should have structural support independent from its actual outer walls, allowing for wide windows and expansive natural lighting.
In this bottle opener design, I recreated the silhouette of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, located in Poissy, in the outskirts of Paris. The stark minimalism and basic geometry, as well as the uniform finish is meant to evoke the artistic and architectural style of the influential French pioneer.
'Money Trees' Shrine
Woodworking, Public Art Installation
Low income student at Stanford have the challenging task of adapting to an elite environment often not sympathetic to their backgrounds (see: yearly ski trips, expensive supplies for design classes). As a freshman at Stanford, the message of wishing to be freed from financial stress on Kendrick Lamar’s Money Trees resonated with me deeply.
As a thought-experiment and aesthetic response to the current trend of hip-hop artists incorporating Asian visual motifs in their music (Kung-Fu Kenny, SZA Doves in the Wind, Nicki Minaj Chun-Li, Migos Stir-fry), I created a roadside shrine combining the lyrical mythology of Money Trees and spiritual mythology of Japanese purification rituals. The shrine takes up space on a campus where class issues among students are not often visible.
On display at Stanford University, May 25th - June 18th, 2018
Visual Design, Layout
I created this article for a class as a fun, meta-analysis of the design thinking process. You can read it in its entirety here.
d.school Design Research
Through product design courses Human Values in Design, Product Design Methods, Design for Extreme Affordability, and Needfinding, I’ve conducted ethnographic user research to uncover the often overlooked needs of camping enthusiasts, policemen & firefighters, zookeepers, migrant workers, and Ecuadorian farm and factory laborers.
Red Thread Sculpture
Based on the Chinese mythology that soulmates are bound to one another by a red string of destiny, this is a simple wooden sculpture imbedded with an arduino and a motor that threads the red string when the sculpture is picked up and pointed in the direction of the "soulmate."