Written at The Artificial along with Ariane Garoff

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To design magical connection experiences that seem smooth and effortless to users, we believe that there is a value in understanding the technology running behind it. Not only would this help designer make better UX decisions, but also have us recommend best practices when choosing a way of connecting a product. Today, many network infrastructures and protocols exist to establish a connection. We wondered why certain products use a particular technology (such as Bluetooth versus Wi-Fi) or why the experience of connecting some products seems easier than others. …

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The moment we had been preparing for all semester had arrived! The last two months were spent crafting our pitch, prototyping our concept on the HoloLens and daydreaming about the Microsoft Campus in Seattle. Now, it was time for one final hurdle… the Expo itself.

First, a bit about the Expo…

Each year, Microsoft Research sponsors a semester-long class at leading design schools. Students tackle a brief that typically centers around imminent themes, such as inclusive design, Internet of Things and conversational UIs. This year, the theme was around the creating positive cultural impact in Mixed Reality.

One team from each school is then selected to present at Microsoft HQ in Redmond. Our team, The Real World, was chosen to represent Carnegie Mellon University at the Expo this year alongside ArtCenter College of Design, MIT, New York University, ITP, Royal College of Art, University of Southern California, and University of Washington. …

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Breathe Easy

We help parents and children become more self-aware of their asthma, body, emotional wellbeing and physical limits. By providing safe activity suggestions for children based off of their data and environmental factors — we encourage children to be more physically active and keep track of their progress and achievements.

Our service is catered to Parents like Alison and children like Sarah —

We decided to split work and focus on the different deliverables for our project. While Eunice and Danny focused on the application wireframes, Minrui and I began explorations for the journal wireframes and Hi-Fi templates. Deborah created the visual language for our system and we both began creation of our video story boards, animation assets and the final movie animations.

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From our earlier feedback from faculty and users, we realized our concentration was much focused on the individual touch-points with in our system rather than the whole integrated system itself. We went back to the whiteboard to clearly break-apart our pain points and how we address them. This exercise proved useful, cause it let us take a step back and re-iterate our service story.

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Back to whiteboard

Looking back at our service scenario, we needed to do some more research into the touch points and activity creation. At the same time, we wanted to also conduct some service experiments possibly with children, to better understand the activities and preferences of a 5 year old.

We sought contact with the children’s school at CMU and were lucky enough to be granted a one hour workshop wth 3–4 children.

Collaging Activity

Learning Goals/Outcome:

  • Get informed about mindset of 5 year olds
  • Understand response to different information mediums — illustration vs photographs.
  • Learn about their likes/dislikes, how comfortable they are with technology — smartphones and tablets. …

Exploring functionality and interactions through “paper” and Hololens animation

We were quite at a crossroads when it came to prototyping for Augmented Reality. How do you create a environment closest to your product for the augmented world? We started this conversation by looking at various options available — Holosketch, Unity, 3D viewer in Hololens. We also thought of creating a virtual world that would simulate the experience a technical student would experience in the workshop.

We began by trying — and I say trying — to create a UI interface in Holosketch. …

Presentation One

Initial and Secondary Research

In the early stage of this project, we want to have a comprehensive understanding of asthma and asthma patients, so we carry out our research in following fields:

  • Asthma triggers and types;
  • Treatments, insurance and services;
  • Socioeconomic facts;
  • Existing technologies;
  • School policies;
  • Hospital services;
  • Parent care, etc.

Research approaches:

  • Online research
  • Interview (Friends with Asthma, Teachers)

There are our findings:

  • A lot of triggers are found through trial and error
  • Parents grow overprotective of their children when they learn they have asthma, and tend to not trust other people with their kids, and also tend to limit their child’s activities
  • Children, observing their parents in a way, grow inhibitions about their own limits. …


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Second visit to Rosedale Technical College

We returned to Rosedale to explore more in depth, how the curriculum and classes are designed for the students. We were fortunate enough to sit in on Chuck Bevington’s class, where we saw students diagnosing and fixing electrical issues. This gave us a chance to see firsthand the types of exercises students go through for each topic, the tools they use, and some of the challenges they face when moving back-and-forth between theoretical and practical learning.

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It was around the 19th century when the rickshaw was introduced in India. Inspired by the Japanese and Chinese nations, the rickshaw became popular as a cheap means of transport and goods carrier. Since becoming a rickshaw driver was the first job easily available for peasants migrating to new cities, it quickly became a key form of livelihood. Through the years, the human-aided rickshaw was slowly eradicated as a form of transport and with the rise of automobile industrialization, we saw new forms of motorized commercial transport systems being introduced. The auto-rickshaw was one of them.

From auto in India, tuk-tuk in Indonesia, tempo in Thailand, bajaji in Madagascar, to Tukxi in Italy — the three-wheeler auto rickshaw is known by many names (1). The birth of the auto came through the development of the Piaggio Ape that was manufactured by Piaggio in Italy in the 1950’s as an affordable utility vehicle (2). While the Ape was received as a goods carrier in European countries, it was transformed into a public transport vehicle in Asian nations. In the 1960’s Bajaj, an Indian automobile corporation won the license to produce and manufacture the Ape into an Intermediate Public Transport or IPT in India (3). Over the years, Bajaj became the world’s leading producer of the auto. Slowly, the auto not only became an essential part of India’s urban transport system but also as part of our social culture. In this paper, I would like to delve deeper into the form of the auto-rickshaw, and how it can become an important part of creating sustainable transportation systems in India. …


Manjari Sahu

India | USA | The Netherlands…A designer broadening her perspective on critical thinking and how to do good by design.

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