How People Work — Final Presentations

Design Week Fall 2021 — Carnegie Mellon University School of Design

Pittsburgh, December 6th, 2021

During Design Week, the second-year design students presented the culmination of their research-to-outcome process adopting a human-centered design approach. Projects were introduced in a style akin to a conference or design pitch to a client or funder.

Students were challenged to identify realistic design opportunities within the local community, develop and execute an actionable research plan, and synthesize insights to propose a practical design intervention. Projects encompassed a variety of problem spaces, from food insecurity to sustainability, and everything in between. These processes and outcomes were communicated through research posters and formal presentations as the capstone project for How People Work.

Final presentation of How People Work

1. Digital Privacy & Security

How might we improve transparency and privacy for smart home device applications for people who are hesitant about purchasing new technology?

The growing prevalence of physical technologies often comes with concerns regarding their collection and use of user data. Addressing perceived transparency and user privacy boundaries aims to assuage the existing resistance and fear many users face.

Link to hi-res image. Team: Shannon Lin, Anthony Pan, Spoorthi Cherivirala & Chelsea Tang

2. Sustainable Fashion

How might we increase the adoption of slow fashion practices among college students in Pittsburgh?

The dominance of fast fashion models create a culture of rapid closet turnover and resulting clothing waste. By increasing accessibility and propagating knowledge regarding slow fashion practices, a more sustainable model can be achieved, promoting cultural shifts and leading people to consume in a conscious and affordable way.

Link to hi-res image. Team: Ana Baskinger, Elise Chapman, Riya Bobde & Olivia Luk

3. Communities & Conviviality

How might we enhance communication between CMU service workers and students?

Service workers of Chartwell Higher Ed at CMU face a variety of barriers to equitable wage, compensation, and work environment. Series of communication platforms can be conjugated to raise awareness among students and provide mechanisms to share advocacy and resources, ultimately bridging the communication divide between Chartwells employees and the CMU community.

Link to hi-res image. Team: John Henley, Hannah Lesser, Jess Jones & Tara Banatwala

4. Work-Life Balance

How might we redesign communication between students and faculty to improve relationships and the learning environment?

Effective communication allows students to have productive and positive academic experiences, but interactions between students and faculty are often inconsistent or unsatisfactory. The introduction of physical and digital services serve as an intermediary platform for enriching the learning environment at CMU.

Link to hi-res image. Team: Michelle Dang, Julia LePoer, Thien Le & Yoo Sung Lee

5. Transportation and Mobility

How might we improve the efficiency of bus systems in Pittsburgh for CMU students?

Uncertain bus schedules and arrival times creates hesitancy and frustration among students, despite the prevalence and affordability of bus systems in Pittsburgh. To increase student adoption of public transportation, a proposed solution aims to increase accessibility and feedback to fully leverage the potential of a real-time data sharing platform.

Link to hi-res image. Team: Christy Zo, Heysu Oh, Renee Chang & Jayden Liu

6. Sustainable Lifestyle

How might we induce a culture of recycling boba packaging on campus in relation to the growing popularity and value in the boba drink market?

The growth of bubble tea consumption brings with it an exponential increase in plastic waste across the world, at all scales. Incentivizing stakeholders at multiple levels through education, access, and behavioral interventions can reduce single-use plastic waste with more sustainable alternatives.

Link to hi-res image. Team: Yash Mittal, Max Stockdale, Jasper Krarup & Luca Cao.

7. Transportation and Mobility

How might we reframe the way public transportation information is delivered to make the information inclusive and accessible for everyone?

The majority of the student population heavily relies on the Pittsburgh bus system, of which relevant information is accessed primarily through smart phones. This reliance on one channel of information can hinder or even disrupt commutes. By democratizing and standardizing the communication of crucial information, riders benefit from a more reliable, accessible transportation system.

Link to hi-res image. Team: Seyoung Choo, Sarah Kang, Sean Meng

8. Sustainability

How might we make material usage within the College of Fine Arts more sustainable?

Studio-based curriculum and College of Fine Arts students produce large amounts of material waste, despite the prevalence of usable leftover materials from past projects. Providing physical and mental structures can shift common practices and cultural norms towards a more sustainable model.

Link to hi-res image. Team: Jacky Lococo, Georgia Miller, Sam Rauch & Cassie Rausch

9. Transportation and Safety

How might we improve safety for Carnegie Mellon students using public transit during late nights?

Despite the high proportion of students relying on Pittsburgh’s bus system, a lack of infrastructure exists to maintain accessible, reliable and safe methods of transportation. Introducing improved information visibility and physical safety structures at bus stops can increase perceived and observed safety of night-time bus travel, promoting adoption of public transit among CMU students.

Link to hi-res image. Team: Catherine Liu, Jessica Lai, Susan Ni & Ricky Chen

10. Sustainable Living for CMU Students

How might we reduce the use of single use containers and utensils while still making food services accessible and convenient for CMU students who do not have disposable time and income?

Campus dining services rely heavily on single-use containers, of which many are not properly recycled and disposed of. By providing a convenient, self-sustaining system that reduces friction, targets cultural norms, and demonstrates accessibility, stakeholders can be empowered and incentivized to practice more sustainable food packaging and storage behaviors.

Link to hi-res image. Team: Julianna Bolivar, Erica Fu, Gia Marino & Karan Shah

11. Food Insecurity

How might we redesign the campus dining experience to alleviate food insecurity for students?

The existing campus dining system results in food insecurity for students at multiple levels. With a novel approach of shifting responsibility from individuals and external actors to the centralized system itself, proposing a spectrum of solutions–from design iteration to systemic changes–can aim to resolve the current root causes of the issue at hand.

Link to hi-res image. Team: Jiyeon Chun, Bryce Li, Emily Liu & Shaoting Yan




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Ann Li

Ann Li

Design @ Carnegie Mellon

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