Possession and Revolt by Caitlyn Wilson

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2023 MDes Work in Progress

Submitted on December 20, 2022 - 1:28pm

Four Master of Design students are working towards graduation in June 2023. On December 8, they shared their current thesis research at an in-person poster show, and they now want to share that research more widely.

Chen Wei

  • Title: Promoting Effective Interaction in Critiques through Online Tools
  • Thesis chair: Meichun Liu
  • Committee member: Audrey Desjardins

During the pandemic, design education practitioners were creative in seeking solutions for teaching and learning in online classes. Since then, online whiteboard tools such as Figma and Miro have become popular, even after in-person classes have resumed. This phenomenon drives me to consider whether online whiteboard tools provide people with different personality traits an equal opportunity to participate and whether these online tools could ultimately lead to more effective and closer interactions than traditional critiques.

View Wei's poster.

Read Wei's Medium article.

Claire Weizenegger

  • Title: Maid, Friend or Master? Exploring the Relationship between Ethics, Design, Personification, and Domestic Voice Assistants
  • Thesis chair: James Pierce
  • Committee member: Audrey Desjardins

My thesis is a critical inquiry centered around the personification of domestic Voice Assistants (e.g., Siri, Alexa, and co). As many scholars observe, the projection of the 24/7 available nursing yet submissive female assistant into technology reinforces hurtful gender biases and contributes to greater inequality while actively shaping moral values. Using a research through design (RtD) approach, I propose different ways of designing and interacting with domestic VAs.

View Weizenegger's poster.

Read Weizenegger's Medium article.

Melanie Wells

  • Title: Reimagining Social Innovation Platforms
  • Thesis chair: Jason O. Germany
  • Committee member: Karen Cheng

Design for Social Innovation (DSI) aims to make positive social change more probable, effective, long-lasting, and scalable. Social innovation platforms are a promising approach to address collaboration challenges that arise in DSI practice, but host a variety of their own challenges and barriers. This project takes a critical look at these problems and opportunities, and will propose a conceptual model and functionality of a digital platform that addresses them.

View Wells' poster.

Read Wells' Medium article.

Wayne Jiang

  • Title: Contextual Information Visualization on AR Platforms in Data Centers
  • Thesis chair: James Pierce
  • Committee member: Audrey Desjardins

While reality is three-dimensional, the rich information we now have to inform our decisions and actions remains trapped on two-dimensional screens. The gulf between the real and digital world limits us from accomplishing complicated tasks with enough information. While information visualization on AR remains challenging, this thesis explores the space by understanding the data center scenario and generating interactive prototypes.

View Jiang's poster.

Read Jiang's Medium article.