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Graduate Thesis Public Presentations

May 15 MID Public Thesis Presentations

RISD CIT, 169 Weybosset,  2nd floor, towards the front

The May 15 Public Thesis Presentations are open to friends, family, allies, advisers, the department, and school as a whole. Because the thesis grads will have passed through the fires of a defense already, the May 15 presentations tend to be relaxed and enjoyable. To help members of the department decide which presentations to catch, we have a list of project descriptions written by the grads.

Time and Project Description

9:00 - Adi Azulay: I am designing devices that recapitulate historic communication technologies, like smoke signals or the telegraph, to explore how objects mediate human interactions.

9:15 - Creama Yue Wong: Objects are humanizing. I am designing a series of daily objects combined with realistic human features to make geometrical and indifferent things more enjoyable and intuitively functional.

9:30 - Alyssa Mayo: I am investigating what is is about the physical that is fundamentally human by experimenting with replicas and archives of emotionally meaningful but troublesome objects.

9:45 - Xiaoxiao Jin: I am a design strategist. I have created a design matrix to help companies evaluate their current services and explore new opportunities. I will be showing three case studies of how this might work.

10:00 - Jiaxuan Jaren Li: I am designing products for younger Chinese generations to help them remember to think of traditional Chinese cultural values and to inspire them to carry out those values in the details of their lives.


10:30 - Christina Chen: I am creating a line of discursive clothing that allows wearers to express cultural values while addressing what it means to be a person of color in America today.

10:45 - Ryan Ferguson: I am interested in how tools can become vehicles to transmit and complement the tacit knowledge of expert tool users. I am exploring ways to embed intelligence in tools, both physical and digital.

11:00 - Ala Tannir: Despite never being addressed synchronously, recent reports from the Mediterranean region suggest a sharp increase in jellyfish population in the water and the migration of humans across its surface. Towards the pursuit of justice and dignity for all species involved, this project proposes the possibility of an interspecies alliance between at-risk humans and jellyfish in the Mediterranean Sea.

11:15 - Sean Hou: I am interested in how changing manufacturing methods can change the role of design. As a case-study, I am developing a system to create personalized sneakers which merges good elements from different brands’ designs.

11:30 - Namrata Phirke: To help students develop healthy eating habits, I am designing a tool to help them manage their time more efficiently and prepare a healthy breakfast.


1:00 - Atulya Chaganty: By embodying the essence of talismans and mementos, I am designing a series of personal ‘digi-chanisms’, inspired by biophilia and pocket accessories, to help young veterans transition out of military service into civilian life.

1:15 - Wudi Hong: I am working on a connected service with digital devices to help us strengthen our closest relationships when living far from loved ones.

1:30 - Jerry Ding: My thesis is about helping people to build environmental consciousness by leading them to collaborate with nature as they make their own products.

1:45 - Court Skabelund: My thesis explores the inevitable future that sport will be required to address as our athletes evolve and express themselves in new ways. I am imagining the future of sports in a world where the gender binary of athletes has become blurred.


2:15 - Kate Brandy: For people admitted to emergency rooms without urgent life-threatening illnesses, the experience of being stuck waiting is riddled with anxiety. I am creating a series of interventions to ease both patients’ and their companions’ mental and physical stress during these difficult times.

2:30 - Jin Cao: I am working on a product that will use light and sound to help design students concentrate when they work.

2:45 - Zixin Xiong: I am designing a cafe that provides physical activities to give patrons an opportunity to escape from digital devices and the Internet by creating a new culture of the joyfulness of face-to-face communication.

3:00 - Hanna McLaughlin My thesis focuses on co-designing experiences of self-care with young parents and toddlers to help navigate the double transition of parents returning to work and children spending time in new environments.

3:15 - Kasia Matlak: My thesis project is about empowering people, by redefining disability and providing tools to deal with loss.


3:45 - Zhizi Liu: I am working on toys for adults, try to help adults to find the joy from assembling it, from this part, they might immerse themselves for a block of time to stay alone. Also, they can interact with it to remand them of humorous scenarios/stories.

4:00 - Tim Stoelting: I am presenting apocalyptic home furniture. I am using the furniture and overly sensationalistic branding and marketing displays to explore the emotional manipulation of consumers.

4:15 - Daniel Gioia: How might we design a way to achieve the social benefits of an exercise partner without being actively social? I am designing a connected fitness device that untangles the social motivators from the social discouragers in a fitness experience.

4:30 - Lokesh Zope: I am designing a framework to help digital (smart) objects be more mindful of the effects their presence have one us, so they can interact with us more meaningfully—‘emotional intelligence for objects’.