Independent Design Engineering Projects, Spring 2020

Page 1

Independent Design Engineering Projects

Spring 2020

Master in Design Engineering



Independent Design Engineering Projects

Spring 2020

Master in Design Engineering



Introduction

Martin Bechthold and Fawwaz Habbal

5

Fugue: Knowledge is Beautiful

Berlynn Bai

6

makeContact: Mobilizing Resources for Survivors after Tragedy

Yash Bhutada

7

Comfort Maps: Illustrating the Lived Experience of the Bike Lane

Samuel Clay

8

Impacta

David Gomez-Gil

9

Gem: Equipping Family Caregivers with the Tools to Engage and Care for Dementia

Taylor Greenberg Goldy

10

An Integrated Smart-Water System for Mexico City’s Hydric Crisis

Anahide Nahhal and Mitsue Elisa Guerrero Monsalve

11

Phantom: An AI-Based Creative Agent to Support Ideation

Togo Kida

12

Exemplar: An RPG (Role-Playing Game) Model and Hub that Prepares and Empowers Esports Players as Exemplary Teammates

Oliver Luo

13

Ocarina: Lifelong Strength Management for Aging Population

Hane Roh

14

Seer

Zongheng Sun

15

SimpleFuture: Providing Better Financial Future

Jacob Schonberger and Mengxi Tan

16

Mink’a: Facilitated Experience for the Goal of Sustainable Livelihood

Daniela Teran

17

ZeroNet: Nurturing Homeowners toward Efficient Homes

Muhammad Hanif Wicaksono

18

The Future of Discourse: Prototyping at the GSD

Emily B. Yang

19

Modern Encounters: Rethinking Relationships and Social Interaction Systems

Mia Zaidan

20



Introduction

5

The Master in Design Engineering (MDE) program is a two-year, collaborative degree program between the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). Since the program began with a single cohort of 15 students, we have grown into a community of 39 current students, 32 alumni, and dozens of faculty, staff, and external stakeholders who have enriched and guided the program. Throughout, the program’s mission has held fast, providing students with the necessary technical and critical skills to examine, understand, and develop solutions to some of the complex, vexing problems of our time. Now, this spring, the third cohort of MDE students will graduate and launch into the world, and this booklet presents their final projects—the Independent Design Engineering Projects (IDEP). Much like a thesis, IDEP requires a synthesis and application of the general approach and methods for examining, understanding, and developing solutions that students learned in the first year of the program. Additional skills are introduced and developed during the second year as part of the two-semester IDEP course. For IDEP, each student has selected a real-world, societal challenge of his/ her choice to address across the two semesters. Working with stakeholders, students have leveraged a combination of design and engineering methods with the goal of producing and testing a prototype at the end of the spring semester. The end result is a range of projects as diverse as the students themselves. It is now May, and final reviews are approaching. Admittedly, this spring semester has not been the one we expected, and like many people and places in the world, the MDE community has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Changing course midsemester required creativity, resourcefulness, and flexibility. Most of all, it required human generosity. On all fronts, we are proud of the students and their dedication to completing the projects you are about to explore. As a program, we present the 2020 projects!

Martin Bechthold Program Codirector Master in Design Engineering

Fawwaz Habbal Program Codirector Master in Design Engineering



Fugue: Knowledge is Beautiful

Berlynn Bai, advised by Jock Herron (GSD) and Cesar A. Hidalgo (SEAS)

6

The pursuit of knowledge is an everyday endeavor and a lifelong journey. It’s more than pinning an idea, bookmarking an article, or just making notes. It is, in fact, an integrated, iterative, and reflective process that constitutes a diverse range of learning activities. Fugue, an all-in-one knowledge management platform with an ambitious vision of effectively converting information to knowledge, presents a future where everyone can enjoy the beauty of knowledge regardless of the physical distance. With its responsive environment that incorporates learning activities, such as information gathering, categorizing, organizing, discovering, and connecting altogether, Fugue aims to enhance individuals’ learning experiences in the digital age, and help people take knowledge inputs creatively, effectively, and reflectively.


makeContact: Mobilizing Resources for Survivors after Tragedy

Yash Bhutada, advised by Arianna Mazzeo (SEAS) and Luba Greenwood (SEAS)

7

In the aftermath of mass tragedies, communities must navigate significant trauma beyond the number of people killed or wounded. The reality being that trauma manifests differently across individuals, making resiliency a complex, personalized journey. Across instances of disaster, communities must respond to mass crises not only in the short term, but in managing long-term trauma as well. In some cases, such as after a mass shooting in a school, individuals must attempt to resume daily living in the site of their trauma, regularly facing retraumatization through the sights, smells, and sounds reminiscent of that day. While interviewing student survivors of mass shootings, I discovered nuances in accessing healing unique to this population: student survivors are typically dismissed during decision-making, lack the rights or ability to self-advocate, and are largely dependent on a caretaker. Designing around a population with these barriers better enables us to consider solutions across ages and other tragedies involving localized crisis response. If we can understand what student survivors need, how to engage them, and how to improve their utilization of relevant healing services, we may deter unhealthy and dangerous coping behaviors that often manifest after a traumatic event and improve PTSD healing. To do this, I evaluated several crisis responses across disasters, including mass shootings, terrorist attacks, and natural disaster, and observed that immediately after mass tragedy, a rapid influx of donations, emergency services, and volunteers help communities deal with initial shock and loss. But then short-term crisis support subsides, and survivors are left unsupported in the interim while communities prepare more permanent services. Thus, I introduce my systemic intervention makeContact, a new service model for intermediate crisis response that helps connect survivors and communities with the right resources after mass tragedy. By designing a platform that enables communities to rapidly and repeatedly evaluate survivor needs in the aftermath of crisis, communities can call for more targeted resources at different periods in healing—whether it’s professional skills, time, or donations—to address the otherwise unknown and unmet needs of survivors.


Comfort Maps: Illustrating the Lived Experience of the Bike Lane

Samuel Clay, advised by Carole Turley Voulgaris (GSD) and Jim Waldo (SEAS)

8

A revolution in mobility began three years ago. And in no city is bike infrastructure up to the task. Millions of people are using e-scooters, e-bikes, and e-mopeds to commute, but the streets we use are unsafe and undesirable. The problem is that while cities might choose to build bike lanes, most built bike lanes are inadequate to support the growth of greener modes of transport. Comfort Maps is a tool for advocates to use real-time street safety data in discussions with policymakers. Combining a physical hardware device that mounts on the handlebars of a bicycle or e-scooter with a data visualization platform, Comfort Maps creates a safe and easy method for rating the comfort levels of streets. These ratings and snapshots provide a photographic lived experience that could not easily be captured and shared before. The Comfort Maps data visualization platform provides insights into problem hotspots with real evidence. It also provides open data for circuity metrics and transit services to use for improved routing directions. Lastly, the platform aggregates patterns into visible trends, offering support to advocates in the form of sharable visualizations that illustrate the lived experience of the bike lane.


Impacta

David Gomez-Gil, advised by Fawwaz Habbal (SEAS) and Arianna Mazzeo (SEAS)

9

Although digital technology presents a great opportunity to today’s civil society, NGOs working with vulnerable communities in the city of Medellin, Colombia, lag behind other NGOs worldwide in their leverage of digital technologies as a means to amplify their impact agendas. To understand why this happens, I have engaged in fieldwork and interviews with several actors and stakeholders in Medellin’s local social ecosystem. This research has led me to interesting systemic insights; the main one being that the barriers for NGOs in Medellin to further leverage digital technology are not related to technological ignorance, but rather to the lack of novel partnerships within the local ecosystem that can provide digital applications to make up for the lack of their own resources. Impacta is my answer to the question on how we might provide local NGOs in Medellin with partnerships that allow them to benefit from custom-designed digital applications. Impacta is a service that allows groups of local engineering students and NGOs in the city of Medellin to engage in a design process to develop a custom-designed digital application for the NGO and the community it serves. As a service, Impacta is made up of three components: (1) Digital Platform, (2) Analogue Design Process, and (3) Impacta Organization. As a way to test the main component of this solution, the design process, I have conducted a proof of concept with a local NGO, Arreciclar, that represents more than 300 sanitation workers in the city of Medellin, and a group of 18 engineering students from EIA University.


Gem: Equipping Family Caregivers with the Tools to Engage and Care for Dementia

Taylor Greenberg Goldy, advised by Arianna Mazzeo (SEAS) and Fawwaz Habbal (SEAS)

10

In the US alone, there are 15 million unpaid family caregivers supporting six million loved ones with dementia. These caregivers are faced with an incredible challenge of balancing their own lives and caring for their spouse/loved one for years on end. Unfortunately, with that balance comes high levels of stress, fear, and burnout among family caregivers because, in part, they feel discouraged that their care can make a difference in their loved one’s well-being and don’t feel confident in their ability to care effectively. After understanding different interventions to help caregivers and care recipients, I learned that cognitive therapies (i.e., reminiscence, music, and storytelling) have the potential to improve mood and slow down the of decline of dementia symptoms. Gem, my solution, is an interactive, personalized digital tool that utilizes cognitive therapies and creates a “learning-by-doing” activity for new family caregivers to do remotely or in person with their loved one with dementia. The goal of this tool is not only to provide training wheels for new caregivers on how to do cognitive therapies, but also to provide companionship and resilience for families in this situation.


An Integrated Smart-Water System for Mexico City’s Hydric Crisis

Anahide Nahhal and Mitsue Elisa Guerrero Monsalve, advised by Cesar A. Hidalgo (SEAS) and Ingeborg Rocker (GSD)

11

Water is essential to life on Earth. When life and activity are growing, however, the quantity of drinkable water in the world is limited. A 2018 UN report shows that by 2050, half of the global population will suffer from a potable water shortage. The global water crisis is starting to hit the most vulnerable countries and people. With its demographic increase, Mexico City is one of the cities that will suffer the most from this high water stress. Paradoxically, this city, which was once a water-based city built on a lake, will run out of water in 30 years. This crisis will impact more than 30 million inhabitants in a city challenged by inequality. Taking a closer look at the water system, we can observe that Mexico City is not using its natural water resources sustainably, and this imbalance is leading to a water crisis. Following extensive academic, stakeholder, and extreme-user research, we discovered that water is not perceived as a finite resource. We hypothesize that a tool could help raise awareness of the high water stress and the inequalities in the city, and improve consumption behavior We are designing an integrated solution to empower citizens with their accountability to their water rights, making water distribution fair and participatory. This solution will include a physical individual IoT smart meter system to provide the missing data, a cap-and-trade water consumption system to distribute water rights equally, and a smartphone application designed using behavioral science to educate on sustainable individual water consumption. Models and simulations will help us understand the scalability, efficiency, and, later, replicability of this integrated solution.


Phantom: An AI-Based Creative Agent to Support Ideation

Togo Kida, advised by Jock Heron (GSD) and Arianna Mazzeo (SEAS)

12

Creativity is regarded as one of the most valuable resources in business that brings innovation. However, being able to exercise creative capabilities is a tough task. For example, creative teams working in advertising industries are constantly under pressure to generate many ideas in a short time. Teams lack the right tools to ideate more, better quality ideas. Looking deeper into their process of ideation, the process is often solitary and time-consuming. Is there a new creative process that could be designed with the use of technologies? In order to overcome this difficulty in exercising creativity, I propose an AI-powered text editor that helps the user produce more creative outputs. The text editor is equipped with different AI models that respond to the user’s input and generate additional context, which the user can inspect to be further inspired. Through this project, I propose a new process of ideation and an interaction model between the user and the AI.


Exemplar: An RPG (Role-Playing Game) Model and Hub that Prepares and Empowers Esports Players as Exemplary Teammates

Oliver Luo, advised by Allen Sayegh (GSD) and Michael D. Smith (SEAS)

13

Esports, as a form of sports competition over video games, has exploded in popularity in the last decade. The dominant format of short matches between two teams of players picked via a combination of manual team formation and automatic matching by algorithms has attracted both amateurs playing for fun as well as professional esports athletes vying for prize pools in the tens of millions of dollars. This growth in popularity is accompanied by a rise in prevalence of negatively disruptive—or “toxic,” as it is known among veteran gamers—player behaviors. These acts of disruption occur over in-game communication channels accessible to players prior to, during, and immediately after matches. While these communication channels were meant to build camaraderie and coordinate strategy, they can become channels for microaggressions and even threats to one’s physical safety and personal privacy. The current measures that systemically address this problem are largely reactionary in nature, which could be appropriate for severe offenses but are not very effective for less severe behaviors that over time normalize and reinforce this “toxic” culture. The root cause of this disruption is complex. From my research, I identified that most of the incidents of disruption happen among players within the same team, in the form of text/voice aggressions triggered by poor performance and/or team coordination and sent over an impoverished player communication channel. To address this challenge, I propose Exemplar, a gamified hub that empowers players with teamwork learning off the field and enriches the communication environment among teammates on the field. In relying on positive habits and richer communication channels, the Exemplar model, plugged into the constellation of esports titles in the industry, can slowly nudge us toward better gameplay experiences and healthier gaming communities.


Ocarina: Lifelong Strength Management for Aging Population

Hane Roh, advised by Jock Herron (GSD) and Luba Greenwood (SEAS)

14

With an exponentially rising aging population, there are many individual health concerns for the population. Ocarina addresses a disease that affects almost half of the senior population called sarcopenia, which is a progressive loss of skeletal muscle strength and function associated with aging. Older adults with sarcopenia are at higher risk of serious injuries, increasing hospitalization and mortality rate. The current healthcare system is insufficient to provide effective and continuous care for sarcopenia. How can we manage this physiological inevitability by enabling aging populations for long-term autonomy? In order to prevent or delay sarcopenia development, we need to maximize muscle in early life, maintain muscle in middle age, and minimize loss in older age. Ocarina guides users through their life course aging journey, helping them understand their strength status and continue accessible and optimized care. It provides an integrated process of measurement and treatment, involving multilevel social interventions to retain motivation. Across all weakening factors, this product empowers users to be aware of their own strength and take appropriate measures.


Seer

Zongheng Sun, advised by Jock Herron (GSD) and Luba Greenwood (SEAS)

15

Seer™ is a ready-to-use augmented system to help motorists and cyclists share increasingly congested urban streets more safely. In most cities, road capacity has not changed materially for the better part of a century. For much of that time, cars, trucks, buses, pedestrians and, to a lesser extent, bicycles shared urban streets with some success. Over the past decade, however, new transportation alternatives have emerged that increased street congestion and boosted the risks for everyone using our streets. Examples include ride-sharing services and light vehicles such as bikes, e-bikes, and scooters. Seer is focused on bicycle safety, initially focusing on greater Cambridge with a view toward addressing the challenge in all urban areas. The current version of Seer is a communication system designed to reduce risk during a major transition phase of urban transportation. Eventually, sensor-rich, autonomous vehicles will likely be the norm. Automated vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian communications should make using urban streets safer. For the foreseeable future, however, risks will continue to rise. By enabling cyclists to communicate their intentions automatically using lasers, the tool will efficiently establish safety zones with cars, other vehicles, and pedestrians. After exploring different alternatives—for example, helmet signaling and bicycle-to-car signaling—the initial product uses twin laser beams to highlight a safe buffer separating bicycles and cars as well as pedestrians. The width of the buffer expands to reflect greater risks associated with turning. The project includes functional prototyping, user testing, plans for system implementation, and some speculation about future opportunities.


SimpleFuture: Providing Better Financial Future

Jacob Schonberger and Mengxi Tan, advised by Jock Herron (GSD), Krzysztof Gajos (SEAS), and David Eaves (HKS)

16

Do you feel confident that you have claimed all refunds, collected all interests, managed every financing account, deposited every check, and utilized every prepaid gift card? If not, you probably have some money in the $60 billion “unclaimed property” pool. Unclaimed property is considered to be assets that are abandoned by their owner (typically for three to five years depending on the asset). The abandoned property is transferred to the state treasury and turned into cash equivalents. The treasury can treat this money as revenue, but legally must make this money available to be found and “claimed” by its original owner. Each state has its own claims process, but typically returns only about 4.5 percent of the total pool of unclaimed property. Such a low claim rate is due to a combination of low awareness, confusing claim processes, inefficiency in program structure, predatory activities, and lack of trust. By introducing financial services into the ecosystem, SimpleFuture redesigns the unclaimed property system to be more efficient and user friendly while improving customers’ relationships with their banks.


Mink’a: Facilitated Experience for the Goal of Sustainable Livelihood

Daniela Teran, advised by Arianna Mazzeo (SEAS), Libby McDonald (MIT), and Doris Sommer (FAS)

17

Women workers in the informal economy of Latin America need sustainable livelihoods. To achieve impactful and sustainable change, they need to decide on their individual and communal well-being goals with agency, which they commonly lack. Working with the hypothesis that by supporting and strengthening their creative capacities and life skills, women will actively work toward a sustainable livelihood, formulating plans to achieve their individual and communal aspirations and well-being goals, I have designed Mink’a. Mink’a is a facilitated community experience that proposes a process to guide informal women workers to organize through a shared identity. Mink’a supports the group’s ability to make free and informed choices toward their sustainable livelihood. In this process, women work through different activities that strengthen their creative capacities and train them in life skills. The proposed experience has two important touchpoints: a woman from the community, trained as a facilitator for the process, and activity kits. Activity kits are composed of a series of exercises or activities for each step of the process. The main purpose of the kit is to provide the community with all the resources they will need. Mink’a is the result of analyzing and exploring academic theory and existing methods and frameworks around the steps of the proposed process and adapting this process based on what I have learned in participatory action research collaborating with a community of artisanal gold miners in Sechocha, Peru, and small-scale milk producers in Turucucho, Ecuador.


ZeroNet: Nurturing Homeowners toward Efficient Homes

Muhammad Hanif Wicaksono, advised by Jock Herron (GSD)

18

Buildings and construction account for 28 percent of global carbon emissions, and the energy demand is expected to keep growing. It is often cheaper to meet energy demands through energy efficiency measures than through the provision of alternative, greener energy supplies, since it is costly and takes time to build large-scale energy infrastructure. LEED+ and technological innovation in building materials and construction work for new buildings, but the flipside is improving existing buildings to make them more efficient. To drive adoption, many organizations and initiatives issue rebates, incentives, and services. These tools are already out there, but there are unaddressed gaps between knowledge and action that make home improvement a nightmare for homeowners. This project aims to accelerate home energy-efficiency measures and action at scale, from the perspective of homeowners working together with existing tools and partners to streamline the process, proposing attainable steps to ease the transition to more efficient homes and align with local climate action plans.


The Future of Discourse: Prototyping at the GSD

Emily B. Yang, advised by Arianna Mazzeo (SEAS) and Belinda Tato (GSD)

19

What does the future of civil discourse look like? Forty-one percent of all Harvard students across the political spectrum have reported feeling uncomfortable expressing their opinions to others at Harvard. Through extensive interviews and collaborative design workshops, I discovered that students who have experienced negative discourse become less interested in sharing their opinions and shut down, keeping their opinions to themselves or to their closest friends who share their exact beliefs. Challenging the moral intuitions and world views of others is hard, and current conditions do not make it any easier. Many factors that influence political discourse are systemic—political, cultural, social, and technological—and creating human-centered interventions across these systems is no small feat. This project seeks to use design not only to create “things,” but also to create ideas and to speculate about how future discourse could create a new space for discussion and reflection about our own values, beliefs, and behavior. With the goal of creating conversation about what the future of discourse could look like, I borrowed principles from strategic foresight and speculative design to explore a spectrum of combinations of technology and ideology, so multiple futures can be presented and encountered. To illustrate the differences between the worlds, examples of how people engage in discourse is demonstrated through various scenarios, experiences, and artifacts. People have different understandings of civil discourse and the implications of it. By worldbuilding and writing “design fiction,” people who do not have a deep understanding of the mechanics of civil discourse are included in the exploration of its implications to better prepare for the future and, ideally, steer the world toward a more “preferable” future.


Modern Encounters: Rethinking Relationships and Social Interaction Systems

Mia Zaidan, advised by Arianna Mazzeo (SEAS) and Kevin Kit Parker (SEAS)

20

Over the past few decades, technology has redefined the way people meet, interact, and develop relationships, making it extremely simple for its users to meet others from the comfort of their couch. However, the same technology is increasing levels of loneliness and isolation because we end up spending more time on our devices and less time with each other. By investigating the systems that dating apps are developing to match, connect, and make people meet in real life, modern encounters can be better understood. When dissecting the users’ behaviors, acceptance and validation emerge as the ultimate needs they are trying to satisfy. These manifest themselves differently from one person to the other, often creating a mismatch in expectations. From a systemic viewpoint, the superficial generic profiles result in a lack of involvement in user journey. I propose a disruptive strategy to create new types of social encounters, where your profile is designed to depict your lifestyle rather than your looks. As a user, you get the power to shape and design your experience while preserving the spontaneity of the encounter. The new matching platform I am proposing is a systemic design intervention. When you go online, you select the type of encounter and activity that you are looking for. Matching happens instantly: you are presented with online users who are available now, in your immediate area, with similar expectations. Instant matching, simple encounters, real people.


Dean, Harvard University Graduate School of Design Sarah Whiting Dean, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Francis J. Doyle III Independent Design Engineering Project Instructors Martin Bechthold and Woodward Yang Program Codirectors Martin Bechthold (GSD) and Fawwaz Habbal (SEAS) Program Manager Janessa Mulepati Editorial and Design Support Mikhail Grinwald Production Meg Sandberg

Š 2020 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Harvard University Graduate School of Design Gund Hall 48 Quincy Street Cambridge, MA 02138 USA www.gsd.harvard.edu



GSD / SEAS