Rachel Kuhr's Portfolio

Page 1

Rachel Kuhr Rachel Kuhr

Why pick? My work is my play.

Selected Works Coming back to Kameneku, Papua New Guinea, where I was originally the first Westerner to visit the village.

Enamored by the immenseness of the product design world. INDUSTRIES




Design Research




Start - Up


Design Thinking



IDEO IDEO.org Illumina Institute of Making JELLO Kroger Logitech London Centre for Nanotechnology


Food Packaging



Lean Manufacturing

CLIENTS AND COLLABORATORS Accuray Bohemian Innovation Cambridge University Centurion Medical Products Cerus Eli Lilly Green Toys Hewlett-Packard He y




Private Firm

Emerging Markets

Project Management



Caterpillar Inc. MIT Pactiv Inc. Oxford University Avail Medical Starbucks Lunar Design e Talent Society Think OutLoud Consulting Tshinghua University University of Texas University College London YWCA Papua New Guinea



University of Texas MORPH Lab University of Texas MAD Lab SUTD-MIT International Design Centre Samsung Austin Semiconductor BioLite

Tomorrow’s world belongs to the innovative engineer. The monotonous daze of number crunching is clearing to creative development. Human engineering cannot and should not be replaced by computer or machine. As an artistic and inspired engineer who loves to challenge convention, I look forward to create our future in the world of design. Our left brain is known for being sequential and analytical while our right brain is known for deduction of patterns, emotions, and holistic views. Most of the activities I enjoy strongly involve both hemispheres. Drawing illustrates my understanding of physical objects while conveying a deeper emotional meaning though style. Studying and improvising jazz music provides me with the opportunity to challenge theory with personal expression. Running half marathons and swimming meets brings together body me like design. My portfolio illustrates a selection of the protects I have worked on continue to look for ways to bring my interests and philosophies together, in my life and in my career. Rachel Kuhr

Selected Works Table of Contents

Secret Moon Singapore University of Technology and Design Pages 6-7

Do-nu-matic Design Methodology Class Pages 12-13

Seasonal Tree Graduate Design Class Pages 16-17

Fluid Motion Lunar Design Page 8

Hinge Exploration Lunar Desgn Page 9-11

Clock with the Answers Freeform Fabrication Class Page 14

DNA Eraser Avail Page 15

Cupcakes Pactiv Page 18

Can’t Tolerate This Avail Pages 19

Design Method Cards Singapore University of Technology and Design Page 20

Design and Manage 5S Samsung Pages 25

Infographic Designer Samsung Page 29

Project Planning Tool BioLite Pages 21-23

Lego To Nano Singapore U of Tech & Design Pages 26-27

Collective Design SUTD-MIT International Design Centre Pages 30-31

SamsungCenter Samsung Page 24

Innovation Engineer Samsung Page 28

Studio Art & Graphic Design Various Pages 32-34

Secret Moon

Singapore Univereristy of Technology and Design e challenge: Create a highly discreet, sanitary, affordable hygiene solution with the women of Simbu, Papua New Guinea.


More than 700 cultural groups that make up PNG's population, many in remote areas, and many have traditions and taboos about menstruating women (�sick moon�) and girls and their menstrual blood. This leaves women embarassed to take proper care of themselves and has caused many health issues and deaths.

Skills developed: -Leading participatory design -User Interviews -Prototyping -Design for Manufacture

Experts involved: -Social Workers -Local Community -Governor and Mayor

Critical Factors: -Highly socially sensitive product -Extreme affordability needs -Can be made locally -Easy to access -Overcome language/culture barriers 6

Project Goal

While not wishing to undermine deep traditions such as women's business in PNG, a solution is needed to address the barriers to empowerment and community development facing women and girls.


Final Product Secret Moon is a resuable solution that allows women to secretly use it. It’s disguised as other ordinary products in each setting so there are no embarassments. It is affordably priced, and distribution models are currently being tested.

I interviewed over 40 woman about their challenges faced for hygiene. The main findings were: -Imported disposable sanitary products are prohibitively expensive and inaccessible.

Final Product still under wraps! This can be shared in person.

-Women typically reuse a dirty rag cut from clothes. These rags are washed in public rivers and line dried outside the home. Since this is embarassing, this is often not done hygenically. -Often women are ridiculed or even beaten for going about their daily lives while menstruating (farming, cooking, going to school) -Women and girls in rural and remote areas develop local solutions such as using leaves or grasses that are unhygenic.

Design Workshops

After interviews, two weeks of design workshops were done where local women learned about the design process and created mock ups of potential solutions.

Launch Grant

Update 2/14: We have recieved over a $500,000 grant from the Simbu local government for the furthering of our product design and distribution.


Tube Flattening Slider Concept

Fluid Motion Lunar Design Internship Project e challenge:

Shape Study !


Move a uid between two storage locations in a linear, repeatable, and reversable manner by using your hand on the device. Skills developed: -Mechanism Design -Idea Sketching -Design for Manufacture -CAD

Experts involved: -Research Scientists -Mechanical Engineers -Industrial Designers

Critical Factors: -Small space -Limited materials -Perception of Quality -Easy to use 8

Tube cross section:

Not enough squshing Good Too much outer material Finding Optimal Tube Pro le

Concept Drawings

Tube Flattening Track Concept .

Tube Flattening Rack and Pinion Concept

Hinge Exploration Lunar Design Internship e challenge: Allow the tube to bend at a hinge at 0, 90, and 97 degrees with stable positions at 0 and 90 degrees.

Skills developed: -Design for Manufacture -CAD -Prototyping and Testing -Embodiment

Experts involved: -Research Scientists -Mechanical Engineers -Industrial Designers

Critical Factors: -Bending e ect on uid ow must be negligable -Tube must stay as hidden as possible

Concept Gen

Concept generation led to four basic product themes: Flexible Interior

Service Loop

Flexible Exterior

Unique Shape


Compare two models with a full and cross section view

Custom Hinge

Used for aesthetic comparison and tube concealing

Potentially o ers a sleeker solution than the current verison without needing new technology

Used to watch for tube movement and pinching

# 9

Custom Hinge Prototype

Store Hinge Prototype





is custom design is built into existing front and side components

is design makes use of existing components. Geometery matches hinge shape

Top View

Open stretching

Closed 10

Past 90 degrees

Concept Comparison Concept 1 Small size Tube Concealing Does not restrict ow in tube Tube does not stretch in open or closed position Tube secured well Aesthetics Requires an o the shelf hinge

Final Model

O ering a slimmer hinge with cleaner surfaces than competitors with no tube. Hinge remains internal with room for slack in the bending position.

Concept 2

+ -






+ +

+ -


Design for Manufacture

Springs past 90 degrees

Clicks at 90 degrees

Clicks at 0 degrees


Easy to manufacture and assemble Tube can pass through hinge 11

Do-Nu-Matic Design Methodology Course e challenge: Redesign the do-nu-matic by listening to customer needs and translating them into engineering requirements to test.

Skills developed: -Need nding -Concept Generation Methods -CAD -Metal Shop -Product Testing Experts involved: -Mechanical Engineers -Machine Shop Experts -Donut Lovers

Critical Factors: -Design product according to need nding results -Design to machine and material capability


Use Model e Do-nu-matic forms, fries, and drains a mini-donut in 60 seconds. e current design uses a system of several gears, sprockets and several small pieces with over 160 pieces.

User Testing

Product Testing

A nitizing results from and product testing with many customers led to the following main needs: Entertainment Aesthetics Durability Reliabilty Speed


We ran an experiment to nd the best cooking temperature and time.

Final Design -Singular rotation rather than 2 motors, several sprockets and belts. -Part count reduced from 150+ to less than 60 -Only one critical custom part rather than several -Allows user to watch the process -Easier to clean -Easier to store -Easier to operate

1. Dispenses dough 2. Ring rotates and 3. Rotation contin- 4. Dough nut cools into dough nut hold- basket trips over ues. Dough nut is and dries. er in the oil. the rst trip to ip ipped back by 2nd the dough nut. trip.

5. Catcher ips and returns to causes dough nut to fall into the its original position. 13

Clock With the Answers Graduate Free Form Fabrcation Course e challenge: Create a design that takes advantage of the Selective Laser Sintering manufacturing process. Skills developed: -Need nding -CAD -Freeform Fabrication Understanding

is decision making clock is ready for your woes. Place a marble in an opening at the top of the clock and watch it roll down a track, through a plinko, then into one of two decision bins. You can select between three interchangeable answers: Yes/ No, Work/Play, and Sell/Buy.

Experts involved: -Mechanical Engineers -Machine Shop Experts

Critical Factors: -Design product according to need nding results -Design to machine and material capability 14

Our CADed SLS model

DNA Eraser


e challenge: A powder inside capable of burning off DNA to the touch. It requires a complex mixing process with two chemicals at patient bedside. Skills developed: -CAD -Prototyping

Scenario Experts involved: -Mechanical Engineers

The powder in one bottle needs to be mixed in with a chemical in a second bottle, and then those together must be mixed with a third bottle. pump


air needle

Critical Factors: -No leaks or backflow between vials -Can be operated with two bags over it

fluid needle


The mixing is best done by pressing needles into each vial. Long needles pump air in, while short needles allow fluid to flow.

Design Direction

Four different needle set ups are needed to complete the processes; ideally set up as optimally as possible. Sorry, further steps in the process are confidential. 15

Seasonal Tree Graduate Design Course e challenge: Design an interactive tree to help Rosdale students understand the concept of seasons in the most meaningful way to them. Skills developed:

-Need nding -Wood and Metal Shop -Circuit Design -Microcontroller Programing -Mechanism Design -Product Embodiment and Layout -Industrial Design

Experts involved: -Mechanical Engineers -Electrical Engineers -Teachers

Critical Factors: -Highly durable -Multi interaction modes -Incorporate many senses -Robust controls system 16


Materials Used wood, foam, and other materials to determine what our best options within each subsystem.

Research on the most prevalent kinds of disabilities at the school so we could better understand the challenges that our students faced.

Design process -Designed mechanisms in parts to prevent breaking from mishandling. -Used CAD to design all parts and layout. -Ordered as many parts pre-fabricated as possible. troller system.

Exploration To what extent will students be able to touch and feel different aspects? What senses would be included?

Design Needs

-Color changing lights embedded into leaves -Leaves falling via rotating background -Rotating snow/grass rollers - “Wind� flow -Control system testing part and motor timing Several tests on failure modes and possible problems. Created a restart function to debug the tree and a user’s manual.


Final Product Fall Leaves on a belt rotate in an out of view as if to fall off the tree, lights shine orange and green onto the tree, unique music plays.

Winter Cool air blows onto the user, ground rotates to show snow, no lights to show it is covered in snow, unique music plays.



Ground changes to snow melted green, pink and yellow lights shine onto the tree, and unique music plays.

Hot air blows of onto the user, green lights shine onto the tree, and unique music plays.

The Senseable Tree gives the option of being used in automatic mode, manual teacher mode, manual student mode (with mac switch), manual leavels mode (below) and with adjustable options for music volume and cool/hot fan on/off.

White leaves can be removed and other leaves that match particular seasons can be attached


Cupcake Pactiv

The challenge: Create a new cupcake container that matches the rest of the line and also fits current manufacturing set up. Skills developed: -Design for Thermoform -CAD -Prototype testing

Experts involved: -Mechanical Engineers -Industrial Designers

Critical Factors: -Easy to stack & fits curved ID line -Easy to take cupcakes & stable -Fits all manufacturing set ups


Can’t Tolerate This


e challenge: Create a tube aligning device used to place and fill a .018” diameter tube with paste for manufacture. Use shop machines with .05” tolerance Skills developed: -CAD -Metal Shop

Experts involved: -Mechanical Engineers -Shop Lead

Critical Factors: -Adjustable -Easy to guide needle in -East to set


Design Method Cards Singapore University of Technology and Design e challenge: Create cards for Intro to Design course as a way to creating design processes, remember methods, and re ecting on decisions. Skills developed: -Interdisciplinary Design inking -Design Method Teaching -User Interface Design

Experts involved: -Mechanical Engineers -Industrial Designers -Architects -Systems Engineers

Critical Factors: -Meshing of discipline methods -Easy to use in several contexts -Creating enabling hierarchy and order 20

e cards are broken down into the interdisciplinary design phases of Understand, Generate, Build, and Commit, along with Resource cards that tell how. e cards allow students to freeform their own design process with Resource cards used as catalysts (shown above). Each card has an artistic representative image on the back.

Project Managing Tool BioLite

e challenge: BioLite has many levels of project management information, but no system to properly house it.

Skills developed: -Programming -Project Management

Experts involved: -Research Scientists -Mechanical Engineers -Industrial Designers

Critical Factors: -Highly flexible data views -Highly flexible data entry -Top down and bottom up information flow -Easy to use


Several tools exist in project management, either with a task driven focus (ex: ASANA, Go, Wrike), or a full project focus (ex: Project, FastTrack, Tom’s Gantt). However, each existing program we tested had major pitfalls. Example issues include: tasks can’t be viewed clearly after being check off, start dates, end dates, and duration have no clear hierarchy making gantt chart editing incredibly risky and uneasing, data can not be exported and you are limited to the constraints of the program for viewing.

Key Functions

After several trials of a task driven and gantt planning software, key latent functions became clear. These include: -Top-Down Planning at all project phases. Deadlines change and surrounding challenges must be clear. -Bottom-Up Planning for individual and team meeting use. Quickly understand here-and-now challenges. -Dependendices. Understand dependicies on the macro level and here-and-now challenges level. -Flexible Input. Start dates, deadlines, or durations aren’t always known. Overcome this gantt deal breaker. -Scenario/Resolution. Enter potential end dates to see if they are currently feasible. Allow edits to resolve issues. -Tagging. Tag tasks assciated to here-and-now challenges to the big picture item they effect to handshake information -No-games interface. Keep everything as simple as possible without frivolous distracting features.


Project Planning Data (Top Down) Project over time





External Milestone Segment Project planning tends starts with setting goal dates and owners to finish key deliverables of the project that are external to the team. These milestones are the highest level view of the project. Dependencies link as needed with each other or IS. Internal/Small Hand-Off Segment These represent hand offs internal to the group that are needed to complete short term project plans. Interntal Milestones are scoped in terms of owner and deadlines on the short term (weekly to monthly)by the team leaders to ensure near term goals are feasible. Dependencies are linked as needed with each other or ES.

Challenge Driven Data (Bottom Up) Short Time Segment of Project










Contextual Challenge Ideally workflow always flows smoothly top down from the project plan. However, in a highly innovative and lean environment, unforeseen challenges may appear that have a complex relationship with the prescribed plan. A Contextual Challenge is representative of one of these matters at hand and come up sporadically. (ex: vendor issues, a suprise sales meeting). If everything is perfect, they may just be an IS. Tasks In each team meeting, the CCs are resolved into clear task with owners. If the Contexual Challenge is not already an IS, then it is tagged to the IS(s) that is(are) affected by it’s completion. The earliest active deadline for a tagged IS is generated as the Max Deadline, but an earlier one can be created. Dependencies between tasks can be created to ensure proper deadline creations. Tags Tags are available to flag any parts of the schedule that may be affected by the needs of the T based on the CC. This helps you see what IS timelines may need adjustment.

Contextual Challenge View This is the ideal view to faciliate a meeting where the contextual challenges can be used as the agenda and filling the tasks is the end goal of the meeting. Raises conflicting dates and challenging deadlines to users. Users can filter and organize by Owner, Due Date, and Tag.

Vendor Exploration

Tech Spec Selection

Sales Sheet Design

Select output method

Select internal mechanism

Select ID foam

Start Date End Date Duration 3/12/14

Concept Selection

10 days

Select ID foam

2 days

Select internal mechanism


Planning View This is the ideal view to start the project planning. External Milestones are entered with as much Start, End, and Duration information as known. Associated internal handoffs are planned with start, end, and duration information known on an as needed basis. X’s can be placed where there are dependencies. (External Milestones are assumed dependant on completing their Subordinate Internal Segments.

Concept Selection

User Interactions

Select output method

3/3/14 4/1/14

Sales Sheet Design

7 days

Tech Spec Selection Vendor Exploration



x xx xx xx

Input Contextual Task Challenge Sales Meeting Create 1 week early Presentation Prepare Protoypes Begin vendor Vendor doesn’t meet search process










Tag 1

Tag 2

Complete Complete Product Specs Product Art Select Proto Complete Vendor CAD Finalize Vendors

Tag 3 Complete Sales Sheet

Max Deadline 4/12/14 3/25/14 3/02/14

Gantt View

Count Forward (Forecast) Look at project as planned.

Count Forward (Actual) Comparison Look at project as planned versus actual forcast based on actual dates tasks are completed.

Count Backward Comparison Play with new deadlines and see if you can pull off different date targets.

Manual Mode Even the most elegant tool takes lots of time to comfortably integrate and add value into an organiaztion. To get quickly up to speed you can sketch in boxes symbolically and 23 slowly ramp it with information.

Samsung Center Samsung Austin Semiconductor e challenge: Help the President deliver a more meaning quarterly meeting that appeals to the 100’s of out of college recent hires that beats the current 200 slide ppt.


Skills developed: -Adobe Prem Pro & A er E ects -Info Gathering/ Script Writing -Directing/ Shooting/Editing -Logistics Experts involved: -Various Leadership -Process Engrs & Techs -Manufacturing Engrs & Techs

Critical Factors: -Fun but highly informative -Improve communication clarity -Expert opinions represented appropriately 24


Live Feeds

Modeled after ESPN’s Sports Center, Samsung Center involves all the leaders of our site, sharing their knowledge in a more captivating method to encourage our progress towards a more fun work environment. I was on a team of 3 responsible for inital ideation to full production. The meeting was an immediate success and was run by our team each quarterly after. Our team created 5 quarterly shows that were about 80 minutes long.

On The Scene

Design and Manage 5S Samsung Austin Semiconductor e challenge: Scope, design, and manage a 5S (a Lean Manufacturing foundation) program with a ramp up and sustainable program plan.

Skills developed: -Need nding -Project Management -Business Design -Change Mangement

Experts involved: -Executive Team -Equipment Engrs & Techs -Process Engrs & Techs -Manufacturing Engrs & Techs

Critical Factors: -Get buy in from tech to executive level -Create

Designed and managed the new 5s program for the 2200 person, $10 billion fab. Strategically involved 100 key leaders, new systems, new technology, humor, and a strong marketing and communication strategy to overcome the social and technical obstacles of the previously dormant 5s program. 25

Lego to Nano

Singapore University of Technology and Design e challenge: Create the design program for-the redesign the atomic force micro scope hackathon to cost $100 instead of $100,000 for use in Chinese high schools.

photodiode laser mirror

Skills developed: -Dissemination

tip cantilever sample piezoelectric tube

Experts involved: -Nanotechnology PhD students -Professors

Critical Factors: -Balance freedom and structure -Choose meaningful materials




Tshinghua University’s Toy Lab asked SUTD to join in the Lego2Nano planning. A team of myself, a graduate student, and two undergraduate students went to Beijing for two months, where we prepared the teaching materials and program for the event.

“The world’s first low cost Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) has been developed in Beijing by a group of PhD students from University College London (UCL), Tsinghua University and Peking University - using LEGO. In the first event of its kind, LEGO2NANO brought together students, experienced makers and scientists to take on the challenge of building a cheap and effective AFM, a device able to probe objects only a millionth of a millimeter in size – far smaller than anything an optical microscope can observe. Research-grade AFMs typically cost $100,000 or more, and use custom hardware, however, the newly designed low-cost version could cost less than $500 to produce.” -London Nano News


Innovation Engineer Samsung Austin Semiconductor an example challenge might be along the lines of...

e challenge: Find ways to reduce downtime on machines by improving preventative maintences processes

Skills developed: -�Foam� prototyping -Embodiment -Vendor Relations -Microso Visual Basic

computer programs to help

Experts involved: -Equipment Technicians -Equipment Engineers -Unit Part Leadership

Critical Factors: -Nothing can a ect the fabricaton process -Reduce down time -Reduce people required


Worked with members of different Unit Parts to identify innovation opportunities

Infographic Designer Samsung Austin Semiconductor e challenge: Represent innovation team’s project work to HQ and higher level management in a quick and meaningful manner.

Skills developed: -Adobe Illustrator -Info Gathering/Selection -Need nding

Experts involved: -Innovation Team -Various Leadership Teams

Critical Factors: -At glance informative -Easy to translate/ present in multiple languages

Created several infographics and presentations presented up to the CEO level of Samsung.


Collective Design

Improving Design with the Developing World Strategy at SUTD e challenge: Find and address the gaps in design methodology that do not address the conditions of the developing world.

Skills developed: -Research Scoping -Design Method Knowledge -International Collaboration -Framing a research question

Experts involved: -Developing World Locals -Anthropologists -Sociologists -Industrial Designers -Mechanical Engineers Critical Factors: -Understanding barriers and enablers unique to the develop ing world -Finding balance between de sign theory and local culture 30

Many engineers and engineering students take on design projects with the developing world. However, the success rate of theses projects in terms of long term sustainable local adoption is negligible. Why is this the case?

A global design problem, addressed in a design workshop, in different environments around the the developing world that can be apporached more universally. The goal of this study to see local people’s problem solving culture in various regions and understand their perspective on human centered design. This can inform more sustainable design and innovation processes to be used in development partnerships. These agnostics” to help us understand to key, often latent, components of each project. Understanding the wants and needs of our world’s emerging market’s is critical to the world’s globalizing future.

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Studio Art & Graphic Design Various

Behind the Mask. Tempera on 12” dia. Illustration Board Displayed in the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, 2005


Woman at Carnaval. Prismacolor on Mis Tientes. 18’’x27’’

40 Acres Fest Graphic Designs 2006 & 2007

Dad’s Ties Colored Pencil on Illustration Board 16’’x 26’’


Futurism. Pencil and Ebony. 12”x18” Tribute to Picasso. Watercolor on Wasabi Paper. 20”x12”

Tribute to Picasso. Watercolor on Wasabi Paper. 20”x12” 34

!%5%*%0#%, [1] IDEO. (2011). Human Centered Design Toolkit (2nd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: IDEO. [2] ]WaterAid. (2009, March). Is menstrual hygiene and management an issue for adolescent school girls? WaterAid/Ani ta Pradhan A comparative study of four schools in different settings of Nepal (Report). [3] Cao, Yan-long, Jiang-xin Yang, Zhao-tong Wu, and Li-qun Wu. "A Robust Tolerance Design Method Based on Process Capability." Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE 5.1 (2004): 81-85. Print. [4] Martin, B., & Hanington, B. (2012). Universal Methods of Design. 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions. Beverly, MA: Rockport Publishers. [5] Hesse-Biber, Sharlene Nagy. Mixed Methods Research: Merging Theory with Practice. New York: Guilford, 2010. Print.