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TIM HSIEH Rhode Island School of Design

MY BELIEF In the past, I have applied my experience with both research and technology to approach problems in a comprehensive way. Most recently, I focus on creating simple solutions that resonate and connect with people on an emotional level.

MY ART & HONORABLE MENTIONS Featured projects in this portfolio are only the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more about me that is shown through my art and a wide variety of my past projects.

MY INSPIRATION I’m particularly inspired by innovative Asian design that is both elegant and human-centered. Having grown up in Taipei surrounded by people and the urban environment, I’ve developed the mentality of simple sophistication while establishing a chic and modern aesthetic.

MY IMPACT Along my journey as a designer, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in different cultures and collaborate with people from multidisciplinary backgrounds. I was especially proud to see how one of our proposals would be drastically improving the lives of millions of diabetic patients in India.

DISCURSIVE DESIGN Little BIG things in Life

What makes you happy? In life, we often get so caught up with obligations and responsibilities that we forget what our hearts really desire. Everyone has a bucket list to fulfill, but sadly for many the list remains unchecked throughout their lives. Through the lens of discursive design, I created a series of interventions embedded in people’s daily routines - allowing them to reflect on what really makes them happy, and motivating them to take action.


While bucket lists vary from person to person, I started with three items that personally speak to me, in hopes of resonating with a broader audience. Instead of standalone products,I envision my concept to be more of a customizable service system. These products are embodiments that could be seamlessly embedded in people’s lives. This way, a bucket list is no longer something so distant that people keep putting in the back of their heads.


I planted reminders into three different occasions in my daily routine: showering in the morning, eating during the day, and winding down before bed. The occasion-specific interventions allow people to get constant reminders throughout the day without requiring users to take extra steps to be reminded.

Start your morning with a shower at the Great Barrier Reef.

Enjoy an exquisitely plated lunch brought to you by a Michelin starred restaurant.

Gaze upon the Northern Lights while winding down.


The elegant design of the Jellyfish Stool draws inspiration from nature and honors the authenticity of raw materials. My goal was to make a plank of wood and a bag of cement come to life by embodying the organic curvature of a jellyfish and highlighting the contrast between materials. This refined yet rustic piece reflects meticulous craftsmanship and creates a chic and modern vibe suitable for urban settings.



Glass fiber enforced cement mixture was poured into a balloon, then placed and pressed in a basket mold with the positive of the wood joint.

RESPONSIBLE DESIGN Tak - Sugar Scanner Abbott Laboratories

Sponsored by the multinational healthcare company, Abbott, a selected team of designers, engineers, and business strategists conducted a two-weeklong field research outing in subsistence markets of urban and rural India to uncover diabetes solutions for people living in poverty.

We Talked To...


General Store Owner

Private Clinic Doctor

Government Hospital Doctor


Foundation/NGO Director

And More.

INSIGHTS - Nutrition & Diets -High in Carbohydrates -High in Sugar -Low in Protein

Chicken Lamb

Dairy & Eggs Meat

Milk, Yogurt, Eggs

-Low in Leafy Greens

Sugar Sweets, Deserts, Fruits (Guava, Mango)

Grain Produce Potatoes, Beans, Eggplants, Cucumbers

Rice, Wheat, Ragis (Millets)

INSIGHTS - Health & Medicines

Private Clinic

Government Hospital

Pros: Closer, Short Wait, Trustworthy to villagers Cons: Doctors aren’t formally trained, Outdated Devices

Pros: Resourceful, Free or very affordable Cons: Farther (up to 10 km away), Long wait

69 million cases in urban India 70 million+ cases in rural India

-Flu Toddlers





-Food Poisoning


-Joint Pain


1 in every 5 patients goes to the doctor for Diabetes Mostly type 2, can be treated through monitoring and taking pills

CONCEPT Tak is an affordable, accessible, and user-friendly food scanner that detects only the sugar content in foods and reflects the result without needing a smart phone. Advantages + Easy to adapt. + Little to no education required. + More acceptable than invasive glucometers. + No sanitation concerns. A spectrometer collects light reflected from the food then sends the data to a cloud database to be cross-referenced. It then tells the chemical makeup of the scanned objects.

Tech startup Consumer Physics is the pioneer of using spectrometer to create the first Molecular Food Scanner, SCiO. A potential partnership between Abbott, Consumer Physics and local NGOs is discussed to launch a simplified version of the food scanner for people living in poverty.

Green Light: Good to consume Red Light: Too much sugar

HOUSEWARE DESIGN FroZone IHA Houseware Design Competition

As a student who cooks frequently to save money, I often buy meat in bulk. However, the long and troublesome defrosting process prevents me from being a happy chef. In response to my frustration, I decided to create a solution to streamline the meat storing and thawing journey as my entry for the 2015 IHA Houseware Design Competition.


Bacteria Bacteria start growing exponentially when the meat temperature reaches 39.2 F Meat spoils after being left out for 2 hours.

Inseparable Meat pieces freeze together, making it impossible to thaw only the desired portion.

Freezer Burn Freezer burn is caused by dehydration, since water molecules tend to move to the coldest part of the freezer. Food with freezer burn loses its moisture, color, texture, and flavor.

Time Consuming Depending on the quantity and defrosting method, defrosting meat can take up to 2 days.




Prior separation with plastic bags are required. Easily forgotten.

Fridge Microwave

(without product aid) Unsafe, this method allows bacteria to grow.

Cooks the meat during process. Must cook immediately after thawing.

This method takes up to a several days.


Reduces defrosting time High Price + Time-saving + Space-saving + Separable + Reusable


Low Price

Most existing products are either trays of some sort that help speed up the thawing process, or food storage containers and bags that help separate meat before freezing. There’s yet to be a solution that separates the meat and also shortens the defrosting time.

Separates meat before freezing


General Target: + Aged 28-35 + Middle class +Cooks at least 3 times a week +In a household of 3-4 people

Avg. U.S. household size: 3.13 people (2014)

Vicky is a 34 year-old mom of 2 boys. She always buys meat in bulk to save cost on feeding her boys. Yet the problematic preparation process discourages her from cooking.

Average fridge space an adult needs: 4-6 cubic feet

General Feedback: “Sometimes the meat doesn’t defrost in time for dinner.” -Patricia (34) 10.3.2015

“I hate using so many plastic bags to separate the meat.” -Abby (32) 10.3.2015

“Meat loses its freshness from being frozen and defrosted so many times.” -Laura (34) 10.7.2015

“It’s hard to tell if the meat is defrosted all the way.” -Margaret (30) 10.10.2015

“Meat juice always leaks everywhere during the process.” -Nancy (28) 10.10.2015


Feelings/ thoughts

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Gets home, freezes the whole box of meat.

Emotional Experience

Grocery shopping, finds good deals and purchases meat in large quantity to save money.

Has to defrost the whole box then put the used meat back to the freezer

Separates each piece of meat in plastic bags before it’s frozen.

Phase of the journey



At this phase, consumers are often blinded by the discounted price that comes with bulk purchases of meat, and then they end up getting it without considering how much they actually need.

Since consumers get way more than they need, they freeze the meat and save it for later. The bagging process could be frustrating and not Eco-friendly, but if they didn’t separate the meat before freezing it freezes into one inseparable mess the next time they take it out





ic ba

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I’ll ow... n e n o


n as froze t all.” s i g hin st i veryt to defro e t a “Gre Frustrated


y is famil y M frost! !” to de d it soon r e v e e r e o f n kes and I “It ta Impatient Worried






Freeze without prior separation Meat freezes together and becomes inseparable.

Separate with plastic bags before freezing

Takes meat out and it takes forever to defrost.

Finally able to cook the defrosted meat then enjoy it.

Wasteful, excessive plastic bags are used.



If the meat is frozen into one piece, the consumers can only defrost everything then freeze the rest again. The freshness of meat decreases each time it’s defrosted and refrozen. Moreover, the defrosting process can take up to hours and the meat juice could create a mess. This is considered the most irritating process to consumers.

Finally, after the stressful process of freezing, defrosting and cooking the meat, it’s ready to be served on the dinner table.


+Sleek and simple +Low manufacturing cost +Effective mechanism

-Difficult to get out of the freezer -Mechanism is overly complicated. -Hard to clean. -High manufacturing cost -Impractical shape, waste freezer space.

-Takes up too much freezer space when expanded. -Impractical shape.

-Not as sleek


Blocks freezer air Keeps moisture Collects meat juice

Freezer Burn Preventative Layer Thin layers of food-safe oil pack form to fit the shape of the meat, preventing direct contact with freezer air.

Detachable Tray The trays are made out of anodized aluminum. High thermal conductivity of the material helps speed up the defrosting process drastically. Each tray is detachable, allowing users to thaw desired pieces of meat while keeping the rest fresh.

Color Coded Tray Holder The color of each tray holder corresponds with the type of meat it holds and saves users trouble from finding the desired type of meat.

Acrylite FFÂŽ Acrylic Body The design of the body resembles an ice cube and takes up minimal space in freezer. Transparent acrylic remains durable in low temperature and allows users to inspect meat quality without having to open it up.


According to USDA’s new federal dietary guidelines, an average American should consume 3.7 oz (0.23 lbs) of meat daily. The trays hold ideal portions of meat for families of 3-4 people.

Individual trays can also be purchased, allowing for customized portions that better suit individual dietary habits.

Shrimps 4-6 oz (0.25-0.375 lbs)

Cod 4-6 oz (0.25-0.375 lbs)

Ground Beef

Chicken Drumstick

12 oz (1 lbs) enough for 3-4 patties

4-6 oz (0.25-0.375 lbs)

Salmon 4-6 oz (0.25-0.375 lbs)

Steak 10-12 oz 0.625-0.75 lbs)

Chicken Breast 6-8 oz 0.375-0.5 lbs)


Suitable for all types of fridges!

Average Freezer Dimensions Width: 29-35 inches Depth: 29-31 inches Height: 22-24 inches

FroZone Dimensions Width: 26 inches Depth: 22 inches Height: 10 inches

Place a hot towel underneath to speed up the defrosting process even more!

MY ART & HONORABLE MENTIONS Glass and Slip Casting Additional Projects

Beyond the showcased projects, I enjoy making art with highly transformative materials such as glass and ceramics in my free time. While the prior projects demonstrated the skill set I possess as a designer, my art and additional work provide a more complete picture of who I am as a person.

Ask me about them!

Tim Hsieh


EDUCATION Rhode Island School of Design Master of Industrial Design I May 2019 University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign BFA in Industrial Design I May 2016 Northumbria University Study Abroad I Design for Industry I Fall 2014

SKILL SETS Design Methodology Empathic modeling/research In-depth user insights collection Competitive market research Group brainstorming and collaboration Group and individual presentation skills Ideation and Fabrication Expressive sketching Marker & 3D rendering Rapid prototyping Digital fabrication

Woodworking Mold making Metalworking Model making

Software Solidworks, Rhino, Keyshot, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe XD, Microsoft Office, Final Cut Pro

WORK EXPERIENCE Industrial Design Intern W.W. Grainger, Chicago, IL I July 2016 - December 2016 Elevated the Research & Development process with design strategies. Collaborated with mechanical and software engineers to creative effective prototypes and enhanced UI/UX. Helped business strategists to compile the team’s annual report that is distributed among the executive board. One design patent filed. Industrial Designer (Part Time) I Industrial Design Intern NORDEN Design Studio, Urbana, IL September 2015 - March 2016 I June 2015-August 2015 Contributed to product development from concept exploration, market research, prototyping, manufacturing, to client consulting. Assisted with branding, marketing, photography, and web design. Participated in the creation of various retail and customized design projects, including scenery tealight holder, bespoke furniture and commercial space revamps. Graphic Designer Illini Media, Champaign, IL I January 2015 - May 2016 Created advertisements for both current and potential clientele ranging from Chipotle to the University of Illinois. Responsible for various inhouse fliers, handouts, and marketing materials. Part of the university yearbook compilation team. Interior Design Intern IDP International Design Consultancy Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan July 2014 - August 2014 Visualized rough concepts by creating digital sketches and renderings. Constructed a furniture and space inspiration database for the company. Served as the middleman between the company and its international business partners.



Industrial Design Society of America Student Member I August 2013 - Present

Project Associate Sustainable Marketplaces Laboratory, Champaign, IL August 2015 - May 2016 Worked with Abbott, a multinational healthcare company, to find diabetes solutions for people living in poverty. Conducted two-week long field research in subsistence markets of urban and rural India with an interdisciplinary team of designers, engineers, and business strategists.

Asia Designers’ Assembly Active Member I August 2013 - Present Alpha Rho Chi - Professional Fraternity for Architecture and Allied Arts Professional Chair I 2013 - 2014 Social Chair I 2015 - 2016 Recruitment Chair I 2012 - 2013

HONORS & CERTIFICATES Graduate Fellowship Rhode Island School of Design I 2017 - Present Certificate for Excellence in Sustainable Management and Technology University of Illinois I May 2016 Solidworks Proficiency Certificate Solidwizard Technology Co Ltd I August 2014 Outstanding Member of Asia Designers’ Assembly Certificate Asia Designers’ Assembly I August 2013 Scholarship for FAA Talented Students University of Illinois I 2014 - 2016

Project Associate Northumbria University, Newcastle, England August 2014 - December 2014 Worked with Phillips to create marketing solutions for the male grooming department. Developed concepts for the company’s mobile app, physical kiosk and product packaging targeting the younger generation. Project Leader Asia Designers’ Assembly, Taipei, Taiwan August 2013 1 of the 20 selected designers representing Taiwan, Japan and Korea to propose ideas that improve Asia’s transportation safety. Directed the process of ideation, Research and Development, team meetings and final presentation.

“My education shaped me into a critical thinker with diverse skill sets, while my professional experiences allowed me to apply those skills and become a true team player. After witnessing how design can enhance people’s lives, I strive to design for impact.” Please visit for a complete work experience profile.

Tim Hsieh Portfolio 2018  
Tim Hsieh Portfolio 2018