portfolio and work

DPPI paper

A paper based on my thesis project work was accepted to Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces 2007 student papers and demos.

Read the DPPI paper.

Watch the video sketch shown as part of the presentation.

thesis project references

My thesis project work leveraged ethnographic, cultural, design, and research. References are provided below.


thesis project process book

This project employs a research through design approach (Zimmerman, Forlizzi & Evenson, 2007) to discover if there is an opportunity for technology to help families eat dinner together more often instead of being slaves to their busy schedules.

For an overview of the project process, download the process book.

thesis project video sketch

Your dinner’s calling leverages families’ current infrastructure. All of this able to to have two way communication with the back-end system. This mesh connection will enable families to use all channels interchangeably.

Third party providers will also enable your dinner’s calling to fit more snuggly into families’ lives. In the scenario, the grocery store’s shopper advantage card system is linked to the your dinner’s calling system can automatically updates its home inventory based on the latest shopping trip. Future service providers can be linked into the system to better allow families to run errands when the opportunity arises.

thesis project motivations

The motivations for this project came from a desire to help families stay connected even after children leave home. Dinnertime activities are seldom referenced as prominent childhood memories, but having family dinner influences future connections both within families and with friends outside the home. The stark contrast of families who have dinner every night together and those who are too busy to take an active interest in each other’s lives points to a distinct opportunity for Design.


thesis project abstract

Families want to eat dinner together, but lack the time or resources to achieve their desires. A human-centered research and design process explores dual-income American families to better understand their needs and desires to see if technology can help them achieve their goal of having dinner together more often. Literature review, observations, contextualized interviews, and journaling aided the development of concepts which where validated by families. A conceptual service leveraging the existing family infrastructure of mobile phones and personal computers is also explored through scenarios.

hospital journals

Creative self-reporting is an under-utilized research method that can uncover elusive latent needs in an audience.

Part of my work with in Design for Services was to design a journal that would empower patients at University of Pittsburgh’s Medical Center to communicate what was missing from their inpatient hospital experience. What started out as a conceptual class assignment, evolved into an opportunity to collect patients’ thoughts and feelings in a way that was untried in a clinical environment.

UPMC reached out to me after the assignment was over and I developed a journal for them that was easy to produce, distribute and collect.


thesis paper references

My thesis paper is founded on the work of professionals and researchers. See the references:


thesis paper abstract

Designers strive to create products that are useful, usable, and desirable. This triad of qualities keeps the audience using the product again and again with functionality, engages them with usability, and attracts them with aesthetics. There is a certain mixture of these qualities that can make a product popular and attract a wider userbase than its predecessors and prevent it from sitting on a shelf gathering dust. Raymond Loewy’s ‘most advanced yet acceptable’ (MAYA) is an example of a framework of innovation: designers strive to create the most advanced products that will be accepted by the public. Cagan and Vogel (2002) and Marxist theory (Williams, 1977) also offer frameworks of innovation to describe how products and services break the mold of typicality.

Download and read the full paper.

thesis project poster

MaxILS_ProjectPoster_webFor a synopsis of the project process, download the project poster.

exhibition poster

Calder exhibit poster

This is a type-as-image exploration. When type and image are mixed, how can they compliment each other and enhance the overall gestalt.


eclectic bassist identity system

To succeed, musicians have to network. Business cards are the simplest way to distribute your identity during face to face conversations. Russell is an aspiring bass player. His musical talents transcend one genre and his tastes are eclectic. This type exercise explored how to express the sound of a bass first through movement and then through type.


xSight: the gigabit connection

x-sight03xSight is a platform built upon Augmented Reality and the gigabit connection to help bring knowledge professionals closer to the master and apprentice relationship. It allows people to locate, capture, manipulate, share and explain information in any context using two main features: Annotation and Tele-experience in context.

“By 2014, more than 30 percent of mobile workers will be using
augmented reality.” —Gartner, via Information in Place

As part of the 2006 Microsoft Design Expo, my team was challenged to think about a specific scenario around the future of computing in light of pervasive high bandwidth computing. Dubbed the “Gigabit Connection” as part of Shelley Evenson’s Grad Design Studio II class, my cross disciplinary team team of five (Herbert Spencer, Interaction Design; Ray Su, HCI; Tatat Yuniarto, Business; Anastassia Drofa, HCI; and Max Snyder (me), Interaction Design) examined the traditional master and apprentice relationship and how it could inform the future of ubiquitous computing ten to twenty years from now.


large appliance research

Part of my graduate work at CMU’s School of Design was working on a project to design large kitchen appliances that empowered baby boomers to maintain their autonomy as become elders. In many American homes, when an individual reaches an age he or she cannot cook for themselves, they are moved into a nursing or elder care assisted living home. This project, led by Mark Baskinger and Bruce Hanington, sought to redesign major wet (dishwasher and washing machine), dry (dryers), hot (ovens and stovetops), and cold (refrigerators and freezers) appliances for General Electric’s large appliance division. Dubbed the “Kitchen of Tomorrow” (which is a nearer-term concept from GE’s “Kitchen of the Future”), the team worked with aging baby boomers to build empathy to best understand how to design for their current and future needs in the kitchen. Appliances last decades, so the next appliance they buy may be their last—it needs to support them now and well as their cognitive functions begin to fade.


conceptual model: solicitations

Telemarketers, bulk mailers, people on the street passing out flyers–they all want a piece of your attention. You’re a stranger and solicitors want something from you. Using conceptual models, how can designers provide insight into how to make these interactions a win-win situation for both the solicitors and those they are trying to solicit.


conceptual model: digital imaging

With the advent of digital photography, it has never been easier for anyone to capture thousands of moments in time instantaneously. At the same time, the question every photographer asks himself is “what to do with all those images?”
What would a model of image capturing and archiving look like?

Working on a team of five (Emily Pearson, Paul Burke, Colleen Koranda, Julian Missig, and myself), we quickly used directed storytelling to speak to people about what they did the last time they used their digital cameras.

Rapidly brainstorming and sketching led us to a train schedule model below.

affinity diagramming directed storytelling findings sketching different types of models final conceptual model

view the final model as a pdf.


Music is everywhere, at home, at work, and on the go. The focus of this project was to design methods of interaction that support the emotional connection between the user and the music within the young and modern demographic (25-35 years of age). The team (Carson Lutchansky Grey, Susan Dybbs, Tej Shah, and myself) documented the interaction with the music player as a video sketch.


atomic sling island

If you could create an island, what would it be like? How would you unveil it to the world? Create an island complete with a physical topography, map, weather, identity, as well as any other information people may desire, and create a way to communicate that to the rest of the world.

Using Corel Bryce 4 layered into Adobe AfterEffects, I chose to design a rough-cut of a conceptual communication piece about Atomic Sling Island–an experimental research facility where nuclear waste is refined and shot into space. The graphics are rough (Bryce 4 is a fairly old program), but with limited time the overall is convey the overall idea of the idea of the island.


concert magnet

In the age of cell phones and the internet information is always at our fingertips, people must use careful planning and expert execution to successfully navigate the small screen information hierarchies on cell phones that still employ directional keypads and soft buttons. Working on a team, with Herbert Spencer, we needed to design an interface for a concert-locating service on a cell phone screen.


cellar picks

frontpageBuying wine can be a very daunting task for a novice wine drinker. With so many colors, regions, and labels, how can someone decide what to get? This was a unique opportunity to create a way for people to find a wine that suits their tastes, budget, and location. A transactional website allows people to input their tastes and then makes an expert recommendation and directs buyers to the closest wine store.


kinetic typography

This kinetic typography project was an assignment to learn Adobe AfterEffects. It challenged me to augment the meaning of a quote.

Any kinetic typography piece begs the question: Can moving type enhance an audience’s understanding of the type itself?

inspiration from a painting by Jose Salome Garcia screens from the kinetic type piece screens from the kinetic type piece screens from the kinetic type piece screens from the kinetic type piece

hillel marketing

As an undergraduate I had the opportunity to design advertising campaigns for the Tufts Hillel student organization. These ads focused on promoting different programs. The ads were printed and posted around campus on bulletin boards and in the Tufts Daily, the campus newspaper.

General Interest Meeting poster Behind Bars newspaper teaser ad Behind Bars newspaper ad


You’re sitting on the bleachers of Fenway Park, in the shadow of the infamous “Green Monster” when Curt Schilling pitches a no-hitter. Your buddy asks you what a no-hitter is and you shrug in confusion. You turn to the big screen to see the replay, but it has already been replayed. Thousands of fans are screaming in excitement, but you don’t have a clue.

Is there a way to enhance the experience a Red Sox game without taking away from the excitement and thrill of Fenway Park?

sluggers06 sluggers05 sluggers04 concession stand ordering to your seat concession stand ordering to your seat interactive map of fenway park

It’s best if I walk you through this low fidelity prototype, but have a look.

TuftsLife.com automated voice system

With over 5,000 unique hits a day, TuftsLife.com is Tufts University’s one stop shop for on-campus events and off-campus excitement. The website as it stands offers up to the minute information about all of the events and news on campus, current status (open or closed) of restaurants and dining halls, as well as an extensive database on everything from department information, lab and library hours, to links for Boston media outlets and transportation. But there is no way for students on the go between classes or in the middle of Boston to access TuftsLife.com without a computer.



One of my interests is photography. Below is a selection of shots from my travels in New Zealand and Australia that show my fascination with texture and light reflection on different surfaces.