Individuals across a multitude of political identities have expressed desire to hold conversations that expose them to opposing viewpoints, but they do not know how or whom to engage. The app Union brings socially and politically separated people to the same table—or rather, it brings the table to them. Created by recent graduate Hannah Rudin as part of her thesis, Teambuilding America: A Declaration of Interdependence, the app connects people with differing political views, and facilitates their interaction through a fifteen-minute video call.
Roger is a device that helps children of low-income families get consistent sleep. Designed for the many children whose parents work irregular hours, it aims to get children to bed on time, especially when parents are not available. Created by recent graduate Kevin Cook as part of his thesis, Closer Kin: Building Stronger Family Environments, Roger releases a pre-recorded bedtime story every night at a specified time and gives children an incentive to get to bed on their own.
Antya Waegemann’s thesis, When No One Believes You: Redesigning the Rape Kit and Responses to Sexual Assault, proposes six different design interventions for sexual assault victims, nurses and the police, to increase report rates, improve the experience of getting a rape kit, and increase rape kit testing, as well as to reduce stigma and shame around sexual assault and increase accountability.
Glare is a longboard skateboard brand designed for the urban commuter. The core technology is the Uplight—a long-wavelength beam of light projected upward onto the rider which increases nighttime visibility and thereby reduces the risk of collision with cars. Designed by second-year students Qixuan Wang, Eugenia Ramos, Micah Lynn, and André Orta, the project brief was “to identify a subculture, design a product to suit a need or opportunity within that community, and then finally design a brand around that product.”
As an avid climber and hiker, Alexia Cohen found herself interested in examining the role of women in the great outdoors. When she started climbing three years ago, she attended an event organized by Flash Foxy—a group of women dedicated to celebrating and empowering women climbers. Through this event, she met her climbing partner Janice, who as Alexia recalls “quickly became a friend and a mentor. Her guidance and support helped me develop my climbing technique and become more comfortable in this new space.” She also began to understand the importance of community and women mentors in traditionally male-dominated spaces.
For the seventh annual showcase at Wanted Design, and as part of NYCxDesign 2019, students of SVA’s MFA in Products of Design present Adaptive Dwellers, an interactive installation that explores the role of design in humanity’s adaption in a world devastated by climate change.
After becoming interested in the growing phenomenon of non-monogamous relationships, Yangying developed her thesis, MONO/POLY: Designing for a Post-Marriage Society, to create services, experiences, and educational games that speak to polyamorous partnerships and envision a society where monogamy is no longer the default ordering principle of society.
Through her thesis, Queer China: Diminishing the Tension Between Chinese Queer Youth and Their Family, Xuan set out to design interventions that bring comfort, provide support, and facilitate both personal and political conversations for Chinese Queer Youth and their families.
Carly Simmons’s thesis, The Mother Load: Owning Motherhood and Offloading Burden, aims to redistribute the burden and responsibility typically held by women and mothers to other individuals in their social network. In her research, Carly engaged with over two dozen new mothers who expressed feeling an absence of community support during and after pregnancy.
As it does in the physical world, violence against others occurs in VR spaces. While designers may not be able to expunge this from human nature, Phuong Anh Nguyen believes that we can design tools for victims to gain agency over their harasser. Through her thesis Power Play: Designing for Agency and Empathy in Virtual Environments, she aims to introduce empathy-building products and experiences to shape respectful behaviors in current and future virtual environments.