The Project on Virtual Possessions investigates how people make sense of and construct value with their ever-increasing collections of virtual things. These include items that were formerly material (i.e.
This project explores novel opportunities for how innovators can obtain and make sense of diverse feedback from potential stakeholders or customers. We have been developing tools to enable innovators to post designs, to author evaluation criteria, to recruit feedback providers through social media or other online forums, and to visualize conflicting feedback so as to prioritize changes for future iterations of designs.
Pediluma is a shoe accessory designed to encourage opportunistic physical activity. It features a light that brightens the more the wearer walks and slowly dims when the wearer remains stationary. This interaction was purposely simple so as to remain lightweight, both visually and cognitively. Even simple, personal pedometers have been shown to promote walking. Pediluma takes this a step further, attempting to engage people around the wearer to elicit social effects.
This project investigates the value of product attachment theory, which describes how people develop relationships with and learn to love their possessions. In attempting to operationalize this theory, we cast products and services as intentional companions that explicitly attempt to help people become the person they desire to be.
This project investigates the role of Design and Design Thinking in HCI research and practice. On the research side, the work investigates how research through design can become an effective research approach within HCI. Recent work in this area focuses on how research through design can generate intermediate level theory.
The SenseChair provides comfort and support for elders who spend long periods of time seated in the same chair, restoring independence and dignity to the life of someone who is nearly housebound. It motivates sitters to periodically move from the chair to stay mobile and active, and can provide assistance ranging from ambient reminders to explicit warnings.
Designers creatively investigate many possible solution by engaging in reflective conversations with materials. For example, industrial designers sketch with pen on paper to explore possible product forms, and they play with plywood in the shop to understand the abilities of this material. Through this process of sketching and play, the material “talks back” to the designer, helping to reveal what might be.
This project explores product opportunities for scaffolding the social role transition experienced by teens as they shed their high school identities and begin to discover and invent who they desire to be as a college student. The project particularly looks at the use of digital "selves" such as facebook pages, online diaries, blogs, etc.
The Hug, a soft, huggable robot that uses sensing technology and wireless telephony, was designed to provide social and emotional support for elders who live at a distance from their family members. It provides intimate communication through voice augmented with touch, warmth, lights, and sound.