Design Field Notes, Fall 2022

January 23, 2023 | 10:37 am

Please join us in welcoming another exciting semester of Design Field Notes speakers. As part of our ongoing course DES INV 95, this speaker series invites a dynamic group of designers, artists, and academics in design-related fields to share their work and practice with our students and public.

This series will be held virtually for the Fall semester. Each talk is free and open to all students and members of the public. A Zoom account is required for login and access to this series. You can join each of the talks during its scheduled time using this link!

Talks will take place Thursdays, 1-2 PM. 


September 1: Confronting Cultural Taboos with Design

Jiwon Park / CEO, SAIB & CO

Jiwon Park

Jiwon Park is a designer, entrepreneur, social catalyst, and educator. She holds an MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she was sponsored by the US Department of State as a Fulbright Scholar.

She is a serial social entrepreneur who found 1/2 Project, Design Can Do org., and recently SAIB & Co. Park’s design have been recognized by 30 international awards, and featured in numerous publications and exhibitions. Park lives and works in Austin Texas and Seoul Korea. She served as an Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin from 2013 to 2021 and in 2018, she launched a sexual wellness brand SAIB to tackle the cultural taboos around female sexuality.


September 9: From Design Research to UX Research: Observations from Design School and Industry

Robbie Li / User Experience Researcher, Stavvy

Robbie LiChongchao “Robbie” Li started his design journey at the Design Field Note Series. While a student of statistics and political economy at Berkeley, he stumbled into Jacobs Hall and discovered design as a systematic way to envision and enact change in the world. After a brief stint working as a one-man marketing and design team at a boutique asset management firm in San Francisco, he joined Brown and RISD’s joint master’s program in Design Engineering, where he focused on design research and creative collaboration. Currently, Robbie works as a UX Researcher at Stavvy in Boston, MA, digitizing fragmented workflows in traditional industries such as mortgage closing and refinancing.


September 15

Guillaume Couche / Director, Wolf in Motion

Guillaume Couche is the co-founder of Wolf in Motion, a design studio and strategy consultancy helping corporations, universities and NGOs create the products and services of tomorrow. Their most recent work, including a research tool to monitor and save turtles in the Atlantic Ocean, has received 6 iF Design Awards in 2021 and 2022. Prior to that, Guillaume co-founded Gravity Sketch (first 3D creation tool designed for VR and MR) and Notpla (100% renewable and edible seaweed packaging).


September 22

Sheana Yu / Founder & CEO, Aergo Health

Sheana YuSheana Yu is an award-winning Design Engineer, driven by a passion for delivering social impact and change through design. She has worked closely with the disability community to fully understand the challenges facing wheelchair users in maintaining a healthy and comfortable posture. Having lived with scoliosis (curvature of the spine) throughout her life, Sheana understands the importance of posture and was determined to create better solutions in managing seated wellbeing for people living with neuromuscular disorders.

Her early prototypes gained support from the James Dyson Foundation, Royal Academy of Engineering and Innovate UK. This enabled Sheana to establish Aergo Health and built a team passionate about improving lives and making things better.


September 29

Adam Bernstein / Creative Technologist, Google ATAP

Adam BernsteinAdam Bernstein is a cross-disciplinary designer, leveraging tools from engineering, code, and craft. His interest is in the evolving relationship between humans, technology, and society. In his current work at Google ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects), Adam is focused on designing novel human machine interfaces.


October 6

Karina van Schaardenburg / Director, Design and Research, Opower (Oracle Energy and Water)

Karina van SchaardenburgKarina is the Director of Design and Research at Opower (part of Oracle Energy and Water). Opower combines design with psychology to nudge utility customers to make better energy choices, helping the planet, the grid, and their wallets. Prior to Opower Karina had a background in UX Research, previously working at companies including Lyft, Twitter, and Foursquare. She’s lived in 8 countries, and currently makes her home in San Francisco, California.


October 13: Mid-term discussion


October 20

DJ Sanghera / Concept Strategy, Futures Innovation, Lululemon

Daljinder (DJ) SangheraDJ Sanghera is a designer, engineer, and incessantly curious tinkerer focused on solving problems that matter. He’s helped invent and design products and solutions for some of the largest companies in the world in industries ranging from consumer electronics to healthcare. Currently he is exploring, defining, evaluating, and (in)validating hypotheses to invent meaningful new-to-world concepts at the intersection of wellbeing and technology with Lululemon’s Futures Innovation team.


October 27: Poetics in HCI, exploring how technology embody through experiential designs

Sang Leigh, Creative Technologist Samsung Research America & Affiliate Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

Sang’s research and art practice focuses on robotic and computational tools that work together with human users. His vision proposes extreme synergies between machine tools and humans, with technology essentially becoming a natural extension of our hands. This way, he challenges the fear and criticism around AI and automation that they replace human endeavors, by showing how symbiotic machines can unlock new human explorations and aesthetics. Sang Leigh is Senior Principal Creative Technologist at Samsung Research America and as part of Samsung Design Innovation Center. He currently is also an adjunct professor at Georgia Tech Industrial Design. Previously, he was an assistant professor at Georgia Tech leading the Machine Poetics Group. He received his PhD from MIT Media Lab in 2018.


November 3: Impact Through Design. How to and How Not to Do It.

Helen van Baal / Global Venture Lead, IKEA

Helen van BaalHelen van Baal is a designer and entrepreneur at heart. Her work revolves around creating positive and scalable impact through design, leadership and systemic strategy. Her projects transit the boundaries of cutting-edge technology, foresight and complexity theory, always with the intention of creating a positive impact in the world. As a Global Venture Lead at IKEA Helen has been setting up a venture studio in order to create a scalable impact that can create a better life for people and planet.


November 10: Introducing Studio Playfool

Saki and Dan Coppen / Founders, Playfool

Saki and Dan CoppenPlayfool is a design studio formed by Dan and Saki Coppen in 2018. Combining engineering and design, we create products and experiences that inspire imagination, cultivate creativity and make you wanna play! In this talk, Playfool will introduce their philosophy around play and how their style has evolved through some of the projects they have created. From developing a set of crayons out of wood to launching a thriving YouTube channel, they’ll share their learnings, failures and aspirations on growing their creative practice.


November 17: Evaluating Tech Companies as a New Grad

Simon Yee / Director of Product Design, Rippling

Simon YeeI design digital products, systems, and experiences. These days though, I’m mostly designing teams. I was born and raised in the Bay Area and have never left. I’m a huge proponent of advocating design partnership across entire organizations, building scalable design systems, operationalizing design processes, and empowering designers to build amazing things.


December 1: Final Discussion – No speaker