Design Field Notes, Spring 2024

August 24, 2022 | 12:59 pm

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.

Each talk is free and open to all students and members of the public via Zoom. 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!

All talks will take place on Zoom Tuesdays, 10 – 11 a.m. PT.
More speakers announced very shortly — follow @JacobsDesignCal on Instagram for regular updates!

January 23: Implementing 3D Sketching into the Design Workflow

Oluwaseyi Sosanya, Co-founder and CEO, GravitySketch

Oluwaseyi Sosanya is a designer and the CEO of Gravity Sketch, a London based startup that is building a 3D design and collaboration platform. Over his career as a design engineer, he has focused on challenging today’s traditional digital tools to develop more user friendly sustainable designs. As the CEO of Gravity Sketch, he has pursued the goal of making emerging technologies more accessible to the broader creative community by building tools that lower barriers to entry with human-centric user experiences.


January 30: Practical Design Tools 

Andrew Dahley, Chief Designer, Dahley, Inc. 

Andy brings more than 15 years experience leading product design teams at major tech companies, including Google and Meta. He specializes in bringing new tech into valuable user applications (Yes, currently mostly AI ). Currently, Andy works with a few seed-stage AI startups. He is passionate about solving complex user experience challenges and building high-performing design teams.


February 6: Interaction Design and Non-Human Behaviors

Harpreet Sareen, Assistant Professor, Interaction and Media Design, Parsons School of Design NY

Harpreet Sareen is a Berggruen Fellow at University of Southern California, Los Angeles and an Assistant Professor of Interaction and Media Design at Parsons School of Design, The New School in New York City. His research is situated at the intersection of Material Science, Biology and Electronics and draws on the complementary abilities of the biological and artificial worlds. He terms this as ‘Convergent Design’ and creates cutting edge bionic materials and hybrid substrates that lend themselves for future ecological machinery, sensing systems and interaction design.

Harpreet’s experience spans corporate research wings, studios, museums to academic centers having previously worked at Google Creative Lab, Microsoft Research, MIT Media Lab, Ars Electronica Museum, National University of Singapore, Keio University, Telecom Paris and more. He has previously been named as MIT Technology Review Under 35 Innovator and has been awarded CHI Golden Mouse, Edison Gold, SXSW Interactive Innovation, Fast Company World Changing Ideas among other accolades. His academic work has been published at peer-reviewed conferences like CHI, DIS, TEI, IEEE VR, ISEA, CAADRIA among other venues. Harpreet’s artwork has been showcased at Somerset House (London), Ars Electronica (Austria), Berggruen Institute (US), CID Grand Hornu (Belgium), ADM Gallery (Singapore), Tower Hill Botanic Gardens (US), MIT Museum (US) among other venues.


February 13: Meaning in the making

Jussi Ängeslevä, Professor/Creative Director, the Berlin University of the Arts, ART+COM

Jussi AngeslevaProfessor Jussi Ängeslevä is a designer, an artist and an educator. Having taught at the Berlin University of the Arts and Royal College of Arts in London, but lecturing around the planet, he is actively involved in the ever expanding field of new media, working with digital materiality and interaction design. In parallel to the academic work, he has served as Creative Director at ART+COM Studios, where his work in public art commissions, exhibitions and installations are consistently yielding international recognition.

His independent works have been awarded by institutions such as Royal Society of Arts, NESTA, BAFTA, Art Directors Club of Europe, D&AD, Ars Electronica and ZKM. Over the years he has served in numerous international art and design juries, academic chairs and boards. Throughout his career his focus has always been intentionally in between fields: combining understanding of visual, physical and interaction design with algorithmic, electronic and mechatronic knowledge to create innovative and elegant experiences.

His design ethos is leveraging hardware, software, physical and visual design in the search for elegance in spatial communication, where the meaning is inseparable from the medium communicating it.


February 20: A little bit of everything: designing immersive experiences

Benal Johnson, Designer @ Tellart

Benal JohnsonBenal is a multidisciplinary designer with experience across industrial design, design strategy, UX/UI, tangible user interfaces, and speculative design. As a designer at Tellart, Benal brings these skills together to shape different parts of each project, whether it be defining the guest experience of an installation or identifying the right aesthetic finishes for a space. She is always exploring the intersection between craft and emerging technology through her personal and professional projects.


February 27:

Ryan Mario Yasin, Founder & CEO, Petit Pli 

Photo of Ryan Mario YasinRyan Mario Yasin is the Founder & inventor of Petit Pli. With a background in aeronautical engineering, Ryan’s motivation to engineer a solution which reduces waste in childrenswear was inspired by his nephew Viggo. Shortly after gifting garments to Viggo, he learned how quickly Viggo outgrew them.

Children grow 7 sizes in their first 2 years on Earth and Petit Pli’s patented garments can grow bi-directionally to accommodate that growth. Petit Pli is a Material Technology company developing novel solutions in an archaic industry.


March 12: Technology in the Hands of the Artist

Bruce Beasley, Artist

Bruce BeasleyFor six decades, sculptor Bruce Beasley has worked in a range of media to build complex, resonant arrangements from simple shapes able to communicate the primacy of form and the complexity of human emotion.

Throughout his career, Beasley experimented with and continues to explore various sculptural media, ranging from cast aluminum to Lucite to bronze to granite to wood. His abstract language of form has ranged from rectilinear shapes in the cubic works of the 80s and 90s, to the lyrical, undulating organic forms of the Rondo and Torqueri Series. His most recent works include collage-on-canvas gestural abstractions and sculptures inspired by experiments in virtual reality.

While inventing and exploring new technologies, Beasley uses these tools only as they allow him to achieve his aesthetic explorations. His innovations in material science have included contributing to the development of the first studio-scale 3D printer and solving large-scale casting in acrylic, which has been adapted by the United States Navy for deep sea exploration. The artist is also a committed social advocate, founding the South Prescott Neighborhood Association to substantially impact community development in the historically neglected West Oakland area. Today he interfaces with government, home owner and homeless stake holders in West Oakland to find solutions to serious urban housing crises.


March 19:

Iulia Ionescu, Programme Director Creative Computing and Robotics Postgraduate (PG), University of the Arts London 

Photo of Iulia IonescuIulia is an interdisciplinary artist and technologist with a keen interest in social phenomena that arise in the face of increased automation and algorithmic living. Her work delves into the intersection of technology and society, exploring the co-construction of meaning in human-AI interaction. In particular, she focuses on the relationship between anthropomorphic features and anthropomorphic perception in the design of AI systems.

She further develops these ideas through her role as Programme Director of Creative Computing and Robotics PG courses at the University of the Arts London. Additionally, she holds Visiting Senior Lecturer positions at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. Iulia earned a Microsoft-sponsored PhD in AI design, an M.A. from the Royal College of Art, an M.Sc. from Imperial College London, and a BArch from Nottingham University.


April 2: Design robotics

Niklas Hagemann, Graduate researcher, MIT Architecture

Niklas is a designer, engineer and currently a graduate researcher at MIT. He is interested in new forms of robots, actuated materials and the tools for making these. He holds degrees in mechanical engineering and design from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art and has previously worked in the UK and Switzerland, building architectural installations, connected products and interactive experiences. Most recently, he was a research fellow at MIT’s Senseable City Lab, working on environmental sensing devices and building a prototype driverless boat for the city of Amsterdam.


April 9: 

Eric Von Stein, Co-founder, Bright Stripes / Waxy Fruits

Photo fo Eric von SteinToy designer and plush artist Eric von Stein AKA Waxy Fruits spends his days immersed in the world of creative play. He creates DIY kits and art activities for his toy and craft company, Bright Stripes, with a focus on hands-on, tactile experiences and skill-building. Since 2022, Eric has embarked on a deep exploration of childhood recollections and impressions using the AI image and video generators Midjourney and Runway. Eric uses the expansive space of these AI platforms to create whimsical new forms and nostalgic, emotionally-layered landscapes. These images and videos are showcased on his Instagram account @waxy.fruits and have been featured in Wepresent, Elle Decoration Netherlands, STIR, and in an exhibition called “Soft Touch” at the Museum of Museums in Seattle.


April 16:

Hila Mor, Ph.D. Student at the Hybrid Ecologies Lab, UC Berkeley

Hila MorHila Mor is a researcher, designer and artist. She is currently working on her Ph.D. advised by professor Eric Paulos at the Hybrid Ecologies Lab, UC Berkeley. Hila holds a Master in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT Media Lab, the Tangible Media Group, where she developed ‘Venous Materials’ which envisions how embedded fluidic mechanisms lead towards future interactive everyday experiences and tools. At Media Lab, beyond leading research, Hila closely collaborated with interdisciplinary teams from computer science, material science, mechanical engineering, architecture, bio-engineering, art and design.

Hila received B.Design cum laude from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, and took part in a research excellence program ‘The Incubator’ at the Bezalel. Hila presented her work in multiple design platforms and exhibitions such as ARS Electronica Cambridge Garden 2020, Holon Design Museum, exhibitions and art fairs in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. She received several design awards including Platinum A Design Award 2021, Fast Company Innovation by Design Finalist 2020, and honored the Polonsky award of remarkable design work 2016.