This is my portfolio. For more process and fun projects, check out my blog.

Pleasuring Your Palate

I taught Pleasuring Your Palate in the Spring during my last quarter at Stanford as a collaboration between the PRL and Stanford Dining. I created the class to help students of all ages form food philosophies, gain confidence in the kitchen and change their behavior, in addition to demystifying why good food is good.

I learned a lot about teaching about food in the process of designing and teaching this class.  Allowing students to taste and talk about what they’re tasting was an incredibly successful education method.  I’ve never seen perception and appreciation change more quickly than when students tasted delicious raw asparagus from the farmers market side-by-side with fibrous, tasteless asparagus from the supermarket.  “This is what it’s actually supposed to taste like?!” said one student as they went on to describe the tastes and textures they were experiencing.  Learning to talk about food helped them express what they like about food and gave them confidence in choosing ingredients to cook themselves.  I also taught a version of this at the Royal College of Art in London!

Class Mission:

The workshop will enable you to feel comfortable creating well-designed, cohesive and delicious meals from seasonal healthy ingredients.  You will learn skills based on the culinary tradition of staging, where an aspiring cook learns from the ground up: for example, keeping an organized and stocked kitchen, cleaning greens and preparing cold dishes, and sautéing, frying and roasting. Together, we will transform your perceptions of food from a source of fuel to an exciting design challenge.  You will create your own menus based on seasonality and local availability, and will use human centered design principles to cater to specific needs and experiences.  In addition to teaching applicable skills that you will use every day, this class will offer you a new medium to express your creativity.

Please contact me if you’re interested in learning more about this workshop.

Thank you to Dickson Chow and Nora Sweeny for photos.

  • food education
  • kitchen confidence
  • product realization lab
  • stanford
  • stanford dining

the Dock Lounge

The Dock Lounge is inspired by the elegance of the Eames Lounge Chair and explores how to create a visually simple, comfortable and multifunctional piece of furniture.  Viewed from the front, the lounge yearns to be sat in and from the side, it silently slips into the landscape of any living room.

To read more about my process in designing and fabricating the Dock Lounge, please take a look at my process document and video of the lamination process.

  • Product Design

Peloton Project: Nara

Nara is your own personal breathing guide that lives next to your bed.  It leads you through meditation exercises and helps you fall asleep by clearing your head and focusing your mind through the practice of breathing.

Jamaal Montasser and I embarked on a six-month journey to explore and address needs we identified at the intersection of the mental health and sleep spaces.  After talking with psychologists, sleep specialists and meditation experts, we began developing a device that helps users practice breathing exercises before going to sleep at night and right after waking up in the morning. Our aim was to do for meditation similar to what’s been done for yoga and de-stigmatize some of the associated practices.  There is no better way to start or end a day than by focusing on breath, clearing your head and relaxing.  The video above shows our final prototype in action.

There is a growing body of neuroscience research on mindfulness meditation and its impact on mental health.  The simplest form of meditation, focussing on and regulating breath, can build emotional resilience and decrease stress, making for happier, calmer people.  Just as exercise is good for physical health, meditation exercises are beneficial to mental health.  We found that metal health problems in America are most often treated with prescription drugs.

Prototype 1: Breath Mask

We created an interactive version of a sleep mask that helps regulate breathing by providing light and sound that corresponds to breath.  Biofeedback has been clinically proven to help regulate breathing.  We asked users to try the masks before going to sleep.  They told us they didn’t want to wear something before bed and they also didn’t know what the target was.

Prototype 2: Pulse Lamp

The pulse lamp offers a target to regulate breath. It makes practicing breathing exercises before bed effortless. Testers told us that they enjoyed the transition to bed— that it created a barrier between all of their hectic thoughts and sleep.  One user even told us that she had been having terrible stress dreams for the last month and over the 4 nights she tried the lamp, she slept peacefully through each night.  A handful of folks told us they wanted some kind of feedback about their breathing progress.

Prototype 3: Wind Lamp

Wind Lamp offers the same target to follow but as you breath with it using a wired sensor, the light fades until it goes out.  Its actually similar to a technique we saw one mother using to calm her child down by having him pretend to blow out candles on his fingers and take deep breaths.  Testers enjoyed the lamp but saw receiving real time feedback as more of a challenge than a benefit.  So we decided to offer feedback as needed through a connected app and leave the bedtime for relaxing breathing and sleep.

After synthesizing learnings from testing we produced a final prototype and called in Nara.

Nara uses breathing exercises to help you clear your mind and help you fall asleep faster, ensuring you get the rest you need.  It will guide you through a breathing exercise using light and sound before bed.  Nara knows your schedule and wakes you up using warm light within a 30 minute window at the best time in your circadian sleep cycle.  It then guides you through a breathing exercise, starting your day with focus and clarity.

  • Product Design

the kahlenberg timepiece

The Kahlenberg is a custom designed and built watch for the modern man.  It’s stainless steel construction make it practically indestructible and the dial is machined directly into the body, eliminating the need for costly realigning or replacement.  The Kahlenberg uses an ETA 2824 mechanical watch movement and winds automatically while you wear it.   The watch is a testament to a name (my Mother’s maiden name) that has lasted through centuries, wars and displacement from one side of the world to the other.

While researching the current watch landscape, I noticed that almost all watches have separate dials, inserted into the watch and attached to the mechanism with small dowel pins and are a huge pain to attach and align.  I decided to remove a step from the process and machine my face directly into the body of the watch.  This actually proved quite difficult as part flips on a CNC often lead to misalignment in x, y or z.  My plan eventually worked and I created what I think is a beautiful, all stainless steel time piece.

To model my watch, I first sketched many designs and shapes.  I then modeled my designs using SolidWorks and printed a few prototypes on the FDM 3D printer to see how they would feel on my wrist.  After making subtle changes I began using HSMworks CAM software to compile my designs into G-Code, the language HAAS VF1 CNC’s use to machine.  After my first iteration I made a few changes to my design including subtle inner angles that matched my tool angles to allow for better machine finishes.  My final cutting time for all operations was roughly 14 hours but I probably spent about 90 hours in total creating this final high definition prototype, including about eight hours of manual sanding and polishing.  I loved the experience of creating a watch and look forward to designing and manufacturing more in the future.

  • Product Design

O3 Music Controller

Plug-and-Play Interactive Turntable Music Controller

when November, 2013
where CCMRA, Stanford University
partner Erich Peske
POV DJ’s and music produces want to have fun with their music and this tool allows them to be physical and create effects. Each stacked disk controls an effect in PD (or MAX or other music production/effect platforms) that can alter a prerecorded track or create a new sound using waveforms, filters and other effects.
concept O3 uses three stacked disks to control an effect in PD (or MAX or other music production/effect platforms) that can alter a prerecorded track or create a new sound using waveforms, filters or other effects. O3 uses very sensitive Yumo Rotary encoders (1024 P/R) and an Arduino Mega to translate precise movements into sound. The Encoders report Quadrature data which is converted into data that PureData can read using custom firmware. See how it works here or by clicking the first image above.
mechanics This prototype uses stacked disks, a case and gears custom designed in Solidworks and laser cut from 1/4″ acrylic. Each disk is connected to a gear that is mated to a gear attached to an encoder. The gear tooth ratio allows for high definition feedback and control.
  • Product Design

Duck Depth

concrete, brass, wood, mirrored acrylic

I am a firm believer in using unintended consequence to explore perspective.  This goes against everything I was taught as a mechanical engineer.  However, there is great beauty and delight found in the unexpected. I want to offer the viewer a playful manifestation of a vision that began simply as an obsession with organic creation and replication: a periscope that looks down at ducks that don’t float. The reversal offers a perspective through which to view a single golden duck surrounded by its concrete counterparts.  Often I feel lost in my own thoughts and overwhelmed with possibility but being physical with the material unlocks my creativity and unexpectedly makes me smile.

Below is a time lapse about the construction and casting process.

  • Art

Lunaria Annua

I designed and produced an illuminating object

It’s called Lunaria Annua after mystical silver dollar plant seed pods. I envision it as a wall sconce, mounted next to a mirror in a swanky hotel bathroom or speakeasy powder room, casting soft light on the user while she reapplies her lipstick.

It’s made from 1/4″ brass tubing brazed to a 1/2″ main tube, 54 super-bright LEDs and 5 layers of acrylic for each petal. The petals are wrapped in rice paper. It mounts flush with the wall and wires through the back to either a touch sensor or a metal touch sensor that allows the user to dim the light by touching the lamp’s main stem.

  • Product Design

Craftsmen Era Style Pen

I designed and built this pen in the style of one my favorite architects from the Craftsmen Era, Carlo Scarpa.  I machined the brass inner section and the small indicator cube on the mill and 3D printed the body and painted it to look like a dark stained walnut.

  • Product Design

Microabuse

I created Microabuse to demonstrate the misuse of a popular consumer product, the microwave. I went a full year without using a microwave but when I returned to school it once again became a necessity.  I always had a fearful respect for the microwave and wanted to test its boundaries.  As a product designer, it is fascinating to see how robust even an inexpensive microwave can be.

I put all sorts of things in the microwave: marshmallows, soda cans full of soda, BIC lighters, tin foil, CDs, light bulbs, forks and knives, cans of spray paint, balloons, and many other seemingly dangerous artifacts.  It’s amazing how hard you have to try to actually destroy one.  Even in the rain!

Using 2 GoPro cameras and a handheld DSLR, I captured the results, cut the video together and then projected it on the inside of the microwave for display.

This is the video of the display:

It’s a bit easier to see what’s going on inside here:

  • Art

Whipt

Sensitive Systems for an Era of Mobility and Connectivity

need We were tasked with conducting ethnography, understanding the mobile lives of undergrads through their emotions, predicaments, mental models and latent needs to find solutions to bring them more seamlessness and emotional well-being. We found that overcommitted undergraduates frequently switch modes throughout the day and cut out relaxing activities when stressed. They lack the tools needed to understand and better manage their days in order to find time for important relationships, activities, and self reflection.
when November, 2012
where Stanford University
partner Heather Kerrick
insights
  • Many undergraduates do not think about how they spend their time until directly prompted.
  • Relaxation can take on many forms and taking a break from work to do a relaxing activity can lead to higher productivity.
POV Busy undergraduates need a tool to increase their awareness of how they spend their day in order to reduce wasting time and maximize time spent on important work and relaxing activities.
concept Whipt is a smart wristband that detects location, motion, biometrics and nearby devices to determine what the wearer is doing and displays a corresponding color. The band flashes to a new color to alert the user of a change of activity or transition. The wristband information is synced with an application that generates a color coded time archive so the user can reflect on the day and set goals to minimize the number of daily transitions to an optimal number in the future.
value By increasing undergraduates’ awareness of how they spend their time, Whipt enables students to be proactive about what they accomplish each day and encourages users to pursue a balanced lifestyle that emphasizes the benefits of relaxation through efficient scheduling and personal awareness.

“2 hours is not enough time to get any work done so when I have a break I just waste my time on pinterest, facebook and television”
– Christina, Stanford 2014

“Whenever I check my email I get sucked in”
– Charles, Stanford 2013

“I like working around people but when someone stops to say hello it takes me a long time to get back in the zone”
– Sarah, Stanford 2013

  • Product Design

Tamper Resistant

Tamper Resistant is a brass and aluminum espresso tamper that indicates to the user when they’ve tamped to 30 pounds of pressure.  This is important in making espresso because a correct tamp produces a better infusion.  I machined the parts using a lathe, mill and other metal working tools.  The bases are swappable and magnetic so that the tamper can be used with different kind of machines and portafilters with flat or convex infusers.

  • Product Design

Water Tree

The Last Mile of Water: Catchment and Storage

need Rural Orissa women are responsible for collecting water for their families. A family of five requires 100 liters of water per day. Collecting this volume of water takes hours because the source is six to ten kilometers away. The whole family lives on four dollars per day.
when October, 2012
where Stanford University
partner Gabrielle Guthrie
insights
  • There is a huge gap between income ($4 / day) and common entry points into water catchment (around $80).
  • A lot of water is lost during the wet season.
  • Current water collection practices are time consuming and have a high risk of contamination.
  • Because water sources are so far from the home, women must bring children with them to collect water.
POV There should be an affordable, simple way to collect and store a days worth of water near the home, enabling women to spend less time collecting water each day.
concept Water Tree is an extremly affordable water catchement and storage system made from PVC pipe and vinyl impregnated canvas. It is easy to use, easy to repair, and fits into the current cultural landscape. Water Tree is easily hackable. For example, users can drape a sari over it to filter water from a well or position it to catch water runoff from their roofs. Users can also repair it easily by using tarp to patch holes and replacing PVC supports with bamboo and other locally sourced materials.
value Water Tree offers a simple, affordable water catchment and storage solution. Time is saved and the risk of contamination is decreased by placing the water source so close to home, enabling women to maintain healthly, efficient water practices.

“People would rather drink from the stream than to pay for water. But there is a williness to pay for water infrastructure.“
“Fecal matter percentage goes way up from the source to the home with each botttle or vessel.”
– Melissa Rhode, HCD Connect

“Everyone stores water, but usually not for more than 24 hours.”
“Adults are used to getting sick, they’ve built up resistance. They don’t think it’s actually a problem because they’re so used to it.”
– Valerie Bauza, Water, Health, & Development, Stanford

  • Product Design

Grandfather’s Coat

This is a project I did for a readymade art studio class.  It reflects my Grandfather’s immense generosity and my feeling as a child that he always seemed to be able to give me whatever I needed.  It also subtly identifies funny things I remember doing with him, like going to Costco and finding the best samples.

I found the jacket at a good will, laser cut pockets and sewed them in.  I also vinyl cut text and heat pressed it into the inside of the jacket.  It is a phrase my Grandmother often says, “Shoulda Coulda Woulda”.

  • Art

FoodWise

Connecting Excess Food with Meal Providers

need Help create a better San Francisco by designing a food storage or preparation solution for the residents of the Central Market/Tenderloin neighborhood.  More info here.
when 06.2012 – 07.2012
where San Francisco, CA
partner Sam Alcabes
prize Honorable Mention out of 109 Submissions
function
  • Restaurants, supermarkets, and individuals with extra food can log into a mobile app or website and select food items they wish to donate. They can indicate whether they would like to have the food picked up or if they are able to drop it off. They can indicate what time works best for the transaction and if they would like to be reminded an hour before. Donors will receive the recipient’s Tax-ID number after the transaction and can list the donation as a deduction on Schedule A of their tax returns.

  • Providers can log into the same application or website and see a list of available food items for pick-up and drop-off. They can sort them based on a number of criteria and claim them through the application. All information needed to receive the items or pick them up will be available after they are claimed.

  • Providers can then send out a blast with their menus and serving times to people that have signed up to receive updates via Text Message. Their menus can also be downloaded by SRO administrators and posted in lobbies and in other community areas like convenience stores and libraries.

  • Product Design

RSFP Photos

Rome Sustainable Food Project

Working with food and learning to present it inspired me to photograph our ingredients and creations. These are a few I think really exemplify the beauty of the food we cooked and our process. My photos of soups and ingredients appear in Chef Mona Talbott’s book, Zuppe.

  • Photo

boxedLA

Healthy Lunch Catering

who boxedLA
what healthy comfort food catering and lunch deliver service
when 02.2010 – 09.2010
where Los Angeles
why I co-founded boxedLA to supply West LA’s food deserts with healthy, fresh lunches.
result By the time that I left the business to begin my internship in Rome we were receiving sufficient orders to sustain costs and become profitable. Launching my own business was an extrememly valuable experience and it allowed me to see all sides of the food service industry from procurment to presentation.
  • Business Development

Milennial Generation

Research Supporting Mobile

who Hewlett-Packard Innovation Program Office
what research to support Personal Systems Group’s always connected initiative
when 06.2008 – 09.2008
where Cupertino, CA
why I conducted research among select 18 to 25-year-olds to discern how that generation used and felt about mobility and mobile devices.
process
  • Develop a research method that would lead to meaningful data and conlusions.
  • Interview a select group of 18 to 25-year-olds about mobile use.
  • Evaluate responses and identify trends.
  • Present data to managers and co-workers for collaborative review.
  • Write follow up questions for follow-up interviews.
  • Compile a final report and make recommendatios based on trends for future product direction, features and mobile applications.
  • Present my observations and recommendations to the Innovation Program Office and suggest integration with current and future products.
opportunities
  • Make Availability a Choice – Let us choose when we can be contacted, how we can be contacted, and by whom.
  • There is a low enough price.
  • Cached Content Allows Perceived Efficiency – A mobile device that intelligently caches typically viewed content would eliminate wasted time in areas with no service.
  • A Laptop in the Palm of your Hand – A “light” version of a laptop with similar functionality and connectivity in the form of a small mobile device has the potential to replace the laptop.
  • Organized Separation – Organizing everything into easily navigable categories reduces time spent searching and condenses information for easy perusal.
  • Research

Last Minute Card Kit

Assorted Boxed Cards for Any Occasion

who Palm Press
what product line appealing to college age, busy students
when 05.2007 – 09.2008
where Berkeley CA
why With Palm Press, I identified the need for a multi-purpose box of cards that would contain greeting cards for various occasions and marketed to college students and young adults.
process
  • Our original product name was My Emergency Card Kit. The original banner and logo are above.
  • We felt Last Minute Card Kit fit the product better.
  • Our first 4 kits included a Kit for Him, a Kit for Her, a Kooky Kit and a Politikit. I designed simple logos for each and built a site to show them: www.lastminuteardkit.com.
  • We scrapped the Politikit because it was too dated and biased.
  • Cards included in the kits were chosen after polling my college age peers to see which cards they would want to send and receive. A selection of cards from the current Humor kit is shown below.
result The line now featuers 10 kits, all of which are sold on the palmpressinc.com website in boxed assorted cards. The kits sell well and are a direct source of full-priced revenues. One of the Birthday Boxed Assortments is shown to the right.
  • Business Development

A Time For Burning

Editing and Audio Commentary

who Quest Productions
what Documentary and Academy Award Nominated Film
when 06.2005 – 09.2005
where Berkeley, CA
why While working with Bill Jersey of Quest Productions (producers of the 2011 Charles and Ray Eames documentary, Eames) I recorded, edited and added an audio commentary track to the upcoming DVD re-release of the documentary. Additionally, I compiled 7 hours of recent interview footage and edited it into a twenty minute short entitled, Update: Ernie Chambers 40 Years Later, that is included in the DVD’s special features.
  • Video

Improved Information at Rail Grade Crossings

Why do cars get hit by trains

who UC Berkeley Vision Science Laboratory
what research funded by the Transportation Research Board and Caltrans
when Published July, 2004
where Berkeley, CA
why Along with other engineers in the lab, we conducted research to study how accidents occur between trains and cars at rail grade crossings.
process
  • Define Objective: reduce accidents between trains and cars by studying train crossing signaling at gateless grade crossings.
  • Devise research method leading to usable and meaningful data.
  • Install cameras and recording system on Amtrac Trains to monitor near-miss collisions.
  • Monitor data transfer from train to on-site data storage unit to confirm successful video recording.
  • Collaborate with computer science grad students to create software to automatically detect near-miss activity in video recordings.
  • Error check software to ensure it is correctly identifying presence or absence of activity.
  • Compile report on success of research method and present results to Caltrans and Transportation Research Board.
about The UCB Vision Science Laboratory studies how drivers and pedestrians react to various types of signaling and lighting technologies including trafic lights, signage and caution indicators.
  • Research