Project 3 – The Arrival: old dogs, new tricks

This 4 week project is to explore the general topic of new arrivals. Students can interpret this topic in a variety of ways, and we’re encouraging broad and future thinking. The key here is out-of-the-box thinking and being willing to work where the process and scenario and faux-clients take you. Full Project Brief

Guest Critic: Rod Falcon, Director of Technology Future Lab, Institute for the Future (IFTF); Alexander Goldman, research manger, Institute for the Future (IFTF)


Student Presentations:

Dump Dining; Probes

Designer: Raquel Kalil

Archetype: Constraint

Context:  When food systems collapse, our routine for “shopping” for food dramatically transforms into a foraging way of life. The gap between the 1% and the masses, or Food Thrifters, widens as food becomes inextricably scarce and high-priced. What remains of food, however, continues to be thrown out as its appearance and freshness is designed to appeal for those who can afford it.

Product: As part of the zero waste initiative, the San Francisco Government mandates a new recycling system called “Dump Dining.” The ordinance mandates that food vendors throughout the city recycle and repackage their leftovers and expired foods so that govt funded Food Agents could regularly pick up and distribute these upcycled meals. In order to securely and safely provide these newly packaged old meals, Food agents are provided with a series of Food Probes which allows them to inspect the quality, freshness and nutritional value of expired foods. Once the food has been processed by a series of probes, the Food Agent is able to help distribute the newly sanitized meals for Food Thrifters to receive at their designated Dump Dining location.



Designer: Li Song

Archetype: Constraint

Context: According to a survey of 1,000 men in the US and UK conducted by JWT (a marketing communications company), men are increasingly feeling the pressure to beautify themselves. It’s a thing now: Young men are into makeup, and the industry is going where the boys are.

Product: Formen is the globe’s first professional male cosmetic company. We created exquisite products specifically designed to cloak skin imperfections and enhance the male skin. Born and raised in San Francisco, USA.


Burger Interface

Designer: Zhengnan Zhao

Archetype: decline

Context: What’s the next platform after smart phone and touch devices? As the AR/VR technology is applied on more and more cases, the border of physical world and digital world is disappearing. There are chances that  For our mind, the button is somehow only a reflection and give us the feedback that we give the operation successfully. So there is an opportunity that we can use any object as our tool to control any IoT device.

Product: Based on the speculation on future interface, I delivered the experience of using a normal burger to control devices in the space including a speaker, a TV, and light bulbs. With the camera and the AR devices, you can change anything into a remoter. Users are trained by the way we use different tools for centuries and they use the burger naturally. The only thing you need to do is concentrate on the thing you want to control and stare at it. The background is settled up in cooperation with McDonald.



Designer: Lei Xiang

Archetype: Collapse

Context:  Nowadays, people more and more rely on the free virtual space to store and share their memory, like save photos on the cloud, or write posts on the social platform every day. At the meantime, since we have much less thing need to remember, our memory in the brain will become blurry and vague. When I was a child, I can remember almost all of my family member’s phone number, but now these numbers are saved in my phone contact, instead of my brain. So our data and memory are captivated by these social platforms. In 2037,  these social platforms decide to provide a Mefume Salon service to help people recall their memo via odor, in other words, they sell back our memory to us. Scents were personalized and customized for different people based on their previous topics on the social platform. The scent is mean to evoke memory, cooperate with the VR glasses playing their posts, and open the floodgate of their memory, instead of giving them exact odor.

Product: The price of this service is affordable and reasonable. People make an appointment on the application for VR glasses. They can see how many different types of posts they have according to years, and then choose one year they want to travel back. According to calculation from the data center, the application will display top three topics in that year. After users confirming their appointment, the salon will prepare one odor for each topic. Scents include ingredients related to the place they were or objects they were familiar with in that period, like herbs and spices in that city or the alcohol odor in the hospital. So in the salon, people just wear the VR glass provided and scan one bottle of perfume on the table, then lie on the chair enjoy their posts and memory with smelling the odor.



Designer:  Ji Won Yeom

Archetype:  Transformation

Context:  What Street/urban trees are? They are planted in the sidewalk or in planting strips along the street side of the sidewalk.

San Franciscan used to live in green surrounded by tons of street trees. However, it has been being destroyed every day because a fragmented maintenance structure, an inadequate maintenance funding, and indifference as watching trees decline and die. Finally, San Francisco has the smallest tree canopy of any major U.S. city, even though it insists it is the most sustainable and environmentally friendly city in U.S. Trees in the city make our life a little more worthwhile and they are more than just beautiful additions to urban life.

“The environment is in us, not outside of us. The trees are our lungs, the rivers our bloodstream. We are all interconnected, and what you do to the environment, ultimately you do to yourself.”        By Ian Somerhalder

Product:  TREEDED, operated by a non-profit organization, is a mobile AR game for tree lovers, which uses the real map of the location. The game is to provoke our attention to make us care for trees that grow in towns where we live while walking on the street. Even we walk the same path over and over throughout a day, a month, or even a year, we may not take much notice. If the worst, we even don’t know whether trees are gone or not. The purpose was to enhance the value of the tree, by heightening our awareness of those often overlooked trees and applying fun to natural objects around us. Through TREEDED, users could ease themselves into their hurried lives and look around their environment by proposing a slower mode of material engagement that potentially helps users to have richer experiences with objects in everyday life.

By accomplishing different challenges such as catching a person attacking trees, removing signs on the tree, or cleaning up surroundings of trees throughout the game, a user will have an ownership for one tree. Once, the user has an ownership for the tree, he/she takes a responsibility to take care of and is available to decorate the tree as well. Different users are possible to send love to other users’ trees. If the tree is ranked the best tree in the neighbor according to received love, the user has a chance to plant a real tree in a place of need by the non-profit organization

Show your love for trees in augmented reality world and appreciate the natural world!


Pint Journey

Designer:  Beizi(Ricky) Zhang


Context: Everyone knows the important for blood donation, we can see all the advertisement about this topic. So how can we make the demands and needs be balanced?

Blood donation is an unfamiliar and refreshment experience. On the one hand, lots of people don’t have the motivation become a donor; On the other hand, some of the donors became abandoned donor, they couldn’t get the feedback or they think first time donation is not a good experience.

Product: The goal of this project was to create a new system for blood donation. which is let people go to the station and given blood. The biggest challenge here is how to let the abandon donors go to blood station and improve the user experience.



Designer: Joyce Lu

Archetype: Constraint

Context: Amid a challenging global environment of technology disruptions and widening income equality, artificial intelligence, after years of hype and debate, brings workplace automation not just to physically intensive roles and repetitive routines but also to a wide range of other tasks. Technological advancements are destroying job market opportunities faster than they create in struggling cities, while organizations and businesses struggle to find the right person with appropriate skills and experience to staff projects. Staffing coordinators have tried to step into the breach, but their efforts, even when effective, are necessarily limited in scale.

Product: To protect the economy and restore growth to the job market, the government mandates that all citizens, permanent residents and non-immigrant temporary workers are registered on SkillPass. Leveraging big data and artificial intelligence, SkillPass is a nation-wide platform that the government has initiated to match people to jobs, it consists of a profile-based, nationwide directory of people’s skills, performance in previous assignments, working styles, personality traits, availability, and locations.  



Designer: Gabbie Zhong

Archetype: Constraint

Context: When a lot of people wear EMO coats to cover their identities, street crimes have significantly increased. Women feel threatened to walk on San Francisco streets. Robbers always go for handbags as their main target. However, women love to buy handbags and they always carry them on the street. If a fashion item can protect women, it can give a higher chance to help people find the bag after it gets stolen.  

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 13.14.04



Designer: Yichun Wang

Archetype: Transformation

Product: What if you can free our hands from typing? FootBoard explores the possibilities of using our feet for tying and sending commands.



Designer:  Jessica (Jieyu) Yang

Archetype: Constraint

Context: Have you ever met someone in a conference but couldn’t remember his name? Social networking in an important skill for career building. Remembering people’s names can always help you. That’s why I designed ReadU.

Product: ReadU comes with a pair of smart contact glasses and a headphone. The pair of contact glasses embedded with facial recognition technology. When it detects someone from your contacts, it will send voice reminder to you through the headphone hiding inside your ear. ReadU can help you be more popular and impressive.




Designer: Divyasree Chembrolu



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