Project 2 – The Command: Buttons

The button is a relatively modern innovation, with its consumer roots deeply seated in visions of convenience and ease. To this day, buttons are touted as highly convenient, with modern cars, as an example, using them to enter the vehicle and more recently to free us from having to put a key in the ignition switch and turn it.

The Command is the first bite (3 weeks) of the Command project. It is really concentrate on the act of invoking a command. What is a meaningful thing that you want to make happen in  response? What should this FEEL like?  How  should  it  LOOK or SOUND? Is there an emotional component?  Full Project Brief

Guest Critic:  Alexander Goldman, research manger, Institute for the Future (IFTF)


Student Presentations

Naze for Nutri Ba

Designer: Raquel Kalil


Context: In ten years a meal replacement called Nutri Ba paves the way as the ultimate alternative solution to food systems. There will be no need to farm or harvest produce for the masses because no one can no longer afford such green luxuries. With the worldwide shift in edible goods, Nutri Ba offers nutritional value but lacks all the sensory delights when it comes to preparing and eating food. A new culinary service opens up called Naze, which allows consumers to smell lost flavors of the past.

Product: Naze is a special cartridge for 3D food printers. Each cartridge is a unique flavor that injects flavor into Nutri Ba meals. Naze’s injection system awakens the senses, overwhelming the bland taste and texture of Nutri Ba in order to create a delightful experience of eating future meals.



Designer:  Ji Won Yeom


Context: According to researches. more than 85% of kids are picky eaters. Those kids have their own picky stages. but those pickiness is normal and natural. All parents’ need is just patient. Children need time to learn to be good eaters. Forcing, bribing, punishing, or depriving will undermine those children. It will make the situation worse. However. parents want their kids to eat healthy foods like lots of fruits or vegetables. But how do we get our fussy eaters to try new foods?

Product: The project starts from the idea what if there is a ‘Friend’ to those picky eaters to nudge them to have more healthy meals. meal·mate is an Interactive device that guide picky eaters to keep flt diet. It allows parents to choose food and projects animation on plates base on food information parents’ selection. The device that enables children ready to receive and ultimately enjoy the meal. The whole process makes eating experience as fun!


Smart Set 1.0

Designer: Li Song

Archetype: Growth

Context: Utensil will be a measure tool in the future which is a trend I am looking for. If utensil can be a tool for diabetes that measure how much sugar intake during daily meals? Defining a new way of using utensil is the purpose of this project.

Product: Smart Set is designed for diabetes which can calculate and detect carbohydrates in order to raise a healthy food awareness for them. All you need to do is unlocking the set and setting your data. It will record carbohydrates that you intake into your body.



Designer: Joyce Lu


Context: Despite technological advancement transforming how we interact with our cities and with each other, our basic needs to sleep, eat, work and get from place to place stay the same. For the last couple of decades, cities were planned for cars, paving parking lots and proposing urban freeways. In the next decades to come, urban infrastructure will go through a transformation. How will going from one point to the other be like in the near future? Will we still be accessing services from smartphones? As physical and digital worlds converge, where will user interfaces live outside our smartphones?

Product: Flui is a ride share service for conscious urban dwellers. It knows its users’ schedules and confirms a ride plans for their daily commute, helping to maximize and optimize road use in congested cities, while providing a fluid end-to-end user experience. One of its key touch points, is the Flui button, placed on desk or wall, subtly notify its users, only at the right time, if a ride should be confirmed and requested, according to his or her daily schedule.  Its form factor and visual feedback are intended to communicate fluid and elegance.  


Push it to show off your heart

Designer: Gabbie Zhong

Archetype: Growth

Context: Because of religion, privacy concerns, and government pressures (such as protests), more and more people choose to hide their faces. Because of this trend, hoodies are a future fashion style.

Product: Wearable technology as fashion is a new topic in present society. Making clothing interact with our daily lives is going to be a future trend. For example, clothing will be able to interact with people’s heartbeats; even when their faces are covered with a big hoodie, the heartbeat can still give an indication of the emotion of a person. Furthermore, the heartbeat can give a general idea of a person’s emotion by  using a heartbeat sensor to detect the heart rate. The rate of the heartbeat will also be able to control the LED lights, which indicate the person’s current emotional state.


Push it, save more.

Designer:  Beizi Zhang

Archetype:  growth

Context:  Online shopping’s been a crucial part of people’s daily life as the result of technological development. With everything just a click away, the phenomenon of “impulse buy” is expected to skyrocket; customers look at pricing over actual need in decisions of placing orders.

Product: I propose that feedback be prompted after each order. Link a physical button for your online shopping account, For instance, a function controlling the processing of orders according to a preset shopping “quota” could be set up as a reminder of rational thinking. when you push it, that means you can save more.


Cafe X

Designer: Lei Xiang


Context: If we look back to the history, people went to the cafe to chat and share information day and night. Cafe as the public social place has a long history as well as the teahouse and the bar. However, the coffee shop today gradually losing its social role, especially comparing with the other two. What you see in the cafe is people bend their neck and keep scrolling on their tiny screens, or typing quickly on their keyboards of the laptop. People work separately and never talk to others around them. However, a research shown 88% people in the cafe are not really busy or deal with something emergent, and they’ve asked themselves the same exact question: what is everyone here doing.

Product: Cafe X is the cafe designed to let people put down their device and provide a trigger moment to start an interpersonal conversation. Cafe X is a robotic cafe with a robotic arm provide coffee and desk companion tiny robots. Every seat comes with a robot; people connect the robot in front of them by connecting free wifi. And after that, their robots will move in the same direction as the direction they interact with their devices. The cute robot will attract people’s attention and let people put down their devices. If they don’t, their robots may collide with others or fall on the ground. When two robots collide, it’s a chance and awkward moment to start an “awkward” conversation.


Zoe Goes

Designer: Zhengnan Zhao

Archetype: Transformation

Context:  “In 2014, 3-year old Zoey Houston had a stroke that caused debilitating weakness in her left side. She is one of the estimated 3500 children in the US who suffer stroke every year.”  –<Portland Press Hearld>

I was impressed by the story. I felt strong inner calling that I should use the design power to help her and her peers who suffer tragedies and are going through tough process of recovery.

Product: Give a character to the disabled part of the body. The character, Zoe, will talk to kids, reminds kids of physical therapy, and help them go through this tough process with motivation and pleasure. It is a wearable robot connected to a IOS game. And Zoe’s story is going on. For more detail, go to


Jolly Lamp

Designer: Cylia (Yichun) Wang

Archetype: Constraint

Product: Jolly Lamp is a smart lamp , which could change colors according to users’ mood. Switch the cube, choose your mood right now, and see what happens.



Designer: Divyasree Chembrolu

Archetype: Growth

Context: Laughter can bring people together. It can help us feel more alive and empowered. Laughter therapy, also called humor therapy, is the use of humor to promote overall health and wellness. It aims to use the natural physiological process of laughter to help relieve physical or emotional stresses and discomfort.

Product: The GiggleBot is envisioned to sit on your desk at work, at home or even school. He looks like an ordinary object until you tickle him and he begins to giggle and squirm. The GiggleBot has one of the strangest giggles you have ever heard. He also wobbles when he giggles and sometimes tends to lose balance like we do. He has a collection of odd laughter sound bites to keep you laughing which can be played by hitting the buttons at its base.



Designer: Jessica (Jieyu) Yang

 Archetype: constraint

Context: “The city took 25,899 reports of car break-ins in 2015,” The San Francisco Chronicle reports. Your car needs more care.

Product: It works with smart watch app, you will get noticed whenever your car is in dangerous situations. The camera automatically takes photos of the car which hit yours. The super bright LEDs turn on and the car remote will vibrate if someone is too close to your car and looks inside of your car for a few minutes.


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