What's up with Thesis? A preview of our thesis projects

by Jenil G. February 13, 2018

It’s been 4 weeks since we are back for our last semester ever. And what a busy 4 weeks it has been. The pressure has started to build up; we’ve already presented another iteration of our thesis prototype, all of us have found some great thesis advisors, a lot of ideas have been refined & a few people have pivoted. Along with all this, most of us are also preparing our portfolio and applying for jobs, which is another big task. It's surreal to think that this is it. We only have < 100 days to go from the IxD program.

I think now is a good time to talk about where each of us are with our thesis. The thesis themes range from climate change to education, from politics to mental health and from blockchain to accessibility. So what are the 17 thesis projects from the Class of 2018?

Here are all the concept statements(drafts):

Alex Frankel 

Project name: What Are They Thinking?

For people who want to understand why there is so much disagreement in politics right now, “What Are They Thinking?” (WATT) is a crowdsourced encyclopedia that helps users understand perspectives across the political spectrum. Unlike mainstream media that fails to capture nuanced viewpoints, WATT’s goal is to bring to the surface a diversity of perspectives and encourage dialog.

Amsha Kalra

Project name: Pengwin

Pengwin is a smart toy for kids age 7–9 that helps them sort trash and understand the importance of doing so. Unlike books, school programs and mobile apps, Pengwin not only encourage kids but also influences their parents to instill good habits by directing them to throw trash in the right bin and providing analytics on household trash consumption.

Amy Ashida

Project name: Connected Collective

Connected Collective is a flexible civic activism curriculum that utilizes social media to help 8th-12th-grade students discuss the ways their personal experiences are impacted by local policies. Unlike other programs that haven’t been updated for the digital age, Connected Collective uses storytelling to empower students to organize their friends and family online.

Ashley (Soohyun) Jang

Project name: Bundle

Bundle is an app for people suffering from social anxiety that helps to find other people like them in a safe and friendly community. Unlike Meetup and other online support groups, “Bundle” is more intimate and it is based on personal match and the levels of social anxiety.

Azucena Roma

Project name: Death Doula

For older adults and their loved ones who need to have end-of-life conversations, Death Doula is a tool that helps facilitate healthy dialogue around end-of-life decisions.

Christine Lawton

Project name: Cape Luna

Cape Luna is a series of games with characters of diverse genders and sexualities for the average gamer who isn’t exposed to much diversity. Unlike other games, Cape Luna also encourages dialogue around diverse experiences outside of the game world in order to extend the gaming experience.

Janel Wong

Project name: N/A

[Product Name] is a free, open sources starter kit that encourages a learning culture and empowers women within a design community through mentorship. Unlike other mentorship programs, the platform provides facilitation tools and guidelines in helping design community self-organize and create their own women mentorship program based on their need.

Jenil Gogari

Project name: Docur

Docur is a toolkit for designers and front-end developers who want to efficiently create dynamic style guides for digital products. It acts as a bridge, making hand-offs between designers and developers seamless. Unlike other tools, Docur helps in keeping documentation upto date with design.

Katarina Yee

Project name: Refugee Job Match

For volunteers who are leveraging their personal networks to match refugees with jobs, Refugee Job Match is a service that organizes and shares information to help more refugees regain their independence.

Kinjal Shah

Project name: Tinker

Tinker is a game and activity workshop designed for children in refugee camps to keep them engaged at child friendly spaces. Unlike other traditional workshops which follows instructional approach, Tinker uses co-creative approach to improve engagement by allowing children to be decision makers.

Ning Xu

Project name: Green Turtle

Green Turtle matches travelers who want more meaningful experiences with volunteer opportunities around the world. Through its search and filter features, traveler can easily discover local communities where their contributions can make the most impact.

Nour Malaeb

Project name: Activate

People with mobility impairments want to live more independently at home. Activate provides modular furniture robots that assist with mobility in indoor spaces. Unlike other robot assistants, Activate’s offerings are unintrusive, familiar, and fit naturally into people’s homes and lifestyles.

Sejal Kotak

Project name: Connecting Dots

(Connecting Dots) is a peer-to-peer healthcare app for Chronic Patients who need support and advice around self-care and management. Unlike blogs or support groups, (Connecting Dots) is driven by community and peer’s experience in the disease.

Tyler Gumb

Project name: Meme Wars

Meme Wars is a competitive meme creation game on the blockchain that awards popular memes with cryptocurrency. This differs from current meme creation and sharing platforms that provide no way of recording who made what or allowing creators to earn money from their memes.

Wei Ting (Wilson) Kuo

Project name: Travelight

For travelers who feel physically and mentally burdened by packing clothes. Travelight is a clothes rental and delivery service THAT eliminate the need for carrying the luggage. Unlike Unpack, Travelight make sure you always have the appropriate outfit, and adapts to unexpected changes in plans or the weather

Young Jang

Project name: WorkSelf

WorkSelf is a peer feedback platform that helps users get actionable feedback on their soft skills from their peers. Unlike other peer feedback, users can raise self-awareness and be exposed to new insights and tips to improve their better work-self.

Yue (Lilian) Yuan

Project name: Locavores

Locavores is a platform to connect tourists who want to get authentic food experience and better understand local culture and locals who want to learn different cultures in a world. Unlike Trip Advisor or Yelp, Locavores deepen understanding for different regional foods, people and cultures.

The next major milestone that we are heading towards is the “Proof of Concept” to demonstrate the iterative thinking and exploration of our thesis concept.

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