Class of 2015
Sneha Pai is an animator and designer from Washington D.C., by way of Mumbai, India, and Cupertino, California.
When deciding on career paths as a teenager, she was torn between pursuing medicine and the visual arts. Luckily, after studying Experimental Animation at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and working as a medical animator at the Simulation and Training Environment Lab (SiTEL) at MedStar Health in Washington D.C, everything came full circle. As part of an interdisciplinary team of artists, programmers, game designers, and medical professionals, she has created interactive graphics and animations for various technologies including 3D medical anatomy simulators, device trainers, and scenario-based clinical modules that enable physicians and residents to practice a wide variety of procedures in a virtual game environment. She has also taught undergraduate courses in traditional and digital animation at MICA in Baltimore, Maryland.
Sneha’s interests are in enhancing learning and development for all ages through the use of interactivity and storytelling. She comes to SVA to investigate and understand users and their complex interactions and experiences in the healthcare setting and beyond.
Skylark is a device that simplifies communication during home assistance and emergency needs, especially useful in times of an electricity and internet outage. What sets Skylark apart from conventional phone dialing is that it filters level of assistance possibilities easily for its user, so that he / she does can have access to tap into a community level of aid before feeling the need to request a critical emergency responder’s help.
Skylark is a device that simplifies communication during home assistance and emergency needs, especially useful in times of an electricity and internet outage. What sets Skylark apart from conventional phone dialing is that it filters level of assistance possibilities easily for its user, so that he / she does can have access to tap into a community level of aid before feeling the need to request a critical emergency responder’s help. When there is no need for assistance or emergency, Skylark acts as a door / entryway weather and temperature friend.
During severe inclement weather, power outages can happen, leaving people without electricity and internet connectivity for extended and unknown periods of time. A situation like this usually leads to an increased need for communication and assistance. Limited access to power makes people heavily rely only on limited cellphone data and battery supply. This can put a strain on telephone and cellular networks, as well as emergency 9-1-1 lines.
Skynet works by accessing a technology called Lifenet, a new bandwidth of cellular data space intended for emergency and disaster use. Lifenet uses a node-based relay of packets to successfully communicate from device to device by “hopscotching” text and voice data. Skylark uses the Lifenet technology to access local proximity-based community members who want to provide help to their neighbors—these are people that the user might not have known about previously.
A Design Fiction for Citi Bike
Citi Bike NYC is a great scheme for regular users. For less than $100 you can get a key fob, and borrow bikes for 45 minute intervals over a whole year.
But day and week passes aren't so great, particularly for tourists. You have to go through numerous steps via a touchscreen at a bike station, supply personal information each time, let Citi Bike place a $101 hold on your credit card, then tap in a temporary code at a dock that expires after 5 mins. After all that you only get 30 mins to ride without paying an overage fee.
So it's little wonder that Citi Bike isn't popular with tourists, when uncertainty about whether the service is for them, language barriers, and lack of familiarity with the city are thrown into the mix.
For our 'Design in Public Spaces' class we investigated these issues - using the bikes ourselves and conducting interviews in the field - then developed scenarios for a better service experience.
We kept our solutions from being set too far in the future, as Citi Bike were keen to see ideas that could be achieved without radically altering their existing infrastructure. Unlocking more of the tourist market is a key strategic interest for them at this time, and they were pleased with what we produced in the few short weeks we had available.
Visualizing New York’s Transit Data: Morning Delays
Designers Michie Cao, Sneha Pai, and Matthew Brigante were tasked with researching and analyzing the causes and impacts of delays for A-Division trains in the subway system during 2011-2013 Monday morning rush hours. Their findings and analysis include various ways of defining a delay and represent both a micro and macro view of the system. They utilized data-sets representing various aspects of delays within the system, including metrics such as cause of delay, duration, location, and frequency for trains within the A-Division.
The first part of their analysis exposes various causes of delays within the system based on three attributes: frequency, duration and number of trains impacted. They proposed a tablet interface that would allow the user to toggle through the various years as well as the various causes being analyzed. Using these attributes they created qualitative score cards to better interpret a delay cause. Secondly, they focused on a further breakdown of the data to compare the impact of various lines within their attributes.
To understand the system as a whole, they utilized a map to depict hotspots of delay impacts from an "at-a-glance" view using train wait assessment data across all the stations on the 4-5-6 service.
Interactive Holiday Advent Calendar
A whimsical and modern sensor-based interpretation of the traditional winter advent calendar.
The Interactive Holiday Advent Calendar pays a whimsical and modern homage to the traditional advent calendar. It features twelve boxes that each contain a unique sensor. Each sensor must be discovered and activated to reveal a sweet treat behind each door.
The calendar was created using the Arduino hardware and platform. Twelve different sensors were connected to corresponding servo motors to create automated door hinges. The resulting effect is a calendar ""creature"" that behaves mysteriously and randomly to elicit curiosity and delight from its participating user."
Reimagined NYPL Experience
Over time, budget cuts have put the New York Public Library in a position of constantly having to articulate its value amidst a changing milieu of digital media and free access to information on the internet. This design research project aimed at identifying strengths and weakness of the current library ecosystem and earmarked opportunities for improvement, as imagined through a video user journey.
Employing a variety of methods from ethnographic interviews at library branches to remote online interviews with library website users, the team analyzed its findings and presented them to a group of NYPL stakeholders. The biggest design opportunity drawn out of user research was addressing unmet needs within the library's physical branches. The team reimagined the user journey, teasing out recommendations that ranged from low-hanging fruit to pie-in-the-sky dreams. Here they are presented as a video prototype.