Headshot of Lucy Kates

LUCY KATES

SENIOR

I strive to create magical experiences through designs that push past utilitarian solutions and evoke emotion for users. After my four years at Georgia Tech, I have developed a passion for designing experiences that transform the user, no matter how small the transformation. My interest in the relationship between psychology and design has resulted in a strong emphasis on the user journey throughout my design process. 

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Stimulove

Stimulove

Class: Capstone Studio  |  Instructor: Roger Ball

For my senior capstone project, I created Stimulove, a Black Mirror-inspired design to subscribe to love. What would it look like in an alternate reality where we subscribe to the seemingly abstract concept of love? Does this seem dark? Scary?

Perfect.

The idea of subscribing to love came after learning that people’s willingness to subscribe to things directly correlated with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. People are much more willing to subscribe to physiological needs such as food, clothing and water than to the more emotional needs, such as self-esteem and self-actualization. This futuristic project taps into the "collective unease" that comes with the great potential of modern science by combining it with the abstract concept of love. By offering a concrete solution to the nebulous force that is love, Stimulove creates an added level of realism to reflect the level of plausibility that is carried throughout Black Mirror episodes. Stimulove offers to reduce if not eliminate the endless pursuit phase that is often followed by heartbreak. It encourages conversation by reflecting the dichotomy between what currently exists and what could exist if we are not careful with technology.

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Analogue Trivia Device

Analogue Trivia Device

Class: Capstone Studio  |  Instructor: Roger Ball

The average person spends over 3 hours each day on their phone and this is exaggerated in times we wait; I aimed to improve mundane waiting experiences. Recent trivia and gamification trends inspired this project; but unlike Trivia Pursuit and Trivia HQ, the goal of this project was to get people ~off~ their phones. I led a research experiment to identify what types of analogue interactions people prefer: buttons, switches, magnetic attraction etc. I learned that despite being the least engaging, buttons were the favored interaction due to their inherent simplicity. I also analyzed the market value of the concept and identified that business would be the target stakeholder because companies these days care so much about improving the user experience. With the design criteria of customizable (for companies), portable (for the target environment), and intuitive (for users), I brainstormed the form of an analogue trivia device to be placed in places of waiting. To really bring the project to fruition I teamed with an electrical engineer to make it functional which taught me how engineering constraints can have a big influence on the design process and form development. The final product is a portable device that displays trivia on an e -ink display, which when compared to other displays requires significantly less energy. The minimal design language is intended to be branded and customized by the business that would buy it; business can upload company specific trivia, or even use the device for marketing research purposes.

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Impasta

Impasta

Class: Capstone Studio  |  Instructor: Roger Ball

Impasta is a set of 3D printed headwear made out of pasta. What?! I got tasked with designing 3-D printed pasta with the goal of taking advantage of the manufacturing capabilities that come with 3-D printing to transform the pasta experience. After initially brainstorming everything pasta related, I had the idea of reframing the concept that meatballs go on pasta; alternatively, I set out to design pasta that would go on meatballs. From there, I experimented with challenging the notion of “don’t play with your food” and came up with tiny pasta hats for the meatballs themselves. I took the project a step further and created packaging for the project to further exemplify the different environments in which the product could be used through varying box sets: a sports edition for tailgates, Halloween box costume parties, “regular” set dinner parties etc. Impasta is simple concept of reimagining food. It encourages people to break the rules - playing with your food doesn’t have to be inherently bad!

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