From A to B
An ethnographic exploration of oscillating intentions in interactive design







My MFA thesis explores how a person’s intentions and behaviors oscillate while she navigates an interaction due to a combination of digital and physical cues. The project incorporates extensive ethnographic research, writing, and design prototypes to explore an individual's sense of self, environment, and time while moving through hybrid digital and physical spaces. 

Three realms of the interaction are analyzed: the temporal context of engagement; the user’s perception of her own identity as it relates to her peers; and the user’s relationship with her exterior environment. Within each of these realms, the paper examines how navigational designs appeal to and/or challenge users’ desires for control, familiarity, and mutability.


Excerpt of writing


The Book
The layered, hand-made design aims to cultivate a sense of exploration and curiosity in unfamiliar interactions by using multiple sizes and types of paper; while the table of contents, laser cut into the inside of the cover, provides a visual mapping of where the reader is while reading the book. 



Projects & their methodologies:  Enchanted Adventures: Five participants explore an unfamiliar part of NYC without their phones.  Interviews, users documentation of their own experiences through medium of their choosing
Liminal: A speculative newspaper that populates with photos, videos, sound clips, and text sent from the user’s self-selected tribe.
Interviews, ethnographic observation, social media trend analysis, card sorts

DeGrid: A mobile navigational application that uses abstract, user-generated audio cues to direct people to destinations.
Paper prototypes, surveys, interviews, A/B testing of brand

Composite Archetypes: A tool for user researcher’s that combines multiple users’ responses to different questions, in effect creating composite archetypes to challenge the notion of mutible identites.
Interviews, video documentation

Aura Project: An interactive installation that allows users to create their own aura by moving their hands and bodies around the design.


Armillary Sphere: An installation that allows participants to navigate a space as informed by how they saw themselves in it, with respect to the changing environment around them. The physical form for the design derives from the planetary armillary sphere, which served as a a physical manifestation of the concept map that underlies my thesis research.






Armillary Sphere souveniers




Process and inspiration: