Laundry Otter – To feel good with everyday life event

  • target customer: renters, student housing
  • goal: do the laundry
  • site: apartment building laundry room ; product(s): washers/dryers

An IoT laundry system offers (self-service kiosk screen built-in) washer machines and app which connects renters with real time information and management assisting in regarding to their laundry works.

Final Reflection

Gwendolyn Yixin Zhang

Integrative Seminar 2: Systems and Strategies

May 12, 2016

Final Project Reflection

Through back to the entire project and research I have completed for both Integrative Studio and Seminar 2: Systems and Strategies, I learned from my classmates I worked with, people I interviewed, researches I did, articles I read and even just myself. The entire project contained a whole shifted thoughts from a very rough stage toward a relatively completed stage. Before staring analyzing the process of the research and the project, I have to say that I am very glad I  made my interest as  research topic which gave me the passion to keep working on it and seeking the different methods, ideas.

At the very beginning of my search, I was highly interested in the culinary art industry of New York City and being curious how these high restaurants sustain in the city with their non-stop business. How would these consumption be made and how social circle/economic status interacted with social media that effects those consumption. However, after the first series of research, I found out that New York City, with its five boroughs, it contains more that 25,000 restaurant establishments that offer millions of people meals in every single day and people in the city are always having conversations on food/restaurants and posting food pictures/dish on social media. Eating/exploring restaurants and communication seems tight up on social media. I questioned, why and how? moreover, how would this trend effecting restaurant business in New York City. Finally, I decided to make it as my final topic of my research paper — evaluating the position of social media on restaurant business of the city. In my continuous research, I looked up to the communication research, digital marketing studies, analysis of human behavior and phycology on internet and media.

The research I have done for seminar intentionally provides me a more actual idea on my studio project. Since I have more been more aware of my topic, social media VS the restaurant business of New York City, I started questioning, what is the problem with it, how would people deal with it and what kind of solution would make things easier, lighter? I then looked back at myself, how I interact with social media and restaurants. I am in love with food, meanwhile, struggling with dieting, weight control…I always try to eat light and clean, restricting myself in the most of the time. However, once I get a chance to eat out, my control, awareness would just disappear. In my research from the data that is given by the Health Department, 25% of American men and 45% of American women are on a diet on any given day, about 4.2% of women have suffered Anorexia in their lifetime…All this data drives me to think about, how to make a better control under the circumstance of eating out but under a diet regulation. No judgements, every one has his/her own living ways and since he/she already decided to continue in this way, the thing as a designer/developer can do is to help these groups to make it better, healthier, happier. So, finally, I decided to create an app based tool — Intake, be aware of what you eat. The restaurant research tool with a strong nutrition and health support. In this app, the user can search up to the restaurants around the city, or either a particular restaurant that the Intake user is looking for. The result will be receiving tons of pictures that different users’ posts of their dish pictures. By tapping the image, it will flip to the other side of the image – intake analysis. Intake analysis will basically analyze the nutrition of the dish by providing the total calorie, total fat, protein, carb and other elements. Also we would make several suggestions such as if this dish/restaurant fits people on diet/ daily based/ or even date, cheat meal etc. In the further concern, the restaurant owners/restaurant can open up their own accounts on INTAKE and summit their nutrition info. This app would neither be a simple search tool or a health supported tool. It would be a combination of the interactive, enjoyable food based social media with the heathy eating notion that provides the information on the food services around the city. I feel truly appreciated that Integrative Studio and Seminar just provides me a chance to be a designer who is trying to come up with solutions to improve others’ life even the project can still go much further.

Integrative Seminar 2: Systems and Strategies#Bridge Project 1 VISUAL JOURNAL


In our first System and Strategies bridge assignment, my group member and I created a five minutes documentary about the Upper East Side in studio class and we also did research based on the history and culture of the neighborhood in seminar class. The entire project was based on the research and interview we did. By using various methods such as primary research, secondary research and observation research etc,. we observed the different vibes of the neighborhood and intended to present it to our audience through the studio class.

Firstly, We started to investigate our neighborhood by doing secondary research in our seminar class. We typed up the key words that are related to our topic into the library sites such as The New School Library database, NYPL database. By searching the article from the sites, we received different types of document from a hundred years ago tile last month. It is such an advantage for us since we were capable of absorbing the large amount of information by using the database as our research table. However, the amount of documents that database contains somehow confused us during the research process since we could not decide which category we should focus on. We had to spend a lot of time to cut down our range from the general upper east side toward a certain period and then toward the human and culture at that certain period of time. We observed that many authors and writers had the similar aspects on an assertive topic which helped us to summarize and make up our assumption and conclusion.

After the background research we did on seminar class, we then had more specialized topic for our studio documentary project. We decided to focus on tourism of the Upper East Side — since we found out that tourist has always been an indispensable part of Upper East Side. We wanted to perceive the perspective and understanding of those people who come to visit Upper East Side as tourists. During the filming, we interviewed tourists at Metropolitan Museum and Central Park (between 60th Street and 78th Street) and asked them several questions such as the adjectives they would love using to describe the neighborhood?why they were here?and If the tourism contributed to the area etc. We did our interviews two times and there was a huge difference between the two. We found out that people would willing to talk and even talk more then we expected to hear in a more pleasing day then a freezing day. In this case, collecting the primary resources from the street(interview) has been affected by the weather, hours and other unpredictable limitations a lot. In a short working period, doing the interviews would always be intense. Moreover, the timing issue would also limit the number of interviews we did. We could only get to talk to several tourist and use the information from them to present a whole tourist group which has a certain inaccuracy in the project. Even though there are a lot of shortage on the street interview, but it still provided us the efficient, interesting and fresh answer that we need for our film.

Int Seminar 2: The Design Reflection on The Subway Entrance/Exit of New York City

Since subway has become the most common and important transportation tool of people who live in New York City through the centuries, improving the whole subway system would be put on the top list of NYC reconstruction. Even though the whole project is profound and difficult, but the designers can still break it apart and starts from the details. It is very direct to start with the subway entrance and exit where all the passengers accesses to the platforms. Before redesigning the entrance/exit, the designer should start his own research based on the interview with the passengers and personal experimenting. The number of the passengers is tremendous, hence, the sampling survey should be taken in this section.With the random selection, the designer would hear the legitimate voice from the public. Second, by experimenting himself, the designer would have a more accurate thought instead of pure imagination.

After the several rounds of researches and experiences, the designer would find out some unreasonable parts of the subway turnstile. Firstly, the entrances and exits of the subways are sharing the same turnstiles which induces the congestion specially during the rush hour. Secondly, the passengers might be deferred from their schedule because of the insensitive swipers located upon the turnstiles.  Last but not least, the turnstiles are always annoying. It’s specially inconvenient for people who carry bunch stuff, and the turns would easily hurt people’s thigh. As every one knows, People in New York City are alway very rush and inpatient, all the tiny mistakes might ruin their whole day life. Solving these problems is not whimsical but time consuming. Separating the entrances and the exits, switching the swiping system to touching board and changing the form of the entrances’ gates instead of turnstile can all be applied to the redesign of the program. However, NYC Subway system involves  more than 450 stations, applying the changes to the whole system would definitely take a lot of times.

The research and design process that designer has applied for the subway entrance redesign is very similar to the process of my Trench town Fake Product design from last semester’s integrative studio course. After my instructor assigned my group with the them of 1970’s Trenchtown Jamaica, we aimed to create a series of products that intended to help the local inhabitants to protect themselves from the political tensions. We watched the interviews that was being held by the previous film production since it was not possible for us to interview those local citizens at this time. The interviews restores the vivid circumstance of those citizens during 1970s. Based on the understanding of the local condition, we then put ourselves in the scene and imaged the condition for assuming the needs. After the experiment and discussion, we found out the most serious issue of Trenchtown was religious issue. We finally designed four products for the citizens to cover their life habits under the religious restriction.

The Interaction and Collaboration Between Thinking And Making

The collaboration and interaction between Integrative Studio and Seminar have brought me more understanding about each individual project I have done this semester.

In one of the most recent bridge projects “1970 Trenchtown, Jamaica”, my group members and I  designed four fake products that could be well used by the locals, while creating the mock exhibition of historical objects in seminar class. For completing our mock exhibition, we utilized amount of research by not only reading different types of articles about Trenchtown such as newspaper and information from local website etc,. but also watching documentary and music video from that time period which prominently helped us better understand the circumstance and the culture of 1970s’ Jamaica, specifically, Trenchtown. By the time we started making our products in studio class, we had gotten general ideas of the demands of local people in Trenchtown based on the knowledge we gained in seminar class. We decided to take our theme as concealing- helps people cover their lives due to the chaos and violent circumstance of Trenchtown under the intensive political tensions between two different parties.

At really beginning of our studio Mocku magazine project, we were stuck from defining the theme of the whole magazine. However, our listicle assignment from seminar class intentionally  tided our ideas up from the previous confusion. Each of the group members wrote a list of  her interpretations about beauty,plastic surgery and imitation. After finished the listicle writing, we collected four listicles together and we observed the common interpretation we noted, which we decided to use as our thesis of the whole magazine. Without writing all the ideas down, we would not be able to figure out the final concept when every group member had such strong opinions. The delicate analysis and concentration extraction from seminar writing enhanced our efficiencies and smoothed our thoughts.

After reading and discussing Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex : Historical Materialism in Seminar class, our studio teacher assigned us to create a visual dialogue with our partner that could visually presents our perceptions of genders. We were kind of immersed by the topic since it’s a very abstract and sensitive subject people sometimes avoid to talk about. However, based on the goal of presenting our real thoughts from the project, we continued documenting the words we had about this topic, which was also related to seminar interview report. By the time we wrote all the notes down, we sketched the visual drafts nearby the words. After several rounds of discussions, my partner and I finally selected the ten points for our studio dialogue. Without the communication between my partner and I in seminar class, we wouldn’t reach the final destination of our studio project by just thinking but not documenting our train of thoughts.

#6 IntStudio 10 Things I have learned

1. Potential creativity is like an infinite roll of yarn. You should keep pulling it out. Otherwise you would never know how long it can be.

2. Every single idea represent a whole but also a part

3. Art is nothing but everything

4. Your group member’s idea is as valuable as yours.Cooperation creates color.

5. Keep absorbing. Absorbing makes circle/bubble bigger

6. A great land might be hidden behind a small spot

7. The original might not be the best the update might not be better. But you won’t realize until you try.

8. Details

9. A single design might convey a thousand minds

10. What do you like about?



#5 IntStudio Fake Product Project “Out of the Trenches “

Out of the Trenches Product Line –

(Trenches “shitty” bag contains one Bible Rolling Paper, one Plaster Mango and one Dreads headphone and one Corrupted Cop app )

“Out of the Trenches”

Welcome to Trenchtown

1970’s Trenchtown was a cultural hub for artists and musicians alike. However, corruption, violence and a lack of resources made the area notorious for poverty and despair, which is still suffered by its people today. The items in this exhibition provide a deeper understanding of Trenchtown as a community of artists and social activists struggling to persevere in the abandoned government compound.

Music played a large role in shaping Trenchtown’s culture. The area is famous for its acclaimed Reggae artists. Most notably Bob Marley who often referenced his hometown neighborhood throughout his music. The daily life of a resident, was largely influenced by the artistic community despite struggling through the adverse conditions of the time. The people of Trenchtown resorted to living in shacks called shatis and rerouting electricity just to get power.
While viewing the exhibit, think about the influences of music and living conditions. How do they interact the one another? Is either the music or daily life more influential on the community and culture of Trench Town?

“Hidden in the Trenches”

Matt Antoniak, Gabe Holzman, Gwen Zhang, Zarrin Karimi

Mixed Media


New York City

We have designed four products that most people might find essential to have while in 1970s Trenchtown. This kit will allow you to get through an average day in the life of a Trenchtown resident. Concealment is essential. We have designed an app that allows you to circumvent the law through the assistance of corrupt officials. Nutrition is fundamental. Each kit includes a scratch n’ sniff mango that will give you hope when there is no food on the table. Smoking is spiritual. Our bible rolling papers are the best in the industry. Music is freeing. When you need to escape the harshness of living in Trenchtown, plug in your “Dreads by Marley” headphones and enjoy the best reggae Jamaica has to offer.

“It’s ‘Totes’ Trenchtown”

Matt Antoniak, Gabe Holzman, Gwen Zhang, Zarrin Karimi

Mixed Media


New York City

Walking around the politically tense and violent streets of 1970s Trenchtown with expensive goods might be dangerous. We have designed a tote bag that will carry the products essential to surviving Trenchtown. The bag is made from all natural hemp and looks like a piece of trash from the outside, but on the inside, the bag contains different pockets that you can utilize to conceal the items from your kit with space left over for more.


The individual product: Bible Rolling Paper


Moma Store Products Review


What is the product?

Lumio Book Lamp

2) How much does it cost?


3) Who is the designer and who is the manufacturer?

Max Gunawan is the designer

4) Where was it produced?


5) What materials, techniques, and processes are used in the product?

Materials of Laumi Book Lamp are High-performing LED, hard-wearing and water resistant Tyvek, leather hanging strap, lustrous paper lantern and lithium-ion battery.

The energy transforming technique is one of the most attractive techniques that has being used for this products. And the designer created 180 degree expansion to achieve it’s full brightness.Also, it’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery offers wireless power for it’s light up to 8 hours per charge.

6) Is it handmade or machine made, or both?

Machine made

7) What is the product’s function, or multiple functions? Was it designed to solve a particular problem or need?

The function of this Lumio book lamp is for lighting, considering the lamp is charged wirelessly, it’s convenient for user to move it around.

8) How does the form relate to its function? Evaluate factors such as size, overall look, materials, texture/patterns, hand feel.

It’s an regular spread-out book size which offers the full degree brightness. It’s high performing LED provides smooth and no-eye-offended lights. Since it’s wireless,it’s equally at home,out-door activity, barbecue or togo.

9) Who do you think is the intended audience for this product?

It’s a very common-used products that every one can buy.

10) Does the product reflect any attention to sustainability?

Yes, it reflects energy saving and electricity economizing.

11) Is it a limited edition product, or mass produced?

It’s a mass produced.

12) Imagine other ways to use this product, besides its intended use.

It can also be used as a home decoration.



1) What is the product?

Chop 2 Pot Chopping Board (size plus)

2) How much does it cost?


3) Who is the designer and who is the manufacturer?

The designer is Mard Sanders and the manufacturer is Joseph and Joseph Ltd

4) Where was it produced?


5) What materials, techniques, and processes are used in the product?

The materials is knife cutting friendly, durable plastic surface.

And the two edges of the chopping board can be fold up when the handle is squeezed.

6) Is it handmade or machine made, or both?

Machine made

7) What is the product’s function, or multiple functions? Was it designed to solve a particular problem or need?

The function of this product is organizing a chute-down which chopped food or waste can be avoided.

8) How does the form relate to its function? Evaluate factors such as size, overall look, materials, texture/patterns, hand feel.

Since this chopping board is a house-ware product, the hand feel of this product is very smooth and comfortable. The material is hard silica that provides less weights while using it.

9) Who do you think is the intended audience for this product?

For kitchen users,general public, family, restaurant etc.

10) Does the product reflect any attention to sustainability?

Yes, it reflects the food saving problem to sustainability.

11) Is it a limited edition product, or mass produced?

It’s mass produced.

12) Imagine other ways to use this product, besides its intended use.

It has the common with a dustpan.


1)What is the product?

Fortune cakes- baking cup

2) How much does it cost?

$10 for a set of 12

3) Who is the designer and who is the manufacturer?

Deigned by Hongmalion and produced by Fred and Friends Ltd

4) Where was it produced?

It was produced in USA

5) What materials, techniques, and processes are used in the product?

The silicone rubber is the main elements of this product.

6) Is it handmade or machine made, or both?

Machined made.

7) What is the product’s function, or multiple functions? Was it

designed to solve a particular problem or need?

It’s designed to be used as a durable baking cup instead of a disposable paper cup

8) How does the form relate to its function? Evaluate factors such as size, overall look, materials, texture/patterns, hand feel.

The size of the product is exact the same size as a regular cupcake size. The silicone rubber is non-stick which helps user to clean it easily and save for next use.

9) Who do you think is the intended audience for this product?

Kitchen users, baking stores,general public.

10) Does the product reflect any attention to sustainability?

Yes, it helps baker and kitchen user to save paper cups when they are baking cupcakes.

11) Is it a limited edition product, or mass produced?

It’s mass produced.

12) Imagine other ways to use this product, besides its intended use.

Some of this info will be available in-store and some you will have to find through research.

it can also be used for baking other stuffs.

Product Design Brainstorm

Problems and Needs:

Article #1 Stop Googling. Let’s Talk

People play their phones during social gathering for avoiding awkwardness. Less ability on facing to different situations.

Kids are not be able to sense the problems while having the communication. Other kids get hurt because of the slow reactions.

Family dinner is no longer like a traditional one which gets everyone’s attention together into the whole family. Phones,texts,high-tech drives family members away.

Students are not willing to seat and think without having their electronic devices. Blank Mind.


Products for article#1’s needs:

a. Intellisense support app: The app will auto-check the sounds around the phone owners. Once it decides the sounds are made as the conversation with the phone owner, the other social media app of the phone will be locked automatically. 

b.A time limited phone: This phone can only be used 2 hours per day. You can customized the way of how you will spend that 2 hours. 

c.Phone dish: a dish/plate where every one can put their phones in while having the dinner 

d.Alarm for respectful: An app. When others are doing presentation or speech, if you are distracted with your phone, the alarm will be turned on automatically 


Article #2 Women’s Wear Daily: Alber Elbaz Hinted at a Different Life in His Night of Stars’ Speech

Fashion in this time is very photogenic but not realistic. Same as our humans lives.

Fashionistas/editors/writers are focusing on documenting the moment instead of enjoying the show.

Fashion?Self deception?


Products for article#2’s needs:

a. 100% reflects real you: A Mirror that reflects the real you in 3D

b. Phone Tripod: The phone tripod which can rotate 360 degrees and have thermoinduction system

c.Meal plan for people who watch runway

d.Runway scheduler: App, helps fashion workers to schedule the runway and work


Article #3 Scientific America: Scientists Study Nomophobia – Fear of Being without a Mobile Phone

Smartphones occupy a large amount of time of our daily life.

Small box contains infinite. As a result, people stop remembering and learning.

Nomophobia becomes a serious symptom

Products for article#3’s needs:

a. Pills for nomophobia (medical treatment)

b. Phone for call: A phone that only can be used to make a phone call

c. The app blocks google


Article #4 The Guardian: Essena O’Neill quits Instagram claiming social media ‘is not real life’

Young people, especially teenagers, try very hard to present themselves in a not spontaneous way.

Spending majority times to deal with superficial online issues.

Bloggers,fashionistas,instagramer etc.,always have some social media on their back which manipulate their posts.

Products for article#4’s needs:

a.Originalgram: the app where users can post their non-photoshopped videos and photos. The app has its own test for photos and videos.

b.Blocker: The app which blocks all the other users from social media platform. You can posts things, but other can’t see

c. T-shirt: whit words: No Tech For Me

d. “Real” Instagram: a wood made instagram frame/mask you can carry with you very day

#4 IntStudio: MockuMagazine


Nowadays, people,especially youths, imitate celebrities and model in different way but don’t have their independent thoughts. We find it very satirical to explore all this fun facts by exploring one of our original concept which was based on the high-fashion and model movement.

Copycat is a magazine that demonstrates the imitation phenomenon of models and celebrities.

Magazine Link:Mockmagazine 2.0

Working Process

1. 3 Original Concepts:


Technology and media today dominate the fashion, trend. We intended to explore the reality behind the back of tech and media world through the usage of apps,photoshop)

b.Body Imagine(Tattos,piercing ,hair and body/style groups)

Even though most people consider tattoo/piercing as non-mainstream, the magazine conveys the job of exploring the spirits behinds these style groups.

c.High Fashion( Model reality, imitation, idolizing runway)

Nowadays, the efforts models make on the runway are exaggerated, our magazine discovers the reality of this runway effects and the reality behind stage.

2. Final Concept: The reality of general public imitating models/celebrities.

Name of our Magazine: COPYCAT

3. We aim to create a very clean and concise style for our mockumagazine by using white space and black and white photos. With the simple style, we put more attentions on the effort of the modeling.

4. After several discussions of the details of the magazine, we separated the photo shoots to different times for a various look of magazines. Each group members is in charged of a part of magazine. We provide multi options while discussing about the concepts

(Sketches and Drafts)

(Photo shoot in-progress )

Job Division:

Layout designer: Angela

Model/Illustrator: Taylor

Model/photographer/Production manager: Iren

Photographer/Writer/Production assistant:Gwen