Project: Designer's Block

Time frame: Fall 2013

Collaborators: Rebecca Raha Radparvar

Categories: Problem Solving & Iteration

Existing mock-up methods are messy and wasteful, and yet are an important part of pushing a design process forward. In this project, my partner and I saw a need for a high quality, satisfying mock-up experience that allowed for rapid ideation and iteration with minimal clean up and zero waste.

  • In typical mock-up processes, using expendable materials produces excessive waste. Designer’s Block uses an assortment of interchangeable building blocks to bring ideas to life.
  • Mock-ups are fast because they are simple and low fidelity. Everything about Designer’s Blocks are intentionally simple - shape, color, attachment - to allow the designer to freely project their ideas. The team utilized quick user testing
    sessions to narrow down these qualities into the proposed final form.
  • The team dove into materials - How does Designer’s Block look like, feel like, and work like? Out of various card stocks, woods, foams, and plastics, we settled on
    Eastman’s Amphora with a frosted finish - a modern material that’s pleasant to handle and can take a beating from everyday use.
  • Material waste in mock-ups are at hing of the past: Designer’s Block literally provides all of the building blocks, leaving it to the designer to build their ideas as they need. When finished, everything can be enclosed in one place
    and safely stored away.

Project: 3D Printed Shave Stand

Time frame: Spring 2014

Collaborators: N/A

Categories: Problem Solving & Iteration

The main theme of this project was to make a shave stand that differentiates from what is normally found on the market today. Since shaving with double-edged (DE) or straight
razors is a rather antiquated practice, the stands that accompany them typically share the same quality. Often, they are hand-crafted out of wood, or simply manufactured out of
a few metal components. By foregoing the traditionally organic shapes and finishes in order to incorporate more geometric forms, I was able to create a razor stand that was
unique and modern. Inspiration was taken from many other razor stands, but this design was completely produced by me.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit

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Project: EMPAC Student Involvement Program (SIP)

Time frame: Spring 2014

Collaborators: Alexandra Allen, Evan Fouche

Category: Problem Solving & Design Thinking

This project was a collaboration with Rensselaer's Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) to address student perception and involvement with the venue and the content of its programming. The proposed SIP program has been adapted by EMPAC administration and has been implemented as EMPAC+. Team members took a design-thinking approach to an organizational problem, allowing stakeholders (EMPAC, students) to inform a potential solution.

  • Students engage with EMPAC to understand their goals and academic purpose at Rensselaer.
  • SIP aims to improve EMPAC's relationship with students and more clearly establish EMPAC's academic worth at Rensselaer.
  • Established distinct personas representing potential student participants within the proposed SIP program.
  • Devised a potential marketing strategy to disseminate information about SIP and to encourage participation.
  • Broke down the participant journey in the SIP program from Application through Certificate.
  • Proposed an operating and management structure based on EMPAC's current administrative structure.


Below are examples of other work utilizing problem solving & iteration.

Below are examples of other work utilizing problem solving & HCD/DT.