< Projects | Berkeley Institute of Design


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The study of design – and more specifically, the quality of the process of design – has a high impact on the quality and success of engineered products. As design research does not fall into any one disciplinary body of knowledge, there is a need to consolidate and organize the many design research methods used, develop a community of design educators and practitioners to evaluate and categorize those methods, and educate the next generation of design innovators in appropriate methods. The goal of theDesignExchange is to support the design and design research community in exploring, developing, learning, and discussing people-centered design.

theDesignExchange is a hub for designers and researchers to share methods and best practices.

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Design Roadmapping

Euiyoung Kim
While product and technology roadmaps have been well-formalized in terms of their structures, methodologies, and frameworks, design roadmaps have not been explicitly explored nor studied from either an academic or industry practice standpoint. With increasing uncertainties, rapid changes, and complexities in market environments, companies are finding that they can no longer differentiate their products and services by relying on traditional roadmapping processes that focus on technologies and product features. Rather strategies that revolve around the holistic experience of products or services are more likely to be successful in today’s market. As first step, we develop a design driven roadmapping process as a new way of preparing future product/service concepts and define elements, sequence of the process. In our research, the design roadmap is defined as a canvas that reflects expected core-design elements acquired throughout various types of design activities over time frame.

*Please visit our website here to find more details.

Environmental Impacts of 3D Printing

Jeremy Faludi
3D printing is revolutionizing manufacturing; will it also revolutionize the ecological impacts of making things? Or will it create more problems than it solves? Some colleagues and I in the UC Berkeley mechanical engineering department performed a full scope 3 cradle to gate life-cycle assessment of two 3D printers and a “traditional” CNC milling machine, to compare their eco-impacts. This resulted in a paper in Rapid Prototyping Journal, due for publication in 2014.
Paper manuscript here.

Radiant Temperature Thermostat

Jeremy Faludi
If you’re controlling radiant heating or cooling, shouldn’t you be measuring the right temperature? Existing thermostats just measure air temperature, or the temperature of one surface in the room, but people’s thermal comfort is roughly half from air convection and half from the ‘mean radiant temperature’ (the average of all radiation from all surfaces in the room). Reading both air temperature and the mean radiant temperature gives the 'operative temperature', a good measure of comfort. Thus, this thermostat can keep people more comfortable and use less energy at the same time.
It was made with Arduino, wirelessly communicating with a web server. Users schedule temperature setpoints using the web interface, via computer or mobile device. They can also manually override by turning the thermostat’s physical face to a desired temperature. Details at FaludiDesign.com.

Beyond Customization: Exploring Media for Art-making

Laura Devendorf
Art-making is more than making a drawing or painting, it is a way of coming to know the world and oneself through the creation of aesthetic objects. It is a meaningful relationship that one forms with processes, materials, and tools. This project argues that seeing digital technology as a tool for art-making limits our ability to design for the meaningful experiences which art-making provides. When software is seen as a tool for art-making, the response tends to focus on providing users with a variety of tools to customize their creation. Alternatively, I choose to imagine digital technologies as media for art-making. In this approach, aesthetic objects are co-constructed through experimentation and explorations of the set of constraints that media provide. AnyType is a project that explores mobile tablet as medium for generating typography. A study with AnyType revealed the way in which it created new opportunities for playful engagement and meaning-making in everyday environments. Tangles is a work-in-progress that looks at how computer-aided design software for digital fabrication can function as medium and additionally, how art-making can lead to opportunities for learning about math and computer science.


Euiyoung Kim
Although digital devices have their own unique features that differentiate them from other tangible types of resources for reading, writing and sketching, a majority of people still prefers traditional paper media as it provides better user experiences in many aspects: readability, portability, ease of making annotations, shared reading, tactile sensory experiences, etc. Even people who have tablet PCs have to carry both their journals and tablet PCs as they haven’t found effective computer devices or software for this yet.
Human-Centric Research Questions
1. What are the primary barriers that prevent users from switching from paper to digital media and devices?
2. What can we learn from the behaviors of different user groups: children, college students, and professionals, elderly/retired?
3. What gestures do people exhibit with paper? How do these gestures and body postures differ when using digital media and devices?
4. How do people collaborate with peers while using paper media? How does this contrast with sharing digital media? What are hybrid digital-media behaviors?
5. What are the implications of special papers (e.g., stickers, post-its, and origami paper) for our different user groups? Do they have different purpose/needs of use? What is the potential for use in current consumer trends (e.g., journaling, scrap booking and 3D printing)?
*Please visit our website here to find more details.

Learning Engineering through Tinkering and Making

Tinkering and making has become increasingly popular in recent years. But, what are people learning as they make? The Ingenuity Lab at the Lawrence Hall of Science is a novel informal learning space for families of all ages to tinker and make solutions to engineering design challenges. Yet, upon peeking in and hearing the word “engineering,” many visitors immediately respond with “Oh, my kid is too young for this” or “I have a girl; I don’t think she’ll be interested in this.” Perceptions like these have contributed to the perpetuation of a disappointingly low number of aspiring engineers and a lack of diversity among engineers. As one of the first studies on informal tinkering spaces, we hope to contribute to understanding of the design of and learning in these spaces. Click here for more details.

Tangible Prototyping - Valkyrie Savage

Flat, touch-based interfaces are on the rise in products like Android phones. However research has shown that tangible interfaces, especially those dedicated to a particular task, offer many benefits over general touch screens. We leverage the widespread availability of digital prototyping tools, as well as the computer-based design processes for them, to allow designers or end users to create novel devices for interaction.


PeerLibrary distributes science to the public by enriching academic literature with a collaboratively edited layer of knowledge. It provides an instant search through millions of titles and authors, reading full texts directly in PeerLibrary, and real-time collaborative annotations.

BID Data Project

BID Data Project