Hi there!

I’m Romy - a designer, researcher and recent Harvard grad, dedicated to unlocking civic innovation, rethinking humane technology and experimenting with any new tool that comes my way. 



Find out more:
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︎ Linkedin
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Currently researching / interested in:
︎ Collective intelligence
︎ Design Fiction
︎ Civic Futures
︎ Fixing Social Media

Favorite / recommended podcasts:
︎ Your Undivided Attention 
︎ Invisibilia 
︎ Recode Decode

Currently reading:
︎ Adverdarial Design
︎ Speculative Everything

Featured            UX Design            Code            WorldBuilding



COLLECTIVE DESIGNING FOR COLLECTIVE LIVING


CannonDesign | 2019
Individual Research Project

Supervisors: David Polzin, Ernesto Pacheco
Duration: 1 month
Published on the CannonDesign Blog


Tools Used: Processing, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Pix2pix (ML model),  Unity, Vuforia, C#

︎ Problem: With dense architectural programs such as healthcare it is sometimes hard to keep track of all design requirements. This leaves meetings in the format of a unidirectional presentation where the client is not able to actively participate in the design of spaces.

︎ Solution: A smart table comprises of colored notes that embody the requirements of an architectural plan, and a web interface translates a colored combination into an architectural drawing with Pix2pix. The tool allows for a fluid conversation between designers and clients.




Problem





During my summer internship, observing client meetings and healthcare planners’s tedious design process led me to question client - design conversation.

How might we design a tool that gives agency for clients to design/propose changes during presentations?





Process


During meetings where the architect was explaining the layout to the client on a screen, the client was asking for small changes that were not easy to visualize on the spot. In other meetings at CannonDesign where some healthcare planners developped small wooden chips that represented rooms, the clients and the designers were interfacing more easily but what was missing was the clients’s knowledge of technical requirements. I went on to sketch different trials and reviewed a proposed design with my supervisor.








     
 



Solution


The Smart Planning Table is a design and communication that makes planning dense programs easier and more tangible.It translates physical notes into an architectural plan.




Prototyping


Phase 1

This tool surpasses communication and planning hurdles. The digital screens shows meeting attendees if the requirements are met, and allow for a more fluid interaction between designers and clients.

As a second step, pix2pix is introduced to translate colored physical notes into an architectural plan.

   


User Testing

The results were very successful, and I received constructive feedback. Some of the ideas were:
- To be able to shred the paper and see the identical shape on the digital screen
- Others suggests to see an architectural representation of the colors automatically

Phase 2

This led me to build a web based platform that would translate the colors into an architectural plan - using Pix2pix (a machine learning algorithm based on mimicking pixels on two datasets)







Presentation  & Documentation


Sharing the platform both during the Idea Series at CannonDesign and on the official Blog of the company was a great accomplishment and a great learning experience!!





Future Work



Some of the main criticism I got was that there was more need to optimize user journey’s rather than space requirements. Healthcare planning especially at CannonDesign was recently trying to show clients that their top priority is not an optimization of rooms and locations, but the best possible experience for patients, families, doctors and nurses. From that came the idea to push the Smart Planning Table towards a more fluid planning tool with pins representing the different stops on a single journey.












Internship Project #2



The first part of my internship was spent developing an AR tool of the office, where clients and designers can look at the different architectural options on a physical model. The app is now used in US offices for presentations.