Reflection Document | Spring 2021| Carnegie Mellon University
Team — Alice Chen, Alex Heyison, Aashrita Indurti, Hannah Kim

Research Overview

In partnership with Prospect Studio and the Portland Public School (PPS) district, our team chose to focus our research on creating artefacts to better realize the futures of “Schools as Community Hubs,” inspired by the PPS vision document. Due to our group’s relative unfamiliarity with Portland and our limited access to research participants (especially those from marginalized communities), our research approach focused on finding ways to integrate primary and secondary sources. …

Pittsburgh Rivers. Photo via Visit Pittsburgh.

This article is Part 5 of a series of articles (Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here) about mapping and designing transitions in waste management in Pittsburgh as part of the Transition Design Seminar at Carnegie Mellon School of Design.

Team Synergy — Aashrita Indurti, Madeline Sides, Monica Chang, Sian Sheu

Designing System Interventions

Looking back at our backcasting mapping from the previous assignment, we designed short, mid, and long-term milestones but how does one get started in actually creating change? Our focus for the past few weeks has been on designing an ecology of interventions that can…

Documentation for IXD Studio -II

The previous week was filled with user testing sessions and we got some insightful feedback from participants which informed our next steps. Some common themes that surfaced from our previous round of testing revolved around Community Engagement, Accessibility and Communication and Trust and Equity.

Themes from the Previous User Testing Session

User Testing 2.0

We conducted another round of User Testing with the old participants. We showed them a couple of key screens such as the Stories of Change, the Home feed and the Community Concern Screens. …

Documentation for IXD Studio II

Grounding Foresight

We had a session with futurist Stuart Candy and were introduced to the three strategies of Grounding Foresight. The three strategies correspond to the body which is pegged as experiential, the community that is participatory in nature and location which is place-based.

Grounding Foresight by Stuart Candy

The Critical Future Studies Workshop

We began week 8 of the Graduate Design Studio session with a CLA framework introduced to us. The Causal — Layered — Analysis or CLA framework is a technique used in Future Planning and Speculation Studies based on the analysis and reformulation of the way we know the world (epistemology), world view and…

Documentation for IXD Studio II

Finally, the big day of our presentation arrived and we reported our findings to the Team from Prospect Studio.

Documentation for IXD Studio II

As we headed closer to the first presentation of the semester, we began brainstorming our areas of interests or more specifically the domains we wanted to hone in on and choose a discipline of focus within the topic of Schools as Community Hubs.

Affinity Map of the Areas of Interests

The Territory Map

A clue that led us in the direction of understanding the concept of community hubs was the territory map. …

Communication Design Studio — Project 1

Design Brief
Our goal is to investigate ways of using communication design to intervene in existing forms of news consumption to help people become better informed citizens by (1) aiding their critical review of information and (2) teaching them how to carefully read content (not just the words but the forms of content).

As a designer, it’s important for you to be able to quickly analyze complex information and visualize relationships among content that others often miss. …

Communication Design Studio — Project 3

Week 11 — Understanding Data

The Business of Understanding by Wurman

LATCH - Ways of classifying information is based on location, alphabet, time, category and hierarchy.

A proposal for the design of an inclusive escape room to be experienced in the dark submitted to the Carnegie Mellon University Carnival Committee.


  • Concept Overview and Introduction
  • Exploring the Ideas of Inclusive Design, Accessibility and Universal Design
  • The Codesign and Participatory Design Methodology
  • Exploring the Escape Room Experience
  • Design Process
  • Conclusion


Imagine exploring a dark room, set in the style of an Egyptian cemetery inspired by the Valley of the Kings to solve puzzles the ancient way. While some of us look up to the visual touchpoints that recreate the semblance of this chilly and eerie yet…

Communication Design Studio — Project 2

This project involves studying complex and abstract concepts based on their nature — big and small, decoding why they are important and how they work and bringing alive these concepts in a video-based format.

Week 5 — Telling the Tale of the Rainbow

Decoding the Phenomenon of the Rainbow and its significance.

“It takes sunshine and rain to make a rainbow. There would be no rainbows without sunshine and rain.”
Roy T. Bennett

The Rainbow appears as a multicoloured circular arc consisting of seven hues. VIBGYOR is a common mnemonic used to describe the seven hues. …

Aashrita Indurti

Interaction and Service Designer | Graduate Student at the School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University

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