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  • lekkees: Alowing Free Play to Rule

    Education, Industrial Design


    lekkees was developed in collaboration with Marcos Stafne and Miriam Kessler from the New York Hall of Science.

    Early childhood development toys and activities in institutional settings do not promote interaction among peers, lack possibility for imaginative interpretation, and full-body physical engagement.

    lekkees is a set of bendable geometric panels which connect in an endless assortment of configurations abstractly eluding to recognizable environments and objects.

    lekkees encourages more quality play by providing tools for children to visualize, imagine, and interactively build their surroundings. Allowing kids to engage in active play nurtures their social and cognitive development through the process of creative exploration

    My goal is to implement lekkees in institutional settings such as children's museums, day care centers, camps, and potentially schools.

  • BOUNCE baby sign products

    Communication, Industrial Design


    BOUNCE reinforces communication and relationships between Deaf children and Hearing parents, which is otherwise non-existent because of language barriers.

    BOUNCE is a product of collaboration with The Lexington School for the Deaf, which has served the broader Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community of the New York metropolitan area since 1864.

    BOUNCE incorporates American Sign Language into children’s toys and accessories as a means to promote preverbal communication in which all children and parents can benefit as well as access.

    • BOUNCE seeks to de-stigmatize cultural deafness and provide access to its language in Mainstream culture.
    • As a marketing tool, BOUNCE is universal and benefits all children and parents.
    • As a result, Hearing parents of Deaf children who benefit the most from preverbal communication will no longer feel isolated because of it.


    • Establish BOUNCE as educational toy and must have for all parents.
    • Market stuffed toy/animal as an introductory product that maintains qualities and language associated with American Deaf Culture.
  • headwest

    Community, Environmental Design



    Planning for Sustainable Urban Revival

    With guidance from Buffalo ReUse and Build it Green! NYC.

    Problem: Cities in the American Rust Belt (Buffalo, NY as a case study) have lost their vitality as a result of urban flight, suburban sprawl and the changing industrial climate of the United States. This has lead to the vacancy of homes and factories, and the deterioration of surrounding rural communities.

    Solution: headwest is a system that transforms architectural waste to create new sustainable building materials. Using abundant salvaged materials (brick, lumber and glass), a family of three architectural tiles has been designed to represent the triumphs of the past and a hope for the future

    Benefits: All materials are salvaged, manufactured and sold regionally using local labor, local resources, factories and infrastructure. The overarching intent of the project is to create sustainable, site-specific, vital industry to aid in a revival of economy and spirit.

    Next Steps: headwest is a system with the potential for infinite development. Grants, government involvement as well as prototype expansion will bring the project closer to fruition.

    For more information and images, please visit my profile blog...

  • Design21_177_

    Representatives from the INEE (Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies) and IRC (International Rescue Committee) both contributed to the research and development of this project.

    Because of the refugee crisis in Iraq, millions of children lack the tools to elevate their educational experience. There is a need to remedy the effects of trauma and regain a sense of identity and belonging. This project focuses on the Iraqi refugee community in Jordan.

    Grout is a puzzle/game designed to stimulate problem solving skills, encourage dialogue/communication and reestablish a sense of identity and place. The design allows the product itself to be produced using local manufacturing resources and materials.

    Grout is intended to create a ripple effect of learning and communication. This ripple effect will begin with the Iraqi refugee children and stretch to the immigrant and host families as well as the community at large.

    The next steps of this product would involve implementation in different refugee settings in need of the similar solutions. In new settings, the project would re-address issues of language, material and manufacturing processes.

    Christian John

  • Building Green in Full Spectrum

    Environment, Environmental Design


    Whether it is the Earth's environment or the living environment, building a LEED certified residence hall can be a great benefit to the New School Student Housing Services. The Student Housing Services has given me not only the opportunity to live and work along side the ultimate users of my subject, they have also offered me a vast knowledge of how a residence hall is built from beginning to end through the on-going projects at the school.

    My proposal for building a LEED certified residence hall can create an educational environment, healthier residents, sustainability for the community and better building efficiency. My project includes a workbook and interactive website which makes provides informative resources on good alternative solutions to current problems at the New School residence halls. This will be an on-going project which can serve as tools for the developers, Student Housing and the residents to exchange information with each other from the initial building stage to the community building stage of a residence hall. In turn, I hope the project can serve as a bridge builder between my constituents.

    For more information, check out my blogs and this video:

  • HEY! NYC “Healthy is Sexy”

    Education, Industrial Design


    HIV prevention in New York City nightclubs.

    NFP partner: APICHA – Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS is a non-profit organization providing HIV/AIDS related services, education, and research to Asian and Pacific Islander Communities in New York City.

    In New York City, there is an increase in the number of HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM); many of these infections are due to unsafe sex.

    Wrist Band: Anyone entering a nightclub will be required to wear a wristband, with a condom attached to it.
    Toilet Seat: Each restroom stall will be equipped with a special toilet seat and condom dispenser.

    Hey New York! products remind gay men to have safe sex.

    Wrist Band: Everybody in the club will carry a condom with them for the rest of the night; afterwards they can use it for safe sex .

    Toilet Seat: The toilet seat is designed to look like a penis inside of a condom when illuminated. The dispenser has a small pink condom icon that lights up. These devices command attention for the condoms available and for condom use in general.

    The next step would be to work with other HIV/AIDS non-profits to make the products available for a larger public. By having APICHA reach out to broader HIV/AIDS non-profits we could expand out of New York City into greater New York State.

  • Autism Thesis



    Project Title: BOND, Changing the affects of Autism through visual and communal interaction

    NFP and Partners: This project was created in collaboration with Mighty Miracles ministry at Christ Tabernacle and The Rebecca School.

    Project Description: BOND is an interactive toy for children with Autism designed to increase their social interaction and awareness of others through the use of technology and light. This learning tool will sense when two or more children are in close proximity (as far as two feet away) and the LEDs embedded in the pillow will glow encouraging the children to interact with one another. It also visually indicates how clear they speck to one another and turns into a multi-player game when placed flat on a surface. As a result the children will learn valuable social and awareness skills that they can then build into a bright future.

    I would like to propose applying this service to the new Christ Tabernacle community building in Queens, N.Y, where parents, teachers and therapists who are using Bond to help their children can be found. I would also like to work with technology companies in an attempt to introduce this system to the Medical Care Industry.

  • Versatile Beyond 20/20

    Aid, Industrial Design


    VERSATILE beyond 20/20 A utility cart designed for people with limited vision.

    This project is done in collaboration and consultation with Cesar Gomez, a professional in the field of visual impairments. Research and User Testing were done with National Association for Visually Handicapped (NAVH),

    VERSATILE is a response to the social issues concerned with disability (specifically visual impairment). The design of furniture often reflects a lack of empathy and awareness of differing abilities in everyday functions, an¬d does not allow for comfortable use by the visually impaired.

    VERSATILE is designed to aid and assist those with limited vision in the workspace by highlighting elements of organization and navigation within the product. This modular furniture system is customizable to the user's needs so that it can functionally assist with mundane activities.

    The next steps of this project would be to design a line of furniture and environments that address the issues particular to the visually impaired community.

  • MedX -MED"EXACT"

    Aid, Industrial Design


    RFID Device and System for Storing Patients' Medical Histories

    It is too hard to transfer the medical history of a patient from past doctor to the new doctor, and when a patient is unconscious in an emergency, it is extremely hard for paramedics to know about the medical information of the patient.

    MedX is a portable and affordable device with a standardized system that provides accurate and immediate medical history of a patient while maintaining their privacy through RFID(Radio Frequency IDentification) technology.

    MedX allows the doctor to provide appropriate medical care to each patient and illiminate guesswork in emergency situations. It provides peace of mind for patients as well as doctors.

    Although the current target of MedX is with U.S, I plan to collaborate with doctors in Africa as this would also be the ideal solution for Africa due to its convenience and affordability.

  • The Museum of Nature

    Environment, Audio/Visual Design


    I recently came across the great work of Finnish photographer Ilkka Halso. His recent photographic series the 'Museum of Nature' wonderfully challenges the natural environment from its current state into a future world where it is something we have to visit to experience.

    The collection of compelling images pictures a series of man-made structures that enclose nature, protecting it from pollution. Using images of nature and 3D digital manipulation, this photographic collection captures a future vision of nature as a museum display. Challenging the audience's interaction with the endangered artifact of the natural environment, Halso manages to truly visualise a future we so desperately do not want to see a reality.

    This is a thoroughly engaging project, that although I appreciate BLDGBLOG's suggestion as to how appropriate these images would be as illustrations to a form of eco-catastrophic novel. I feel personally these images could stand-alone in any city or urban environment to remind us how precious our natural environment is truly becoming.

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