Join our network of non-profits, companies and individuals who believe social change can happen through design.

Become A Member

shireen emami

new york, ny, United States

Product Designer

Member since March 10, 2008

  • plastic* : looking beyond the surface value of credit cards

    Education, Industrial Design


    Plastic* aims to highlight the hazards of predatory lending practices for college-aged students who are at risk for harming their credit by virtue of not knowing enough about the industry. It serves as a counter-attack to predatory practices by implementing the same tactics to teach students rather than exploit them.

    Plastic* is a set of cards given out to students at the start of each year that serves as an educational tool by introducing key terminology used by creditors. The set doubles as a traditional deck of playing cards in order to act as a uniting force for students. The inks used in Plastic* react to the user’s body temperature allowing layers of information to emerge from a corresponding visual. By revealing these key ideas and making the user financially literate, Plastic* protects them from the potential pitfalls of youthful spending.

    The next steps of this project are to provide additional tools for students that will illustrate the long term effects of credit - creating a system based on Plastic* which will be funded through grants for educational products.

  • Shireen,

    I've been invited to give feedback to all Parsons students, regarding your thesis projects.

    I really like how you are both literally and figuratively "looking beyond the surface value of credit cards." You've found a way to address a serious issue with playfulness.

    I also appreciate that you're using the same tactics (of predatory lending practices) to TEACH students how to safeguard their credit rating. It's pretty genuis, actually. It's a conversational tool and it's educational. It imparts financial responsibility and it gives teens something to play with.

    Please strengthen your thesis project even more by giving specific details on production and distribution, as well as cost and how students would get their hands on the cards. Maybe they'd get mailed to the prospective college student with their acceptance package, so that it arrives when he or she is still at home with at least a parent at home. This way, the dialogue can begin early and a spending plan can be created well advance of leaving home. Just a thought.

    Good luck with this. Fun! J.

Leave a Response

Fields marked * are required

No file selected (must be a .jpg, .png or .gif image file)

Once published, you will have 15 minutes to edit this response.


My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design