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New York, United States

Member since September 08, 2008

  • Nicole's Board

  • Charrette Proposal


    Title: Preparing you and your pets for disasters

    Subject Area: Awareness, education, design intervention

    Time: 1 hour

    Objective: To learn more in-depth information regarding pets and pet owners and what happens to them during a disaster from the NFP’s perspective.

    Topics to cover:

    • Identify current issues responsible for separating pet and owners
    • The use of microchips and its effectiveness and areas of improvement for tracking devices
    • Animal shelters and how they operate
    • All the documents and how they feel about the process.


    1. Warm up by discussing (10 mins) a. What they feel is the most important for the owners to know and do before a disaster strikes b. Why it is so hard to convince people to prepare for disasters and how we can change it c. Other problems that they think is important

    2. Associate the identified issues with activities, emotions, funding, and other factors/aftereffects. (15 mins)

    3. Based on 1 and 2, decide 3 different entry points to solve the issue (5 mins)

    4. Brainstorm on possible solutions (20 mins)

    5. Narrow down on 3 solutions (10 mins)

  • NFP status


    Currently, I am still in the process of having an NFP to work with me. I have been contacting the Humane Society New York State Director, Patrick Kwan, and ASPCA, and I am also contacting smaller local NFPs in New York, such as Animal Care & Control of New York City. The following is a list of steps that I am going to take:

    1. Keep contacting Patrick Kwan from Humane Society and local NFPs (Reach one ASAP)
    2. Meet with an NFP for a design charrette (by NOV 21)
    3. Conduct a online survey to pet owners and animal enthusiasts via online pet communities , such as Care2 ( and Muttropolis ( by NOV 21

    Humane Society (HSUS) HSUS is nationwide organization who works to keep the general animal welfare, including pets, farm, and wild animals. Two of its many departments deal specifically with Disasters and Companion Animals. The organization has led some of the largest rescue teams during natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Gustav. They are also advocates of pet-friendly shelters.

    Best Friends Animal Society The Best Friends Animal Society is based in Kanab, Utah who is guided by a simple philosophy: “kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us.” They have been working in the topics of Animal rescue and disaster response, public education, spay/neuter programs, and animal shelters.

    I have spoken with Rich Crook, who is the head of the Rapid Response department. He informed that that they a...

  • By the Numbers



    44% of the people who chose not to evacuate during Katrina stayed behind because they did not want to leave their pets.

    Number of animals died due to Katrina is unknown

    Of the estimated 15,000 animals rescued, only 15% to 20% were reunited with their owners.

    The industry average reunion rate is 10%.

    3% to 5% of all pets in US are microchipped.

    Work Cited

    Rizzuto, Tracey E., and Laura K. Maloney.. "Organizing Chaos: Crisis Management in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina." Professional Psychology: Research & Practice 39.1 (Feb. 2008): 77-85. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Gimbel Library, New York, NY. 15 Oct. 2008 <>.

    "Backgrounder: Microchipping of Animals." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (3 Dec. 2007). 3 Nov. 2008 <>

  • 1. Do you or your family have an emergency evacuation plan? (1/7) 14.7% - Yes (6/7) 85.7% - No If not, why not? not really. it's more like when the situation is about to happen then we decide what we'll do. ie: notification from the news. also cause not many disasters occur in the area we live. never thought about it! 2. Do you or your family have an emergency kit in case of a disaster? (1/7) 14.7% - Yes (6/7) 85.7% - No 3. If yes, can you list a couple of things that are included in the kit? not necessary Water, batteries, flashlights, first aid kit, etc 4. Where do you keep your kit? (1/1) Kitchen 5. How often do you update it? (1/1) Every six months 6. Do you or your family own a pet? (2/7) 28.6% Yes (5/7) 71.4% No 7. Does the evacuation plan or emergency kit include your pet? (2/7) 28.6% Yes (5/7) 71.4% No 8. If yes, how is your pet included? (ie. What are you bringing with you, where is it located, etc) pet food and wet wipes! and hopefully some clothes! ... it'll be located with my own emergency kit! Pets are family too!! my pets are my family. any sort of disaster that may occur always includes the pets. the plan consists of gathering all the pets and taking them where ever we seek shelter. My thoughts: Most have not even thought about an emergency evacuation plan for the family. Based on my survey results, it seems that I first need to raise awareness for people to start planning ahead, regardless of where they are loc...
  • NFP relationships

    Three stages of a Disaster

  • Animal_rescue_132_

    More pet owners should take the initiative to thoroughly prepare themselves and their pets for a disaster, whether natural or man-made. I want to focus on developing a product or system that can make the process easier, through which I can raise awareness of the importance of this issue and encourage pet owners to become more engaged.

  • Observation Videos


  • Observations



    The Physical Space It was a beautiful and breezy day around 1pm. There is very limited seating space on the north side of W 13th Street. As a result, the bench right outside of a small deli was fully occupied, and a couple of chairs were brought outside to accommodate the workers who were taking a lunch break. On the south side, there is plenty of seating space all along the wide window. However, there were only a couple of students perching there, smoking. This is probably because classes were in session during this time.

    Social Space/Interactions The sidewalks were overwhelmed with people – pedestrians, worker and students on breaks, homeless people, etc. The stairs outside of the Parsons’ main entrance, right in front of the deli, and northwest corner of W 13th Street and 5th Ave seemed to be the three focal points of social interaction. Students were having short conversations at the entrance of Parsons. The workers who were on a break were having lunch together. Most of them were not talking at all. They seemed to be enjoying their quite lunches in the presence of one another. Due to the lack of seating space, many have innovatively used the tiny ledges that protrude from columns to rest their tired feet. While many are spending time outside, in the warm sunlight, perfectly balanced with the breezy air, a couple of students were sitting on the round couches on the other side of the pane of glass. They turned that space into private studies, eating area, and ev...

  • Design Criteria



    Scale: By scale I am referring to the scale of the entire project. There are numerous ways of approaching an issue. I want to be extra careful as to choosing the appropriate size of topic to focus on, and concentrate on making my solution effective and feasible.

    Size: The size of a product has a direct impact on other crucial factors such as material and price of the product. A product that is redundantly large uses excessive material and poses problems in transportation; these are issues that will consequently drive up the cost and ultimate price of the product.

    Material and Manufacturing: It should be everyone’s design criteria to create eco-friendly products. The choice of material and manufacturing process plays a key role in this. Is it possible to use local materials and employ local workers? When choosing the material, one should also consider after-life of the product, or is it possible to implement it into another application?

    Aesthetics Aesthetics is always important. It includes form, details, textures, finish, and color. It allows us to have some sort of emotional attachment to an inanimate object, whether it’s positive or not. This doesn’t mean that it has to be an over-designed form, saturated with extravagant details that have no contribution to the function of the design, but that it should be a well-thought out design appropriate for the situation. It should also speak a universal language that can cross cultural barrier and deliver the messag...

My Interests

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