‘These three veins of investigation – foam bulbs, lobster casts, and electronic gadget development – all grew out of collaborative work first started during courses in MIT’s Media Lab. I continue to be excited by and interested in all of the possibilities that lateral material thinking can bring to a project, and I believe that having a facility with fabrication allows a designer to be that much more sensitive to new opportunities. I am always trying to learn new fabrication techniques and to work with new materials.
Vera is a product I developed as a participant in the test run of David Mellis’s Design for DIY at MIT’s Media Lab in the spring of 2012. David’s research focuses on developing designs that can be produced/manufactured through “DIY” methods (the definition of which was up for grabs all semesters). In most cases, this means designing for scalability, and in practice the group was designing based on an understanding of the way financing of a novel electronic device works in the context of something like a Kickstarter campaign. My project, Vera, is a small electronic device that snaps onto a standard blister pack of birth control pills (though there is no such standard, it turns out – they vary in shape and size widely!). Vera has a simple microprocessor chip and a coin cell battery that connect to a button on the exterior of the device. Once Vera is “programmed” (by inserting the battery), the light illuminates until the button is depressed. Every 24 hours the light illuminates until the button is depressed, reminding a user to take her birth control pill at the prescribed time. Design for Vera didn’t end at the product – I envisioned packaging, brand design, and distribution as well.