Interaction and Communication II


School of Visual Arts
209 E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010
(506 Studio)
Tuesdays, 6:30-9:20pm
Spring 2023

Anthony Zukofsky

Last updated: March 16, 2023

About the site

A Holistic Experience

For better or worse, the earth has now become our canvas and our most interesting system. Designers need to expand our canvases, our outlook on the world, and our plan of action. We are no longer in the business of designing only local products and experiences. We need to aspire much higher if we truly want to have a positive, long-lasting effect on our planet. — Manuel Lima, The New Designer: Rejecting Myths, Embracing Change, 2023.

Carrot, Product Design, 2022.

How might you design a product that helps an audience react, learn and/or engage with a current environmental, political and/or social initiative?

  • Developing a product experience from start to finish 
  • Developing an identity system that coincides with your digital experience
  • Research methods in product and identity design
  • Exposure to collaborating in teams 
  • Prototyping a digital experience

In 2023, we are existing in a time where we are (still) living within a global pandemic, being even more so exposed to the cataclysmic impacts of climate change, all while living in a time of war (Ukraine). Now, this doesn’t even include other important topics like the mental health crisis, education inequality and properly sourced food. 

As designers, we react, respond and internalize our current social, political, and health climate whether we like it or not. This isn’t something new, designers have always challenged, critizied and facilitated conversations around these wicked problems with relentless ambition. 

Design can’t change the world, however, it can leave a small footprint.


Based on the topic of social impact that you’ve selected, as a team, you will research, design and develop a product experience that reacts and responds to our current environment.

Throughout the next five weeks, you will concept, design, and prototype, a final product experience that includes research, user flows, name, identity and any other additional technologies or outputs that deem nessecary. 

  • How might you focus on a highly specific problem (ie. a mental health experience for teenagers, ) 
  • How does someone interact or engage with your product? 
  • How might you find a topic of opportunity through research and ideation? 
  • How might you incorporate new technologies like VR, AR, wearable devices or various softwares?


  1. Input
    The primary use should be a digital product.

  2. Process 
    Show us how someone would use it. Does it work? Test the prototype and update your experience accordingly. 

  3. Output
    How will people find your experience? How will they know what it does? How will they know how it's different than your competitors? Name your experience, create its visual language, and describe it. Think of how it's advertised in the app store, the subway, etc. This should include a name, applications,  and a single sentance describing your product.


    • Group 1: Jennifer Cai, Xiangyi Deng

    • Group 2: Yifan Kong, Ipshita Krishan

    • Group 3: Joy Mou, Minsoo Park

    • Group 4: Don Park, Ritu Sathwara

    • Group 5: Weilin Qiu, Yutong Wu

    • Group 6: Boqing Zheng, Jinyoung Lee

    • Group 7: Haowen Yu, Yudi Zhang


    A set of topics for use but not limited too:

    • Pollution (ie. IQAir AirVisual)

    • Mental Health (ie. Headspace)

    • Climate Change (ie. Earth Now)

    • Education Inequality (ie exam prep? district locater? 

    • Misinformation, Fake News (ie. Oigetit, Newschecker) 

    • Unsafe Water (ie. Cholora Map) 

    • Food Waste (ie. Carrot, Flashfood) 

    • Income Inequality (ie. mPowering, Atlas of Inequality) 

    • Health Care (ie. Generis) 

    • Crime, Safety (ie. Citizen)