— Research

Improving air quality
Co-designing with doulas
Creating meaningful metrics
Adapting wayfinding

— Design

Fostering slow conversation
Playing in public
Reinventing the library
Designing an exhibit
Branding for levity

— User Experience

Telling the Soofa story
Prototyping an interface

— Art

Making eye contact
Printmaking


About

I’m Gabrielle Clarke. I'm a manager, design researcher, human-centered designer, and engineer from San Diego, California. I graduated from Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts in 2018 with a degree in engineering and a concentration in human-centered design. I love thinking about problems at the system level, and also refining small details.

Last year, I worked as a research and development intern at female-founded smart city sustainable hardware start-up Soofa on user engagement projects throughout the company. I’m currently taking a break from the tech world to explore my love for food and working with people as a restaurant manager at The Crack Shack.

In life, I enjoy traveling and learning new things. I have a particular fondness for Southern California weather, good Mexican food, and rock and roll.

Resume
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Adapting wayfinding

Keywords
user research, built environment, environment and experience design, accessibility, social justice 

As part of a course on the intersections of technology, accessibility, and design, I worked with an occupational therapist and an adaptive technology specialist to suggest ways to help residents of The Boston Home, a residence and assistive care facility for adults with multiple sclerosis and other progressive neurological conditions, navigate the facility in a way that preserves their independence and safety while maintaining a home-like environment.

Our team conducted a design research process, interviewing staff members and residents of The Boston Home to better understand how residents currently navigate The Boston Home, how that experience might be improved, and what kinds of interventions might be appropriate in the context of The Boston Home. Following preliminary interviews, we conducted a literature review of academic and non-academic resources on wayfinding accessibility and interior architecture. We continued to talk with residents and staff members throughout the course of the project to test our thinking.

Throughout this process, we were asking the question “how do residents know where they are and how to get where they want to go over the course of their daily activities?”.

Our project culminated with the production of a whitepaper, “Recommendations for Improving the Wayfinding Experience in The Boston Home,” delivered to our collaborators at The Boston Home and their CEO. The paper:

  1. Frames the problem;
  2. Provides information on prior interventions at The Boston Home;
  3. Outlines our research process;
  4. Details general information about residents of the home and lists three possible resident personas to consider in future design work;
  5. Outlines design principles future interventions should uphold: independence, safety, perceptibility, intuitiveness, and homeyness;
  6. Suggests wayfinding interventions at a variety of pricepoints that focus on learning, remembering, and feeling, as per Eckhard Feddersen’s theories detailed in Lost in Space : Architecture and Dementia;
  7. Provides considerations for future work.



Project details
Design researcher
Spring 2018
Technology, Accessibility, and Design
Olin College of Engineering
Team: William Lu, Isaac Vandor