— 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


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.


Environments Workshop: The Machine Shop

systems, environment and experience design, graphic and communication design, fabrication

Our team aimed to make the Olin Machine Shop a more accessible space to the community. The Shop was created to support our mechanical engineering program, but was not as open to student involvement or integrated into the curriculum as thoroughly as desired. We made material stock and hardware available to students through academic funding, improved displays of machine capabilities, made Shop staff and student workers more visible, and opened lines of sight into the shop.

Highlighting people & capabilities

In response to outdated display cases for the shop and non-mechanical engineering students' hesitancy to participate in shop activities, the new entrance to the machine shop showcases tool capabilities (everything was fabricated using tools in the shop) and machine shop staff and student instructors. The display emphasizes the availability of the shop's resources.

Finding (temporary) space

Space on Olin's small campus is a valuable resource. Work from the machine shop was already spilling out into the hallway, so we formalized that overflow via modular work pods, complete with moveable whiteboards and storage racks. Everything in the hallway can be nested together and tucked away when the space is used for events.

Designing a brand

As part of the project, I designed a set of icons for use throughout the space. The initial plan for this set of icons was to craft our own versions of the serious icons commonly used for safety signage, but we soon realized that the shop culture lacked levity, and its seriousness deterred non-mechanical engineering students from becoming involved in shop activities. We instead opted for a friendlier set of icons derived from the concept sketches I had made, and expanded the set of icons as we worked.

Creating clarity

Though all entrances to the shop have glass doors, redundant safety signage cluttered lines of sight into the shop, making the environment not only uninviting but unsafe. We moved more cohesive safety signage to walls adjacent to doors, opening lines of sight and increasing accessibility to the shop.

Project details

Moody Innovation Fellow, Designer
Summer 2016
Olin College of Engineering
Team: Jeff Goldenson, Aaron Hoover, Jonathon Jacobs, Sean Lowen