— 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.

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Playing in public

Keywords
built environment, critical design, installation and pop-up, art

This project explores what it means to witness someone: to be present for and open to someone, acknowledging their being and/or their words. Following the November 2016 Presidential election, it became very clear to me that the people of this country were and are struggling to hear and understand each other's opinions and beliefs. People across the political spectrum felt unheard, disrespected, and even victimized during this election.

My collaborator and I set out to encourage conversation and understanding between, or even just acknowlegement of, strangers. We built wooden seesaws and installed them guerrilla-style in Boston Common. The seesaw provides a platform for communication via a mutually-understood game of raising and lowering, of finding balance and establishing trust.


Giving permission to play

Our seesaw, when installed in a public space, invites passers-by to recall childhood memories and play.




Prompting use

We labeled the ends of our seesaw "stranger 1" and "stranger 2," nodding to the lexicon of children's literature and inviting folks to play with a stranger.




Getting people face-to-face

The seesaw places two people face-to-face and engages them in a mutually understood game of balance and teamwork, while allowing them to see and talk to each other.




Engaging a diverse crowd

When left alone, our seesaw attracted the interest of a wide variety of passers-by: a pair of Mormon missionaries, a group of Haitian immigrants, a trans* woman, some college students, some children, and a shaman. We saw people engage with strangers that they might have otherwise ignored, and we ourselves made some new friends.



Project details