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


User Experience

Telling the Soofa story

Prototyping an interface


Art

Making eye contact

Printmaking





About

Gabrielle Clarke is a human-centered designer, design researcher, and strategist from San Diego, California. She graduated from Olin College of Engineering in 2018 with a degree in engineering and a concentration in human-centered design. She loves thinking about challenging problems at the system level, and also refining small details.


Resume / Linkedin

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Olin Workshop on the Library Design/Build







Challenge

The Olin College Library was an institutional artifact: it existed because the college needed it to be an accredited program. Despite the large chunk of space it was allotted on Olin’s tiny campus, the library was underutilised, and its resources did not support community members in curricular and extracurricular activities to the greatest extent possible.


Objective

Realign the library's resources with the needs and culture of the Olin community.


Project approach

The library already offered traditional resources, including books, magazines, and online research tools, as well as some non-traditional resources, such as circulating handtools and media equipment.

We focused on transforming the library’s valuable physical space into a more versatile resource for community use.



Opportunities

We identified a lack of diversity in work spaces in the library, and a need for spaces that could accomodate a variety of events.



Interventions

We focused on creating spaces that supported a variety of engagement speeds and atmospheric sound levels, from deep independent focus spaces to small team discussion spaces, communal spaces, and messy hands-on spaces. We renovated and fabricated work surfaces to accomodate these needs, and thought critically about color, light, and sound.

We sourced new seating options and put casters on nearly everything to create a modular space, capable of accomodating both everyday traffic and large cultural events on campus.




We gave the main spaces of the library a unique and energetic character through a refreshed color palette, a full-wall homasote pin board, a mobile and modular planter system, and updates to the library’s branding and wayfinding. 


My workspace for sketching branding for the library, featuring Olin's brand book, notebooks, transfer paper sketches, and plenty of tea.

Jeff fiddles with a projected prototype for a supergraphic.
The final vinyl graphic reads "Circulation Desk."
Room number plaques have been replaced by vinyl stickers on the windows.
I developed adhesive vinyl wayfinding graphics for the library, which morphed into the library’s branding, by adapting elements from the Olin College brand book. 


My role

Our team worked together to ideate and plan out projects. We used Scrum methodologies and operated on a weekly sprint cycle. I was directly responsible for developing supergraphics and branding for the space, and contributed heavily to reorganization and fabrication efforts.


Team member Scott presents his reflections during a weekly retrospective. Our weekly sprint retrospectives were frank and highly constructive.


Results

The result was a dynamic prototype of a library where community members could be a bit loud and get work done alone or with others, but could also retreat to a quiet space. The space is more visited than ever before. It was—and is—a space that is meant to evolve over time and change to suit the needs of the ever-changing Olin community.


The transformed Library at the end of the summer is colorful, with moveable book shelves on casters. The library at the end of the summer design/build featured modular stacks on casters, tool storage on kerf walls, and lots of colorful details.


More details

Keywords: built environment, systems, environment and experience design, graphic and communication design, fabrication

Designer, 06/2015 — 07/2015
Olin Workshop on the Library (OWL)
Olin College of Engineering

Team: Nick Eyre, Jeff Goldenson, Aaron Greiner, Aaron Hoover, Scott Mackinlay, Charlie Mouton, Alex Spies, Logan Sweet

Collaborators: Annie Barrett from BAS, Greg Nemes and Nic Schumann from Work-Shop