• MFA in Design

  • Alingo Loh
    Jason Harrow
    Shayna Proctor
    Treanndis Hurst

  • Allison Leach - CCA Graduate Thesis Events

    Allison Leach

    Cognitive Design for Productivity: Spring Review Posters
    Cognitive Design for Productivity: ImPulse Bracelet Experiment
    Cognitive Design: Fall Research and Experiments
    Natural Navigation: Design Research
    spark! Culture Cave
    Express Yourself Education
    Marco Polo Game Research and Design

    Cognitive Design for Productivity: Spring Review Posters

    2013 // A set of posters I designed to present my mid-term thesis research and experiments.

    Cognitive Design for Productivity: ImPulse Bracelet Experiment

    2013 // ImPulse is a bracelet that delivers electronic pulses to increase mindfulness and ward off impulsive behaviors, keeping you on track of your long-term goals. Here is an overview of ImPulse's experiment conditions and product design.

    Cognitive Design: Fall Research and Experiments

    2012 // A presentation of my fall research and experiments in cognitive design.

    Natural Navigation: Design Research

    2011 // A slideshow of final insights for a design research project co-created with classmates Janette Song, Bill Rihn, and Lisa Woods. We were presented with the task of investigating how people navigate using cues from the natural world. Acting as the research firm Calicocho with Garmin as our prospective client, we spent the semester conducting in-depth studies on navigation, interviewing both GPS users and abstainers.

    spark! Culture Cave

    2012 // A detailed business plan for a start-up company co-created with classmates Aysegul Kacar, Lisa Woods, and Shalini Sardana. Our business, called spark!, is a manufacturer of a children’s cultural education product called Culture Cave.

    Express Yourself Education

    2012 // Working with Interaction Theory classmates Kelly Green and Shayna Proctor, I helped to develop a concept for a start-up that promotes social education for high school students called Express Yourself. Express Yourself is a curriculum designed for twelve to sixteen-year-old girls who would benefit from guidance to feel more confident as they grow up.

    Marco Polo Game Research and Design

    2012 // Monsieur Polo is a modern twist on the traditional folk game Marco Polo. In a presentation for my 3D Interaction class, I crafted a detailed vision of what form this game might take.

    spark! Culture Cave Video

    Cognitive Design for Productivity: Spring Review Posters thumbnail
    Cognitive Design for Productivity: ImPulse Bracelet Experiment thumbnail
    Cognitive Design: Fall Research and Experiments thumbnail
    Natural Navigation: Design Research thumbnail
    spark! Culture Cave thumbnail
    Express Yourself Education thumbnail
    Marco Polo Game Research and Design thumbnail
    spark! Culture Cave Video thumbnail

    allisonvleach@gmail.com

    www.allisonvleach.com

    Thesis Abstract

    Cognitive Design for Productivity:

    In a world of infinite distractions and temptations, how might designers leverage recent findings in cognitive science to create artifacts that preserve willpower and facilitate productivity for improved well-being?

    Informed by the wisdom of willpower experts such as Kelly McGonigal and Roy F. Baumeister, as well as the latest insights from psychology, economics, and neuroscience, my thesis intends to demonstrate the value of cognitive design to designers and non-designers alike. Cognitive design translates findings from cognitive science into design opportunities, and has the potential to create significant personal transformation for its users.

    Rather than a traditional study of design’s visual and physical form, my thesis concerns design’s conceptual structure and intangible influence, with an emphasis on the user’s internal experience.

    Each of my design probes exploits scientific knowledge on willpower and productivity to test cognitive science’s possible applications in products for personal productivity. For example, how might outsourcing trivial decisions to a network preserve willpower, saving it for more important tasks? Can electronic pulses on a bracelet instill mindfulness of one’s long-term goals and ward off impulsive behaviors? Ultimately, the findings of my design experiments are presented in a series of recommendations to encourage future cognitive designers.