A Place For Presence | Augusta Lutynski

For this project, ‘place’ describes a personally relatable space. This project began by exploring the creation of place through citizen-driven interventions in public space. In my research, place is a reaction of a moving context; it is constantly evolving within shared space. Despite this, places are often designed as permanent physical infrastructures and are not responsive to evolving spatial conditions. I realized that there is an inherent separation between citizens and public space as they tend to passively rather than actively engage with shared environments. For this reason, the aim of my project was to explore methods of active participation that would foster a sense of place that is responsive, ephemeral, and personally relatable. My research process involved interventions, workshops, and activities that created a temporary experience of place. The pieces draw from my research; synthesizing the spatial explorations I did throughout this project. The final designs express the temporalities of place in public space through personal spatial relations and actions.

Prompt 1:

The picnic blanket is iconic in its facilitation for creating a place for gathering, sitting, and ‘being’ in public space. Its intrinsic ability to create a self-determined place became a tool for me to push the context of experiencing public space to areas typically not considered. The blanket represents a physical and visual site for people to situate themselves in a range of public environments. By slowing down and being present in public areas there is potential to sense existing physical and social characteristics that are otherwise not given much thought. Placing the blanket in a public space might draw attention to qualities such as the texture of the ground, new sounds and smells, or the sight of others nearby. The more time spent in a space, the more one’s awareness and sense of connection become heightened. Bringing this blanket outside the traditional environment of a park invites individuals to slow down and take in spaces that might normally feel transient or distanced. Prompt 1 asks individuals to rest, stay, and be’ in space, encouraging deeper sensory experiences and reflections within a variety of public landscapes.  

– Woven and felted wool

Prompt 2:

Throughout my spatial explorations, markings and tracings became a key mode for expressing movement and temporary happenings within an environment. The traces of car wheels on pavement, debris lines leading to drains, textures of shoes imprinted onto surfaces, and remnants of seeds spread from a cottonwood tree are all examples of expressions of movement and change within public space. While these say something about the context and narratives within a space since they are immediate expressions of life in a shared environment and time, they are also curiously ambiguous and sometimes unknown. This walking wheel leaves a path on the ground as it moves about an environment. As this prompt interacts with the ground it could trail water from a puddle, mud from soil, or indent a pattern in sand. Walking from one place to another, a path is left on various surfaces indicating one’s temporary presence and visually expressing one’s movement through space. Prompt 2 draws attention to the materiality within an environment; the way markings in public space indicate presence and narrate the many paths of movement within that place. 

– Steel and carved elm

Prompt 3:

The sieve facilitates acts of gathering and uncovering materials within public space. The shallow bowl has the relief of various weave textures that naturally guide larger and smaller material particles to separate and sort into the indents and crevices of the sieve. Collecting and sorting is a practice of careful observation; a common activity for individuals to do in nature. One is often drawn to collect and sort materials that personally resonate with them or seem special, such as shells on a beach, rocks from a riverbed, wild flowers from a meadow, or unique sticks and leaves. These practices recognize patterns and processes within nature that produce a specific material quality within an environment. Collected objects like sea glass, leaves, or stones are a reaction of a place, a time, and the unique circumstances that made a material come to be the way it is. In the public realm, the sieve asks engagers to look closer, perhaps to uncover the contents from the bottom of a puddle or from within a sandbox. So often the material occurrences within urban space are not sought or given time; the sieve encourages the practice of finding and reflecting in urban areas. Prompt 3 aims to bring one closer, to question and narrate the unique material processes within a public space. 

– Slip-cast porcelain

Prompt 4:

This prompt came out of a long time practice of public sketching or sketching en plein air, which inspired my use of water to sketch on concrete. When sketching in public space, one is forced to respond to present conditions within a moving environment. For example, decisions must be made such as whether or not to include a biker who is only in the frame for a second or a person sitting who might get up and leave. Sketching with water on concrete removes the size limitations of a piece of paper, thus allowing a fuller embodiment of sketching. The expressions of space that are explored with these vessels allow participants to embody their environment, by gesturing and moving the body with the physicalities of public space. The vessels have various spouts and holes that spill water, leaving lines and markings as the body gestures the movement, angles, curves, and depths of space. Left behind on the ground is an interpretation of a moment that disappears as the water dries. The image left on the ground is not as relevant as the attention to public space that this activity demands. Presence is key in guiding the body to interpret and move in relation to an environment. Prompt 4 focuses on the body, using gesture as a means to embody and mark a moment within space. 

– Slip-cast porcelain

Prompt 5:

This brick press engages thoughts surrounding cycles of existence, permanence, and relevance within public space. A brick is a sturdy, functional, and long-lasting object that traditionally facilitates the building of something permanent and set. In the creation of public space, most representations of place are permanent infrastructures that do not have the capability of changing or responding to an evolving environment. By asking individuals to collect materials that are decomposing, one is prompted to think about the inanimate and animate life cycles around them. Observing the ways an environment is interconnected through constant cycles of life and death, creation and corrosion. Collecting decomposing matter within public space and pressing it into a brick form introduces temporary physical infrastructure that responds to its environment. The brick will degrade in time, and the physicality of a built place will be gone. Public space is in constant change and movement and is therefore never truly still; a place of death for one is a source of life for another. Engaging with materials and thinking about cycles of existence for leaves, beer cans, or sand all say something unique about spatial histories, and possible futures. Prompt 5 draws attention to these physical cycles and addresses the potential for the temporality of place within built space. 

– Steel

Neighbourhood Stroll

everyday spatial relations within a public landscape

Daily observations and experiences from my neighbourhood walk

For ten days I walked the same route in my neighbourhood, noting my experiences along the way. By walking the same path every day, I was able to note changes and similarities within those public spaces. The more I walked my path, the better I came to know the spaces that I moved through; I was able to expect or predict certain occurrences on my route. I came to know which areas were prone to having lots of people, where people might gather, or areas that were high in traffic. I also came to know the areas that were quiet and perhaps off people’s radar, in these spaces I mostly interacted with local people and domestic pets. The walk also presented the rhythms and schedules of my neighbours.

I would often see the same occurrences at the same time and place but on a different day. People using this neighbourhood space had picked routes and areas that they would consistently situate themselves in as I had on these walks. It made me think about the vast range of spaces people relate to based on their activities, routines, location, and needs within public space. People using public space consider their unique needs and choose places that work for them. The social and built constructs within public environments dictate the way an individual will choose to navigate and situate themselves in shared space.

Om for Home | Moni El Batrik

Currently, Moni is further developing the Om for home product and a community sculpture version.

Your curiosity and connection is always welcome.




Professors: Scott Staniland, Keith Doyle, Christian Blyt , Sophie Gaur, Ben Unterman, Aaron Oussoren, Craig Badke

External Advisors: Andrew Pick (Product Designer at Bensen Furniture, Sebastian Lippa (Project Manager of Granville Island 2040), Robyn York (Lighting Consultant at Inform Contract), Ben Leavitt (Founder of Plaidfox), Matthew Chen (Art Director at Bensen Furniture)

Technicians: Logan Mohr (Digital Output Center at ECU), Bobbi Kozinuk (Wearable + Interactive Product Lab), Ian Rhodes (Metal Shop), Tim Rolls (Interaction Design Lab), Morgan Gilbert (3D Printing Production)

+Colleagues from Industrial Design Class of 2020

About the Designer

Mark is an industrial designer experienced in furniture, lighting and consumer product design. Mark always like to take a step out of his comfort zone and explore new opportunities, and he feels very fortunate to be in the design industry for all the new challenges to come. As a designer who loves this industry, Mark aims to be an innovative and considerate designer who can be a positive influence to our society.



aCUE - A Wearable Discomfort Reliever | Ryan Lan

Getting massage during long-distance travels with the tap of a finger

        Ever experienced a long haul flight? A long-distance road trip? Or a whole afternoon sitting in front of a desk? Stuck in the same posture, limited personal space, and reduced blood flow affects your emotion and ruins your day or trip. Even worse, the discomfort may lead to a stiff neck and shoulder soreness that critically impacts one’s health. But how does one gain blood circulation and alleviates his or her pain in a confined space without disturbing others?

        aCUE is a wearable massaging device designed to relieve the upper back pain, shoulder soreness, and neck discomfort for travellers and commuters. The device gives one a neck and shoulder rub in an elegant style without the trouble of interrupting others. Traditionally massaging tools such as massaging guns, pressure rollers, and GuaSha sticks are known to be conspicuous and unsuitable to operate in public space as they attract crowds’ unnecessary attention. Other existed wearable massagers operated with electric pulses are often lacked physical pressuring and have limited effect. Unlike conventional massaging tools, aCUE challenges the experience with automated and mimicked realistic pressuring movements delivered in a wearable and compact fashion.

        aCUE features two high torque motors powering skin-safe silicone massaging bits that resemble human thumbs. They stimulate the small intestine meridian acupoints to alleviate body pain by increasing blood circulation and the flow of Qi. aCUE also comes with built-in heaters on two sides that provide temperature up to 50 degrees celsius around your neck to keep you warm and cozy in an air cabin.

Take a look at the video below to get a better understanding of aCUE


       This design consists of background research in Traditional Chinese acupressure therapies and the benefits in long term remedy of acupoints stimulation. The prototyping process examined various materials and fabrication processes including styrofoam, model plywood, birch, and 3D printing.

        The project includes iterative phases on user-engagement of different forms, the experiments in different materials, and the Arduino computer coding for generating different operating modes.

        aCUE is an aesthetic based product that improves user experience on traditional massaging equipment and makes self-care accessible to travellers.

Receive a shoulder rub without making huge gestures within a limited space inside of a vehicle.

No disturbance just satisfaction.

One fits more

        aCUE uses an adjustable neckband to accommodate different body types. The neckband is made out of PETG that allows strong flexibility and durability under pressure. Simply put it on one’s neck and pull the two sides to adjust neckbands. Once the massage bits pressure against the acupoints between neck and shoulders, then press the vibrant coloured button to power on and the monotoned button to switch between modes.

Attractive LEDs that welcome you aboard

        On the top surface of the right side are two LED indicators that allow one to easily figure out between warming and massaging operating modes.

        The Type-C USB charging port is located on the tip of the left side which makes it possible to charge and use it at the same time. The two LEDs on the left side will warn the user when the battery runs out.

Keeping the interface simple

        Only keeping the essentials. The two-button design made the body of the device simple and aesthetically pleasing. The vibrant coloured power button contrasts with the monotone operating button that invites one to try and experience the massager.

aCUE comes in three colours to match one's outfit

Ryan Lan

        Ryan Hsia Lan is a designer and a maker. His work situates within a range of industrial design, everyday objects, furniture, and digital fabrication.


        As an industrial designer, he dedicates in finding a balance between forms and functions. His practice focuses on discovering the deeper needs and using design tools as the medium to deliver hidden opportunities within products. 

Flowtopia | Helen Hai



F        L        O        W        T        O        P        I        A.

A handheld meditation and relaxation aid for pre-bedtime that invites the user to focus his/her breathing on gentle waves of

inflation and deflation in the palm of their hand to adjust their breathing with selected rhythm to achieve a good nights rest.

Wants to Change

‘‘I sleep with my cell phone under my pillow or some-times next to my face with the ringer on...I know it’s bad, I want to change, but it’s hard, it’s like a vicious cycle” Age 28


“I use the app Headspace for sleep meditation, it does help me to fall asleep faster, but I found the audio instruction can be disturbing sometimes that can make me think too much.” Age25

What is your Pre-bed Routine?

More than 60 percent of adults say their sleep needs are not being fully met during the week.

Phone User

“It just became my sleeping routine to use a smartphone over an hour before bed every night, and it gets me anxious...’’ Age23

Hard to stay focused

“ Sometimes I spend a few moments to reflect on my day and prepare it for this processing of sleep, but I get distracted easily, It's hard to stay focused’’ Age33

Breathe +  Sleep'

=  Flowtopia.

We spend approximately a third of our lives sleeping. Sleep is critical to our health. Unfortunately, research indicates that more than 60% of adults’ sleep needs are not being fully met. Being personally subject to the effects of sleep deprivation, I found that, Often, the key to a restful night’s sleep is breathing consciously. The focus on inhalation and exhalation centers us in the present moment and keeps us away from distractions.  Rather than reaching for addictive medication, breathing is a much more effective and proven method to naturally induce sleep.

‘‘Holding Action’’

Holding something to sleep has been ingrained into us during childhood. Parents often introduce teddy bears or blankets to babies as a way of transitioning them into being alone at night that makes a child feel they are still safe with their parent. Therefore, by holding an object can remind us of the sensation of being soothed.

Core Value

Completing a sleep preparation with the assistance of the Flowtopia product is a change from the way people have traditionally been doing for pre-bed activities, it may produce behaviour changes. It also suggests to us how we can build a reciprocal relationship along with the technology, to navigate us to live in the era of media fragmentation.

About the Designer | Helen Hai

Helen’s work field varies from traditional product development to UX/UI design, with close attention to detail and an intuitive approach to the sensorial engagement in the digital age while designing with ethics at the core of every decision.

More Than Chess | Yongyi Huang

by Yongyi Huang



This is an intellectual and creative board game designed to enhance the bonding between parents and children. The game (1-4 players) has two playing modes: stacking, which encourages the use of imagination, and chess, which focuses on strategy.

chess set

Stacking game

Chess game


As an Industrial Design student, I explore different materials in woodworking, how people interact with products and the emotional needs of users. I enjoy the process of designing products because I can always learn from the trials and errors.

Date Yourself | A Lighting System for Solo Dining Restaurant | Eve Suen


On the road of life, everyone is a lonely traveler. But on this lonely road, we will always need time to recharge and get our sustenance

Eating well could be the best and simplest way of healing one’s bio-physical and emotional state. While being strained by the vagaries of daily working life, we can satisfy ourselves by eating; through tickling our taste buds, it can be a great joy. Enjoying eating should be given more attention because, often, it determines our mood.

We can enjoy the services and delicious food of a well-designed restaurant with little waiting time. Eating in a restaurant can not only satisfy our appetite but also save us significant time and energy in our fast-paced world.


But why do singles avoid dining out on their own?

When people want to stay alone at home, delivering meals is often the chosen solution. Singles may be self-conscious and they may not want to be seen as “lonely” or, alternately, they could be leery of being in close proximity with others.

How could a public setting become comfortable enough for singles to have their own space? At the same time, how do you leave it open so individuals do not have to cut themselves off from the social world altogether?

Encouraging people to go to public space and eat alone is the first small step. Then, the intention is to redefine the dining experience of a one-person restaurant by creating a more elegant, engaging, and playful sensory experience.


The challenge is to create a lighting design for a comfortable and safe personal eating space in public. It can be applied to any solo dining restaurant for a higher standard of a creative dining experience.

Concept: Remodelling the Experience and the Environment

Date Yourself is a lighting system that includes a set of lights and symbols used for customers. It is designed to be used in a solo dining restaurant; the customer will engage with their individual light through a chosen symbol while entering. It offers a unique experience for dining alone, but also includes an experience that remodels the solo dining experience. It does this, first, by making solo dining more casual, which is fostered by an open environment that caters to the solo time.

Casting Runes: Pick A Stone!

Before entering the restaurant, customers need to first select a symbol with a table number on it as they choose their seats.

Three types of symbols are designed for customers to choose their preferred one. By selecting a coaster that activates the lights, a corresponding individual light can be chosen as your meal pairing, and you can dine together. So, you actively design your dining experience.

Each of the forms is the mini-version of a light that is being displayed on each table. The forms are inspired by the variety of minerals/rocks in nature that are then channeled to suit the urban environment. Elemental materials like stone, marble, and scented wood are used to evoke different symbolic qualities and environments, which the customers choose to fit their personal tastes.

My Underlying Philosophy and Motivations

As our social existence as humans evolves, along with technology, and urban living, it is indispensable that industrial design keeps ahead of the curve, up to date, and engages with the new social, technological, and urban developments. Date Yourself came from thinking about how my industrial design practice can progress with the new world. Then, I wondered how it could also help, assist, and/or cater to a neglected demographic of people; from there, I began to ponder about myself, my classmates, and my friends, realizing that the majority were singles, living and dining on their own for the most part. I also mused about what the consequences were of this atomized form of living, and that led me to social atomism and the theory of anomie. Then, I imagined how rethinking and redesigning an environment would better suit the unique needs and desires of this burgeoning demographic.

It is being designed with them in mind.

My Website: www.evesuen.com | click me! -->

Eve Suen | INDD 2020

Hi, I’m Eve.

I graduated from Emily Carr University in May 2020. I currently reside in Vancouver, BC.

People’s behaviors can be influenced by their relationships with objects. As a product designer, I am convinced that we can have a profound influence on renegotiating and questioning the relationships between people and the current environment. We are able to try to break down the existing structures and habits and elevate people’s current lifestyle to a level where most people would choose to adapt accordingly because one of the excellent aspects of product design is that it can initiate the communication between people and objects.

(re)valued | Ash S Logan

This project approaches the wicked problem associated with the clothing and textile industry by exploring a generative material practice using regional fibres and multiple textile production techniques. Each artefact is a representation of their process, carrying an embedded vernacular. The series of artefacts are designed to provoke conversation around our values, the material economy, connection and to encourage a new urban mythology. 

The coat’s design is a representation of the process, every aspect carefully crafted from sketch to fibre processing, picking, cleaning, carding and felting, to pattern drafting and sewing. The transparency of it’s story is seen, smelled and felt through the materials that have been produced and designed.

Lined with silk and sewn using silk thread, the coat is designed to be composted for end of life. 

The form allows for an openness in accessibility. Aesthetically inspired by Japanese fashion with an androgynous approach.

The tote-back is a versatile bag designed for daily use. Using regional fibres, the bag communicates a deep connection to the land while maintaining a polished look with ease in its functionality. The bag can be worn off the shoulder as well as a backpack. 

The bag is designed for end of life using linen fabric for the lining and handles, fastening the ends of the handles with leather and sewn together using silk thread. 

It’s clean, simple aesthetic allows it to be used in any scenario. 

The pouf is home seating furniture, quality made for comfort. The woven and felted fabric offers a unique yet subtle aesthetic. The regional wool creates a soft and comforting experience. 

Sewn together using yarn made from the same fibre and stuffed with straw, the pouf is designed for end of life.

The story of textiles told by fast fashion, has become reduced to a disposable commodity. Over the last century we have lost our traditions, our connection, and our stories associated with our most intimate artefacts, textiles.

We no longer know where our textiles are grown or the farmers that produced them. We don’t know who cleaned the fibres and spun the yarn. We don’t know where or how the yarn was knit or woven. We don’t know where that fabric was sent to be dyed or what the dyes are made of. We don’t know who cut the fabric, tracing the designer’s pattern. We don’t know in what country, in what factory, by what person our clothes have been constructed and sewn.    

The work is vast to create textile products. And it’s done all over the world, touched by many hands. This disconnection created from the current growth logic economy has allowed for exploitation and environmental destruction to control the textile industry.

From a local context there’s an opportunity to change the story. By scaling down and using regenerative farming practices and regional fibres we can start to build healthy soil and holistic ecosystems that can mitigate the effects of the climate crisis by sequestering carbon to put back into the soil.

By knowing the community of people that make textiles possible, we can start to form relationships to help our local industry thrive. A local industry can make a healthy local economy with meaningful work opportunities, building community resilience.

The material used in the series of objects has an embedded vernacular. It speaks of the land from which it grew and the hands that have touched it. The wool’s connection to the land can be felt, seen and smelled. The material has a long life to live but will some day return to the land from which it came, becoming a part of nature once more.

The sheep’s wool speaks of nature’s capacity to give generously and also it’s need for protection and care. This material urges us to live within the bounds of natural cycles and in return offers warmth, comfort and abundance.

The material is asking us to think of textiles in a new way, to gain a deeper understanding and respect for a resource that is often taken for granted. By understanding the work that goes into creating textiles the more likely we will value this precious resource.

Ash S Logan Bio

Ash Logan is situated on the unceded land of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, as a multidisciplinary artist and designer. Her work tackles issues regarding environmental sustainability and social responsibility, using tools such as storytelling and localization to create sentiment and explore solutions to complex problems.
Her design practice consists of multiple material interventions using textiles, woodworking, digital technology, and CAD. She demonstrates strong abilities in design research, ideation, iteration, refined prototypes and technical specifications. She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Design from Emily Carr University of Art & Design focused in Industrial Design.

Link to online portfolio: ashsdesign.webflow.io/

found! | Sofia Pickstone

found! is a performative practice of re-framing discarded artifacts. it celebrates the potential in unwanted and forgotten things, and challenges our notions of disposability.

please visit:




by Sofia Pickstone