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Design Projects

by Jessica Healey

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Design and Modeling While at the Institute for Experiential Robotics

Jan-June 2022

     During my time at the IER, I improved my CAD skills: from earning my CSWA to designing many different parts for various robotics projects. As seen on the left, I carried out my biomimetic design of a stingray shaped robot from CAD models to an actual model. 

     I also experimented with more sustainable materials such as cork. I learned what coat and machining practices worked best for the stock I had received, and passed that knowledge to the lab to be used in more projects. 

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Website for Repurposing Plastic

December 2021

     In this project, I conceptualized a website that shows users how to/encourages them to repurpose their plastic. This website was coded in HTML.

     Use the 'Presentation' button below to open my presentation on the website and see the link to go to the website yourself on the 6th slide. The website displays many different ways in which people are repurposing plastic. It tells users how to repurpose water bottles in their own homes as well. Questions throughout the site encourage users to think about their plastic use and come up with creative solutions. A blog page encourages users to share those creations with others and get inspired.


Design for NU Science

Fall 2021

     In Fall of 2021 I got the opportunity to design a page for Northeastern's Science Magazine that I wrote!

     The illustrations alongside the text design were fun to create.


Campus Greenspace Design Intervention

Fall 2021

         In this project, I was assigned a public greenspace on campus to design a public intervention for. We researched the area, gathering the foot traffic patterns and anecdotes from people passing through. 

         We decided that this area was a very busy spot for students to rush to class through, and thought that an installation that brought them closer to other students was needed. This is one of my favorite projects I've worked on! Watch the video to the right to see some interactions with our installation. 

         People's faces lit up when contributing to the notes and taking their own. We went through two iterations, cardboard at first, and then laser cut wood. 



Product for the Future

Fall 2021

     When asked to create a product for the future, I delved into critical design. I was inspired by designs such as installations that warned humans about pollution. I had just researched bioluminescence for the NU Science Magazine page shown earlier. 

      Therefore, I created a product for civilizations that moved to underwater communities in the future since Earth's resources are depleting. I turned to bioluminescence as a source of light, and conceived a product that would create a experience that reminded those living underwater of nature on Earth (i.e. the sun's cycle and taking care of the creatures that produce bioluminescence). Two iterations of a paper model were created, and then I made a 3D model in SolidWorks, playing with color and textures.


Alarm Rug Product

Spring 2021

      Conceptualized, designed, and constructed an alarm that you have to step on in the morning to turn off. Utilized towel fabric, tape, cardboard, and Arduino (components and coding). 

       Waking up in the morning is difficult without the right product that fits your needs. Existing solutions can leave us sleepy and tired. Similar rug alarms are an inspiration, however we aimed to form a product that has a strong app connection. The product would require a certain weight on the feet so that it knows you're actually standing on it. Current rug products can be expensive; this product would be less costly.

        (Mock-up created by me, entire project - including connected app design - made with a team, as shown in presentation.)

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LED Painting of Boston

Summer 2021

         Using acrylic paint, Arduino code, and a circuit built with Arduino red and bread boards, this LED painting was created. I missed my Boston dorm view and friends; I coded the lights to turn on at night before they went to bed, turn off when they did go to bed, and turn back on in the morning when they woke up. I asked them for these times and inputted them into the code, however a more interactive version could include an updated code where people can input their times.

         The video to the left shows the display mode where the lights blink on and off at varying times. 

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STEM Outreach Website

Spring 2021

            Interactive design for a STEM Outreach website done in Adobe XD. Many teenagers face the stressful task of figuring out what they want to study in college or find a career in. Exposure to STEM is limited for most high schools, and many students don't know enough details about the field to consider it. With this project, I aimed to expose high school students to the main aspects of different types of engineering and create an engaging experience for them to learn how the field operates. Unlike existing precedents, I aimed to create a prototype for something that addresses all types of engineering, promotes inclusivity, and targets high schoolers.

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Irish History Illustrations

Fall 2020

            I took a course about the history of Ireland in Fall of 2020 and completed illustrations as part of a final project about the Troubles - an important period of conflict in Ireland. I continued these designs after the course, shown to the right, by cutting up the past illustrations and creating new works with them.

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Restaurant/Workplace Paintings

Summer 2019-2021

     At each restaurant I've worked at, I've made them an original painting of the space I ran through every day. I loved these designs and had so much fun painting them. The left is from my job in Newport, RI (in which I had all my fellow employees sign the back), and the right is from a summer in my hometown NY. My boss loved knitting so for this piece I tried something new by sewing thread into it.


Text Design

Spring 2021

            Used Adobe Illustrator to create an idea map. The information from a podcast about the Fraktur typeface was condensed into a simple readable diagram.


Daily Dog Illustrations

Fall 2020

            I generated a social media story that I got my friends to follow freshman year while missing my dog, and created an illustration involving her every day. The quick illustrations counted how many days I'd been away from home. Here are a few of them that showcase my travels around the city.

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