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Ailie Fraser UCSD Design Lab

Ailie Fraser Aims to Support People Doing Creative Tasks with Software

“There’s so much helpful content available now, but how can it be understood and consumed by a novice?” asks Ailie Fraser, a PhD graduate, “That’s what I’m interested in answering.” She is a part of a generation of upcoming design innovators, working collaboratively with The Design Lab. Her recently published dissertation aims to support people doing creative tasks with software specifically by leveraging resources generated by experts and bringing them into the context of people's workflows; in order to make them simpler to navigate and understand.

Fraser received her PhD from UCSD in Computer Science this past spring, and is now working full-time as a Research Engineer at Adobe Research. During her PhD, she completed three internships with Adobe Research. During her first internship, she focused on the domain of photo editing in Photoshop and addressed the problems novices experience when they begin to use the application. Due to the plethora of features and tools offered by the service, it can often be overwhelming to those unfamiliar with Photoshop.
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Design Lab Faculty

New Design Lab Faculty Working to Shape the Future of UC San Diego

As a global pioneer in design thinking, research, and invention, The Design Lab prides itself on recruiting the brightest and most innovative minds in the design field. Today, we would like to extend a warm welcome to brand new faculty members Elizabeth Eikey, Haijun Xia, and Edward Wang!

Elizabeth Eikey
From a first-generation undergraduate student at Penn State, then an inquisitive Best Buy employee and finally, to the Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health & The Design Lab at UCSD, Dr. Elizabeth Eikey has an illustrious career. Her research work at The Design Lab focuses on the intersection between technology, mental health, and equity, primarily studying the possible applications for technology in supporting mental health and well-being.

Haijun Xia
After receiving his PhD in Computer Science from University of Toronto, Xia made the move across countries to begin his time as a researcher at UC San Diego. ‘I wanted to work at The Design Lab and UC San Diego, because of the diversity of skill here,’ says the Professor, ‘We are all approaching the many challenging research questions from different angles, which is really important to develop comprehensive solutions.

Edward Wang
When Edward Wang was an undergraduate student at Harvey Mudd, he never expected himself to become a researcher, let alone becoming a professor. It was only after a Professor offered him the chance to help design a course she was planning about biosignal processing, that he began on this path. ‘As I was designing the class over summer, I had to read a bunch of papers,’ he says, ‘I couldn’t stop thinking about how cool all of it was. Especially when it branched out into computer science and how it could be involved in biosignal processes.’
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Ucsd Extension Design Bootcamp

Design Lab and UCSD Extension Team Up for Design Bootcamp

This past July, San Diego high school students embarked on a five-day dive into anthropology and design as part of Design Bootcamp, a collaboration between the UC San Diego Design Lab and UC San Diego Extension.

The class first emerged from the demand for design workshops in San Diego coupled with UC San Diego’s interest in offering classes to pre-collegiate students. “This first Research Scholars ‘Design Bootcamp,’ if you will, is our first prototype,” says Michele Morris, Design Lab Associate Director. “The needs of the University, the expertise of the Design Lab, and the community platforms of UC San Diego’s Extension all came together seamlessly.”

Mayya Azarova, a Design Lab Anthropology PhD candidate, joined the team as the Bootcamp’s inaugural instructor.  Coupling her background in anthropology with design, the team customized an offering focused around ethnography and empathy-building.
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Ucsd Designers In Residence Community Driven

Designers in Residence Support Community-Driven Design Initiatives

In 2019, Grace Reiger and Brian LeDuc uprooted from Washington, DC and set out across the country together for San Diego. They brought them with a wealth of knowledge in community building around design, education and career development. Driven with a mission to spearhead community design initiatives and active communities across San Diego they saw a huge opportunity in bridging their work in Washington, DC with the needs of the San Diego community around service and career design.

"Grace and Brian really exemplify what we strive for in the Design Lab. A community first approach to design - one built on identifying challenges and jointly coming up with tangible solutions with and for those in need of them. We are extremely lucky to have two Designers in Residence on board who embody those principles."

- Michele Morris, Associate Director, Design Lab
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