Chen Wei

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Chen is an interdisciplinary designer who specializes in industrial and interaction design. She has always had a strong interest in hands-on problem-solving, which led her to pursue a career in design. After switching majors several times during her undergraduate studies, she finally found her passion at the California College of the Arts, where she started creating intricate physical objects, designing intuitive user experiences, and crafting digital interfaces. 

During her time at the University of Washington, Chen had the opportunity to combine her knowledge of industrial and interaction design with psychology, anthropology, and other fields to create more humanistic designs. She also served as a teaching assistant in the School of Art + Art History + Design. For her thesis project, she explored the application of online whiteboard tools in higher design education to optimize the learning experience, efficiency, and outcomes for students with different personalities. 

Chen aspires to use her design skills to bring convenience, make contributions, and even change people’s lifestyles. As a designer, she firmly believes in the power of thoughtful design to impact people’s lives in meaningful ways.

Thesis

Promoting Effective Interaction in Critiques Through Online Tools

Abstract

During the pandemic, design education practitioners were creative in seeking solutions for teaching and learning in online classes. Since then, online whiteboard tools such as Figma and Miro have become popular, even after in-person classes have resumed. This phenomenon drives me to consider whether online whiteboard tools provide people with different personality traits an equal opportunity to participate and whether these online tools could ultimately lead to more effective and closer interactions than traditional critiques.

Committee

Meichun Liu
Audrey Desjardins

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Welcome Note

For this particular graduate class, the years at the UW have been marked by oh so many unforeseen challenges. So much of the all-encompassing and precious experience that graduate school affords was disrupted by forces brought upon all of us during these particular times. I am especially grateful and proud to have watched this cohort rise to meet these extraordinary challenges with creativity, grace and pro-active determination. The successful completion of their degrees has been fulfilled with passion and the thoughtful consideration of the issues, ideas, and experiences that permeate the world we live in.

A sense of completion, achievement, and reflection is palpable in the works brought together in this Graduate Showcase. More so than ever, this journey has not been a solitary endeavor, but rather is made possible by an essential and supportive community that includes fellow students, family, friends, distinguished visitors, staff, and faculty. I especially want to acknowledge the support and mentorship offered by our faculty and staff who are so committed to creating an educational environment where our graduate students are able to thrive.

I want to recognize and thank Shin Yu Pai, Rock Hushka, Stefan Gonzales, Sadaf Sadri, and Heidi Biggs, for their efforts and insights gleaned during their interviews with the Art and Design grads.

Thanks so much for the collective and enthusiastic support of the entire Henry Art Gallery team, with special thanks to Sylvia Wolf, director, along with exhibition designers and preparators Rachel Ann Kessler and Eric Zimmerman. The opportunity for our graduate students to exhibit their thesis work in such a special space is a fitting capstone to their graduate careers.

I hope you enjoy exploring this online showcase where you will discover how each graduate student transformed their ideas, passions, and skills into a body of research that reflects and addresses the opportunities, challenges, wonder, confusion, and joy of the world we all inhabit.

On behalf of the School of Art + Art History + Design, congratulations to the Graduate Class of 2023!

Jamie Walker
Director, School of Art + Art History + Design
Wyckoff Milliman Endowed Chair in Art