The School of Design at the 2024 Core77 Design Awards

Students mapping out a design on a whiteboard

The School of Design is proud to announce the student projects that were featured at the 2024 Core77 Design Awards. Recognizing excellence in all areas of design enterprise, the Core77 Design Awards, now in its 12th year, celebrates "the richness of the design profession as well as the insight and perseverance of its practitioners." The Core77 Design Awards offers both students and professionals the opportunity to promote their best work on a global scale across 22 distinct design disciplines.

CODI, a Conversational User Interface (CUI), was named a "Student Award Winner" in the Apps & Platforms category. Designed by master's students Albert Zhang (MDes '25), Annie Heyward (MPS '24), Jo Jiang (MDes '25), Revati Naniwadekar (MDes '25), and Riley Ren (MDes '25), CODI is designed to enhance Home Depot's customer experience, especially DIYers, by aiding in home improvement projects. 

A woman looking at a pipe under a sink

The essence of CODI lies in its ability to transform Home Depot's vast repository of DIY guides and manuals into an easily accessible, context-rich resource through a smart virtual assistant. This CUI feature is a game-changer, providing users with hands-on guidance in home repair and improvement tasks. Another core aspect of CODI is the integration of Home Depot's existing functionalities with various emerging technologies, such as natural language processing, context awareness, image recognition and analysis, and AR navigation. This integration allows users to conveniently perform a range of tasks within a conversation, including preparing for home improvement, customizing shopping lists, making payments, managing projects, and watch tutorials, etc.

A smart phone taking a picture of a pipe under a sink

CODI envisions an ecosystem where both customer and employee interactions are streamlined through virtual assistance, promising increased efficiency and satisfaction. This innovation not only elevates the user experience but also sets a new benchmark in the application of CUIs in the retail sector. 

A woman being guided through a Home Depot with a smartphone

Recent alumna Jiyeon Chun (BDes '24) was also cited for two of her projects at the 2024 Core77 Design Awards.

Pigeon, a new kind of fax machine designed to bridge the gap between preferred methods of communication for the elderly and their loved ones, was named highlighted as a "Student Notable" in the Consumer Technology category and a "Student Runner Up" in the Interaction category of the Core77 Design Awards.

Pigeon acts as a portal between the physical and digital world, allowing the elderly to fax handwritten notes to the loved one, who receive them through an app, and vice versa. 

Pigeon fax machine

The project was inspired by Chun's grandmother, who lives alone in South Korea. Chun and her family had trouble getting in touch with her because of her lack of comfort with digital technology.

Instead of "How can we teach the elderly to adapt to our technology?", Chun wanted to ask the question, "How can we leverage technology to meet the elderly in a way that's comfortable for them?"

This led to Chun's idea for a new kind of fax machine that could "teleport" material across the analog and digital worlds.

The details of the Pigeon fax machine

Arc, a new kind of overhead projector that enables kids to co-create stories and worlds, was another product of Chun's that was named a "Student Runner Up" in the Interaction category. the device aims to help all kids feel a greater sense of belonging by lowering barriers for co-creating and engaging a shared sense of wonder. 

A prototype for an overhead projector

A circular form affords everyone around the object equal agency to create an image together, with the outer perimeter being understood as "ground" and the middle of the circle "sky." Instead of a flat lens that projects an image onto the wall (like a regular analog overhead projector), this one uses a spherical lens to map the circular image all around the ceiling and upper walls of the room. The result is a projected environment directly immersing users in the world they are creating together at their fingertips, in real time.

Inspired by the magic of analog light projections and the way they bring the people in a room together. This interaction is about fostering a sense of belonging that transcends words, cultures, and backgrounds.

A room filled with an overhead projection

A spherical lens projects the circular image across the ceiling and walls of the room, immersing users into the image they're building together in real-time.

Intended to be facilitated by a teacher or similar figure, there are options to change the color and brightness of the light, expanding storytelling capabilities. The "stage" can also rotate at an adjustable speed, affectively animating the created image to spin overhead. 

The School of Design wants to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Albert, Annie, Jo, Revati, Riley, Jiyeon and all of our students and alumni who participated in this year's Core77 Design Awards.