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Kaustav Das
Olympics Ping-Pong Table (Fall 2016) . 3
Interlocking Table (Summer 2015) ... 8
Bakery Ethnographic Study (Spring 2016) .. 11
The Arts for Change Project (Spring 2016) 13
SECure Bandage (Spring 2017) ... 16
Stratoliner (Spring 2015) 21
Classroom Chair (Summer 2016) .. 25
Micro-Car Interior (Fall 2016) ... 26
Free-Form Modeling (Spring 2017) . 29
PIU Transportation System (Spring 2017) . 31
GTMS Racecar Intake Restrictor (Fall 2015) . 32
TATA Communications F1 Connectivity Challenge 1 (Summer 2017) .... 34
Race Circuit Map Design (Spring 2016) . 36
The Drive-Thru Contest (Spring 2016) . 37
Star Wars Machine Contest (Fall 2015) 39
Design Fixation (Spring 2017) . 43
Ideal Football Helmet (Fall 2015) ... 45
Rock-Climbing Yoyo (Spring 2015) 46
Stapler Operation (Summer 2016) . 48
Camera Design Critique (Fall 2016) .. 49
Relationship with Technology (Fall 2014) .. 50
Counter-Top Population Stereotypes (Fall 2016) . 51
Basic Shape Constructions (Spring 2015) ... 53
The Revenge Cube (Fall 2014) ... 59

Locker Room Bench Travel Hammock Japanese Joinery BBQ Pit Seating Ice Sculpting


The first step in furniture design involved

involved brainstorming
brainstorming inspiration inspiration
points for a
points After
piece. for a piece.
three weeks,
After three
I wasweeks,
able I
was abledown
narrow narrow fromdown
five from
options5 options
to Japanese
Japanese joinery.
I thought
I thought
it it
would be a puzzle piece, but then I
refocused it and
into incorporated
joints into building a ping-pong
ping pong table for
the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

The inspiration points for the basara

joint, listed below, are represented by
the poster on the right:
o Ancient nature of Japanese
concept captures historic essence
of Olympic Games traditions like
lighting the torch
o Originated from samurai mentality
of Bushido, with the one-on-one
fighting spirit mirroring the battle
in table tennis
o Japanese attitude towards
craftsmanship focusing on pursuit
of perfection reflects the Olympic
o The interlocking of joints
symbolizes harmony of nations, as
do the Olympic Rings


Securing Cuts in joint


X-base with V-frame side

lap joint

3 support beams 4 support beams

Top surface joint

Split support beam

The sketching also included
deliberating myriad
engineering designs for the
base of the table, fitting
Japanese joinery to the top
and mid-level support
areas. I drew inspiration
from roofing assemblies of
Japanese torii (gates found
in several shrines) to arrive
at my final design after 4

The side of the
table resembles
the Japanese
character for
sun, which is
used to light the
Olympic torch.
The sun is also Sun
a symbol of the
Japanese torii Japanese flag.

Once the final design was
deciphered, the biggest
challenge in prototyping was
selecting the correct type of
wood. Since resin-treated
wood would not yield good
finishing from a saw, I used
poplar solid wood to
construct the base, chiseling
out most of the joints. I used
medium density fiberboard for
PROTOTYPING the top and spray-painted it.


I first learnt about the basara joints from an

internship in Singapore in 2015, where I worked
with a team on assembling a table using joints
derived from traditional Japanese wood joinery.
My job was to make parametric models (sketches
and CAD) of part segments with joints, so the
team could perform stress-strain tests on various
parameters and determine the optimum
dimensions to use in the table legs and beams.


Curved joints were tested on curved parts to observe the motion of interlocking, and then tried out
on linear parts to make a comparison with stress-strain results of linear parts with straight joints

The future goals of the
parametric study of joints:
o Optimizing stiffness of
interlocking joints
o Expand on geometric
designs of joints

Since the designers and architects on the

team worked on Rhino, where they could
not carry out parametric modeling, I had to
document animations and videos of how to
change the parameters on Solidworks. They
Torsional analysis Tensile stress included radius of curvature of joint,
on Abaqus analysis thickness of part, tolerance, and interference
detection among others. This enabled them
to continue with testing different parts for
DOCUMENTING the table after my internship concluded.


OBSERVING Documenting ones observations is a crucial

design research method. Apart from making
notes and quick sketches, my team
conducted interviews, and I captured photos
Main insights at Douceur de France: and films of activities during a moccasin
o Task flexibility leads to success ethnographic study. We carried out the
o Recipe and equipment simplicity allows for study at a French bakery- Douceur de
perfection France- in Marietta, Georgia, focusing on
o Products made from scratch drawing insights into the working life culture
o Family feeling overcomes language barriers and hierarchy in the kitchen.

In order to convey our findings about what
makes the French bakery successful, my team
and I had to prioritize which insights to focus
on. We highlighted these main points through
a cohesive 8-minute video of interviews with
the bakerys employees and snippets of the
bakery. In order to complement the
multimedia, we created a moodboard of
pictures that portrays the sense of family and
belonging in Douceur de France.


When using a film to convey our story about Georgia

Ensemble Theater (GET) in Roswell, Georgia, I realized
that I had to cover a spectrum of film shots, from close-
ups to pans, so that my team and I had a pool of videos
to stitch together into a concise 5-minute clip. Running
through the clips of interviews with the theater
directors, managers, and visitors, allowed us to draw up
high-level need frameworks for the user groups.


o Importance of compactness of crowd
Is the glass
half-full or and unity with theater stage
half-empty? o Dearth of young audience, but lower in
What hurdles do need hierarchy than having own space
you face in reaching
out to non-buyers? Imperatives:
What range of non-buyers
do you want to attract to o Flexibility-usability tradeoff: old vs
increase profits? young, subscriptions vs single tickets
How much do the peroformers o Performance load: a bigger theater
have a say in what kind of show is
means full house is harder to achieve

Do the spectators engage themselves in

any other activity pre-show or post-

What are the different types of shows

performed? What proportion targets the

What is the theatre's target audience? Has there been

consideration to expand this number?

When was the theatre founded? How long have you worked
here? What have been the major milestones and obstacles
during your time here?

Empathize Define Ideate Prototype Test

In addition to presenting insights like for the
bakery study, my team and I used our
frameworks to derive potential solutions to
mitigate problems like audience viewership
and feedback retrieval. To uncover our
solutions creatively, I drew from a term
magic pill used by the director in the video
to mock up a physical large-scale pill that
revealed the solutions when opened.

Solutions: SOLVING
o Conservatory in
schools to encourage
youth to participate in
o Monthly or weekly
discounts for frequent
o Shuttle service from
schools to theater
o Theater correspondent
on TV and other media


Problem statement: Develop a smart bandage that makes use of flexible printed circuits to electrically
stimulate blood flow to chronic wounds for diabetes patients who is experiencing difficulties in healing

Function tree

Finding a solution to healing for diabetes patients proved a lot more challenging than for GET,
with more ideating and testing. To start prototyping the bandage, my team first conducted market
and patent research to develop the criterion for material and equipment selection. Based on
preliminary specifications and cost analysis, we reviewed several vendors before ordering our
Kapton material and silver ink for printing the flexible circuits on the Kapton bandage. Using the
material properties of Kapton and silver ink, I performed finite element analyses on CAD models
of bandage prototypes of different sizes to test compatibility on various parts on the human body.

Key specifications


The mid-term poster I made represented preliminary ideas along with the market research and circuit
framework. After ideating design concepts with my teammates, my primary role was to make drawings
and renderings of our design implementation to communicate how the user would use and interact
with the smart bandage. This also required me to articulate the cover design of the box of bandages
that would potentially be sold in the market, for example in CVS. We then evaluated our design
concepts using data from printed circuit board testing and biocompatibility of silver ink from bacterial
inhibition zones on a petri dish to meet OSHA and FDA standards.

Printed circuit board


My team and I initially focused on making a customizable bandage for users to cut out a size
that fits the size of a given wound. But we later concluded the functioning of the bandage
circuit constituted greater importance, so altered the design to a simpler version consisting of
the electrical components and stimulating nodes in one wholesome design. I then designed
our final poster of our process and prototype, shown below.


The world is striving to implement solutions to bigger problems namely pollution and global warming;
Lockheed Martins concept of a hydrogen-based airplane, Stratoliner, is potentially a major
breakthrough. When my team decided to produce a concept CAD version of the plane, we first had to
delegate parts of the plane to each person. I first made sketches to obtain a satisfactory design, and then
proceeded to develop CAD models of my parts, which were windows, doors, exhaust, and a mini-bar.

CAD work-arounds:
o Doors and
windows were
surfaced since the
planes body is
o The exhaust was
lined up with the
rear tip of the
o 2 mini-bars were
installed at the
middle of the


To make sure the individual parts all fitted together into a seamless whole body, all members
of the team needed to communicate dimensions with each other so that everything was in
the same scale. Once we modeled the fuselage, the seat size and space were determined
with a suitable capacity in mind, and the rest of the parts like mini-bar, restrooms, cockpit,
and landing gear were mated and saved into one assembly file. The floor and mid-plane were
the main reference planes used in placing the parts inside the plane.

I had to consider again the relative

dimensions of the human when designing
the sketch of a classroom chair for
children. For both orthographics and
isometrics, I used tracing paper to make
iterative designs prior to arriving at the
final sketch of the closed and open
positions of the functional chair. I found
that iteration is an essential stage in
design to permit sufficient time to refine
and develop the final product.



My team and I had to consider a

range of human demographic
dimensions when designing a micro-
car, needing to ensure that both the
95th percentile man and 5th percentile
woman fit and can perform functions.
After sketching up a rough position of
dials and controls on the dashboard
relative to the driver on Illustrator, I
set about scaling and positioning the
seats within the dimension constraints
of the micro-car so that both
aforementioned sets of anthropo-
metric models could be placed.



Constructing mock-ups of the car and human

mannequins enabled my team and me to iron out the
placements of seats. After laser-cutting the side
frames and base using the CAD files, we hot-glued
foam seats at the calculated dimensions and angles,
then used both sets of laser-cut mannequins to make
sure they both fit at an acceptable range. I then
incorporated these front and rear seat positions back
into CAD.


Another creative way of generating unique car design

concepts I enjoy utilizing is sculpt modeling on CAD
softwares like Alias and Fusion 360. Within a free-form
sculpting environment, I can introduce subtle details
and flowing geometry I would otherwise be unable to.
Furthermore, I also employed this tool to model a
dinner set, flashlight, bike frame, and goggles and later
create renderings, decals, and animations of them.

Brass dinner set

Flashlight: assembly of 3 parts, battery, stand



Snowboard goggles


A rather more unusual mode of transport than a

car is a Plug-in-Unit (PIU) hydraulic lift used to
transport boxes of equipment and other stock in a
warehouse. To ensure the safety of the operator
on this machine my team had designed, the lift must
comply safety standards and withstand a minimum
weight capacity when in operation. My team
performed finite element analysis (FEA) on all
components, and my role was to understand failure
modes on the piston canister, denoted by the red
rectangle, under various loads and constraints.

Loads and constraints:

o 1100 N weight of top at 45 angle
o Pinned ends, compressive force
FEA results:
o Displacement higher for end away from
cylinder but in nanometer range
o Von Mises concentrations highest at
pinned ends with inconsistent geometry
o Safety factor of 1.71 on Eulers critical load


Function of intake restrictor:

To limit the total air-flow
from the throttle body to
the engine and thus its
power a ring of a certain
maximum diameter,
prescribed by the rules of
Independent variables:
the competition
o Angle of convergence
o Angle of divergence
o Length of restriction
Dependent variables:
o Mach number contours
o Pressure contours

Final design: having restriction at

the throttle body flange improves
air distribution since vortices do
not converge before reaching the
plenum end

Compared to road-cars, racecars
have an altogether dissimilar
design process. This applies to
both interior and exterior parts.
As part of the powertrain team
of Georgia Tech Motorsports
Club, my job was to design the
intake restrictor for the car that
would drive in the FSAE
competition in Michigan in May
2016. To achieve the shape with
the best compromise between
pressure recovery and air-flow
distribution at the outlet, I had to
design a plethora of shapes with
altering lengths and alignments to
find the optimum design.



DeTAIL: Departure, Taxi, and Arrival Intelligent Logistics

Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsports. It employs mega-trend game-changing technologies to enable

a faster and more efficient way of working for teams. The first 2017 TATA Connectivity Challenge
required fans to design an IoT (Internet of Things) solution to enhance a teams operational efficiencies
in human performance, race operations, and logistics management. My proposed solution to this was the
DeTAIL app, which provides real-time tracking of condition and location status of freight pallets and
team members. The design process necessitated extensive research into up-and-coming sensors and
gadgets, as well as stepping into the shoes of a team operator to create an app-ropriate user interface.




A place where cars go much slower than on a race circuit is at

a fast food drive-thru. Customers take some time to choose
their order from the menu stands, before spending some
more time waiting for their food to come. Choosing a vantage
point between the neighboring McDonalds and Burger King
drive-thrus just outside Georgia Tech, I noted the activities,
environment, and users; I used my observations to design an
infographics poster (22 by 34) of the Drive-Thru Contest.


One contest I did participate in

myself was the Star Wars machine
design contest. The machine had to
elevate a golf ball, shoot a rotating
Death Star with ping-pong balls,
evict tie fighters and return fleet
(the latter both represented by
ping-pong balls). My team and I
planned our schedule before
ideating and modeling concepts.
Tree diagram

Function tree


Prioritization matrix

House of quality Morphological chart

Evaluation matrix

After trying out different options in preliminary rounds for each

EVALUATING function, my team and I evaluated the performances and eliminated
the less robust parts to develop a hybrid machine containing the
best parts, and rebuilt it over a week to get it ready for competition.
Final design: The
Hornets Nest


We adorned our machine in yellow
and black (Georgia Tech colors), and
used the same theme on our poster
when presenting to judges. It was
important to plan what each member
conveyed to judges and during the
wrap-up video. Moreover, we had to
decide and practice our individual
tasks when setting up the machine on
the arena. Through the experience, I
learnt that the design process is far
from linear; despite our scheduling,
we had to keep coming back and start
designing concepts from scratch.
During this, it is essential not just to
learn from our mistakes, but also
notice and build on the successes and
failures of other teams.



During the brainstorming process, it

is easy for people to fixate on pre-
existing solutions to build off. This
creates a barrier to innovation. In my
final year as an undergrad, I worked
on a journal research paper on
design fixation in engineers when
they solve design problems. The
objective was to discover regions of
the brain that are stimulated when
subjects fixate on previous examples
while solving a problem. This would
potentially help in the process of
curbing this stimulation and hence
bolster innovation and creativity
during idea generation. RESEARCH

Positive stimulation regions in occipital lobe (posterior/ rear region of brain):

o Right precuneus: episodic memory retrieval, visuo-spatial imagery, object priming, motor behavior
o Middle occipital gyrus: Visual processing, spatial perception of body parts

The human subject was placed in

an MRI machine with a computer
screen showing 10 problems, and
a microphone to record his
solutions. I transcribed their
answers to detect signs of design
fixation when the subject derived
parts of the final solution from an
Occipital lobe example solution. Alongside this, I
implemented codes on scanned
brain images to find the
stimulated regions. I ran statistical
significance analysis and novelty
calculations of the data on SPSS
software. With the help of
literature review, I was able to
relate to existing studies on the
stimulated regions before
publishing a journal paper. My
poster presentation of the
findings at the 2017 Georgia Tech
Air Products Research
Symposium won 3rd place.


Brains are very susceptible to concussive injuries in football; football helmets are a big domain
where technology can be used to reduce the risk of injury during tackles. As part of an injury
prevention team, my primary research area materials used in the design process of a helmet.
Focusing on different regions of the top of the body, I designed a concept alternative helmet design.
These concepts would have to be tested using sensors before they could be implemented.



The design process has an oscillatory

nature similar to a yoyo. For my first 3D-
printing project, I designed a rapid
prototype of a yoyo after brainstorming
15 possible concepts to print within a 4-
inch cube space. I decided to make a
yoyo with double function, such that the
cord of the yoyo can be used for rock-
climbing. First, I sketched out the shape
and interior parts, before making CAD
versions, whereupon I changed the shape
to make it more stable. Only after
printing did I find that the clip thickness I
chose was too small to stand.


Broken clip: CAD thickness failed

to meet tolerance of printer




A compact camera is only slightly larger than a

stapler or the 3D-printed yoyo, but has a lot
more functions through its interface to capture
a storyboard. Not all functions however employ
good human factors in using sensory perception
and cognition. I analyzed the Canon Powershot
SX 670 HS for sensory related design issues,
and elaborated some potential resolutions.

Sensory design issues with camera:

o Sight: small icons, low icon color contrast
o Sound: low beep volume
o Feel: uncomfortable grip pad, clutter of
rear buttons
o Cognition: hierarchies of functions and
menu tabs do not match, camera flash
mechanism, phone button usability

Alternate speaker position

Alternate flash

Alternate grip


Innovations like the compact camera have come about by

breakthroughs in technology. Without a doubt,
technology has ameliorated countless aspects of my life.
Nonetheless, its invasion into our private lives continues
to irk me. Hence, I wanted to highlight this point when
producing a 1.5-minute video on my relationship with
technology. In order to fit in so much of my thoughts and
opinions into a small time frame, I had to decide what to
focus on, then use a variety and amalgam of pictures,
clippings, and captions so as to drive home my message.


Name (optional): _______________________________________________________________


Male Female Would rather not say


< 10 10 18 19 29 30 45 46 60 61 75 > 75

How often do you use a cooker range?

Never Once a week 3 times a week Once a day More than once a day

To design a user interface efficiently, SAMPLING

it is vital to get feedback from end-
users to understand population
stereotypes and set the direction of
design. My team conducted a human How confident are you of choosing the correct knob (1-4)
factors study on counter-tops and
for each top (A-D)?
relate the results to appropriate
control layout design. To do this, I
first designed a survey to gage
Not confident Very confident
expectations in knob layouts aimed at
a sample population.

1 2 3



I was able to able to improve my skills in making sketches and renderings of real-life objects
like a counters cylindrical knob or circular top after learning perspective drawing using the
horizon line and end points. Only after extensively practicing constructions of basic shapes
like cubes, circles, cylinders, cones, and spheres, did I achieve drawings that are more realistic.
To perfect a skill, it is important to start from the basics and build on that, brick by brick.


For my book-art project from Shakespeares play

Hamlet, I chose to construct a basic shape: a cube. I
chose the design of a cubical die to portray the theme
of revenge in the play, as well as demonstrate how
strikingly the theme still applies in todays world. This
work delineated a different aspect to design- to evoke
a certain emotion in the end-user or observer. To get
to the final product, I had to reflect a lot about the
deeper layers of meanings and symbols behind the
design piece. I attempted to step into the shoes of the
observer to try to see what creative method could
work, but in design, it is not always possible to create
the perfect universal fit. There is no limit to how
diverse people are, and similarly, there is no such limit
to the scopes of creative design. That excites me.

o The fact that a die is used
for games delineates how
revenge itself is like a
mind game
o The unpleasant yellow
signage on the outside of
the die, which is used on
caution signs, hints at
the dangerous
consequences of taking
revenge, trying to evoke a
sense of danger
o The double meaning of
the word die reiterates
the most fatal
consequences of revenge


o The cube opening up to a

cross is a parallel between
pain caused by revenge and
that experienced by Jesus
Christ on the cross
o The 17th century snippets of
death, the quotes, the blood
marks and the word KILL
all distill the horror of
o The way the 9/11 attacks
shook the world and
rendered a call for justice
exemplifies how the theme
of revenge still applies today

Everything should be made
as simple as possible, but not
- Albert Einstein