Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Industrial Design


Industrial Design

First Advisor

Shona Kitchen

Second Advisor

Scott Geiger

Third Advisor

Justin Couch


Design in its nature is a future facing practice. But the future is hard to predict or often even imagine. So how are we as designer to approach these types of problems?

In this thesis I attempt a novel design methodology to derive insights and produce new interaction models for long range communication. The methodology, which can be applied to any topic, focuses on a study of the past. More specifically using experimental archeology, the practice of rebuilding historical objects in order to test functionality and viability of a hypothesis. For this project I learned how to send smoke signals and built a working replica of the first telephone. I learned the concepts of Morse code and early visual semaphore languages. Using these as a launching point I created a series of objects which strive to create more expressive messages.

These object are tools for learning and exploring the possibilities contemporary communication methods may be overlooking. They are meant to ask questions not provide answers. The objects can be used to consider interactions in a new light to be included in future product whether they be hardware or software. Abstract



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