Date of Award

Spring 6-4-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Industrial Design


Industrial Design

First Advisor

Ayako Takase

Second Advisor

Brynn Trusewicz

Third Advisor

Rebecca Lieberman


Working nonstop? Not sleeping enough? Feeling alone in your deadlines? Are you struggling with work-life balance?

Know that you are not alone. Since the covid-19 pandemic began reports of loneliness, mental health issues, and burnout have increased.

It’s quite possible that you are opting-in to an individualistic culture of overwork. If you go to RISD that's almost certain. This is true for students and teachers alike.

While these current systems work for some (primarily those at the tops of their respected hierarchies), for the majority of us there are better ways of being. Providing social and emotional support and creating space for collaboration leads to stronger work with less stress. In this great reshuffling era, over half the workforce is considering a career change. For many of us there are options other than simply opting out. We have agency.

Focusing specifically on the RISD MID (Master of Industrial Design) program, this thesis is an investigation into building resilient cultures of collective care in pressurized workplaces. Such culture change can be achieved through sustained incremental middle out interventions. To better understand the challenges in MID, my process involved deepening my relationships with my community. I then designed and tested participatory artifacts and social events aimed at promoting an engaged pedagogy, increasing collaboration, and improving information opacity.

Also, I tried to have a little fun with my community (and this book) along the way.

While every work environment has its own specific context, many work cultures face similar challenges. The aims, avenues, tools, and social events in this thesis have applicability beyond the context of RISD.


View exhibition online: Julian Wellisz, We Got This



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