In the winter quarter of the 2013-2014 school year, I took a course through the ME department entitled ME 101: Visual Thinking, the introductory product design and mechanical engineering class at Stanford. In ME 101, we learn about everything from sketching to building, craft and design, innovation and presentation.

For this class, we created three design projects:

  1. Design Project 1 focused on building the tallest tower possible, with limited time (3 min) and resources (limited foam core, unlimited hot glue, pencils, etc), in a team of 5
  2. Design Project 2 focused on creating two machines that would play a game of fetch with one another (one machine throws the ball, the other catches it and moves accordingly), with limited amount of money to be spent on each machine, in a team of 3
  3. Design Project 3 focused on redesigning the "finance" experience, fleshing out a unique POV and "How might we statements", and creating a poster and video to showcase the product.

Logbooks + Presentations

In this class, we were required to complete logbooks and have presentations for each design project. I have compiled some pages/videos from the work my team and I have done for each one.

Biggest Takeaways

Prototype quick and dirty. Fail fast and often. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Be careful with exacto knifes/glue guns. Things will always take way longer than expected.

Design Project 1

In DP1, we decided to go with a "Cirque du Stanford" theme, where we all dressed up as different circus acts. We won Student's Choice Award!

Design Project 2

In DP2, Doggie Fetch, we decided to go with the theme "Minion Mayhem". We successfully earned extra credit for this project!

DP2 Reflection

Design Project 3

In this DP3, I decided to look at the experiences of young immigrants who are starting to learn about the American financial system. I interviewed, synthesized insights, created How Might We Statements and designed an app for them. I also created a video advertising the product through a storytelling lense.

Immigrance Poster -- Compiling Insights, Product Description and Key Features

Immigrance Poster -- Compiling Insights, Product Description and Key Features

DP3 "Immigrance" Video


Other than the technical skills I learned in ME 101, I also learned about the importance of craft and presentation, even as it regards to this portfolio. Thanks to my instructors, Jennifer + Purin, I am now completely sure I picked the right major! #PDRocks