My name is Laura Zawadowicz, better known as Katie Z. I am a Baltimore native set to graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art in the Spring of 2020. Along with a BFA in Graphic Design, I am also one of five students to be the first to graduate with a BFA in Product Design from their newly developed Product Design department. My design process tends to be very hands on and leans towards the engineering side of Industrial Design. The most enjoyable aspects of Industrial Design for me are rendering and physical prototyping.
My thesis centered around how we could look to nature to help women feel safer and more confident while waiting for the bus after dark. The basic idea of my concept was to create a system that could sense vibrations resulting from both sound waves and movement of the air from a sudden or violent action. This would trigger the system to switch from normal lighting to an overwhelmingly bright light in hopes of throwing the perpetrator off guard, causing them to run away. Through biomimicry, I was able to look to the Johnston’s Organ for guidance on how my sensors were to work.
For a more in-depth look into my thesis project, please visit my website: Laurazdesign.com