f.o.c.u.s Design Show

The senior exhibition for the Carnegie Mellon’s Design Class of 2017.

Problem space

Every winter the school of design senior class puts on a show of their best work. This show was created over the course of 50 days as a collaborative effort to showcase 95 student works in an experience that felt authentic to who we are. 

Timeline | 7 weeks

My Role 

I was associate lead of curation, helping to create the experience and identity of the show. I was directly responsible for the division and organization of spaces, and was instrumental in creating the five themes and executing their concepts in the physical space. 


Our theme, F.O.C.U.S, or “Friends Only Cause Ugly Sketches,” is a tongue-in-cheek motto from freshman year that reminded us to concentrate on our work. In our show, we wanted to create a space that not only recognized our talents, but also captured our personalities and friendships. 


The Team

The show was a collaborative effort between 34 senior design students to showcase work from the past 3.5 years. Members worked on one of three teams: build, branding and curation. 

final exhibit


curation team

The curation team was responsible for selecting and organizing the student work from 165 submitted pieces into the 95 displayed in the gallery as well as setting the themes of the show. Five major categories were made to represent the final body of work: thoughts, actions, beauty, stories, and relationships. 


“Friends Only Cause Ugly Sketches,” or F.O.C.U.S., is a tongue-in-cheek motto from freshman year that reminded us to concentrate on our work. It became the theme of our final senior design show, a culmination of significant projects from the last four years.


Our values are composed by a lifetime of thoughts that we reference at every new encounter. Thoughts are responses to changing surroundings as well as guides we use to establish our place in the world. We internalize and interpret our experiences through thoughts, and our identities evolve accordingly. Uncertainty challenges and expands our thoughts and worldviews.

Design provokes reflection to create intention. Constantly re-shaping our perspectives, it moves us to question and speculate on our reality.



At its core, an action is a spark, a change, a start. Sometimes, actions are instinctual and reflexive. Other times they are measured decisions. Through actions, we discover the world in unanticipated, and often illuminating ways. Need and curiosity catalyze action and are cues for us to make a change. Satisfying curiosity with understanding, our actions fuel a desire for continued enlightenment.

Design trains us to intuitively respond to our surroundings in the form of actions, shaping us through our behaviors and enabling us to navigate and experience the world.


Beauty transforms ordinary moments into treasured memories. It is a channel that heightens our senses and enlightens our understanding of the world. Beauty grabs us and our attention, sometimes inexplicably. Beauty has a way of transcending logical boundaries, stirring the emotional responses that make us human.

Design showcases beauty and extends its ability to inspire, revealing worth in all that we find beautiful.


Our lives are comprised of a collection of moments, people and places. Narrative is the string that ties each of these into a sequence, creating the remarkable way that we make sense of the world. Our perception hinges on the meaning behind stories, which act as filters and frames for our memories. Encountering moments of significance throughout each day, we distill these experiences into stories to better understand ourselves.

Design frames experiences into stories so that we can all relate to and understand them by uncovering meaning.


Genuine relationships among people are irreplaceable. Understanding and commitment between individuals fosters a collective sense of belonging while simultaneously strengthening our individual identities. Through relationships, we learn to express affection and feel empathy.

By creating room for relationships to form, design cultivates and elevates human to human connection.



In lieu of traditional senior portraits, we embarked on a collaborative effort to capture our class as a whole. 


design + Process



Overall timeline of process including a sequence of events. 



Floor Plan

Floor plan created by the Build + Curation teams laying out pieces and organization of the space. 


Show communication design executed by the Branding team.