One hypothesis is that genetic vulnerabilities have co-evolved with culture, creating extra protective factors. However, when these people leave their cultural contexts, they have a higher risk of developing depression.

“ I am … Fine”

// Class: Major Studio 1
// Instructor: Richard The




Domain \


I am exploring the culture effect on depression within immigrant community (specifically Chinese international student group), because I want to find out how to improve the Chinese students’ wellbeing with design and technology.


1.How can design and technology address the stigmatization of depression in immigrant (Chinese) communities?

2. Which tools can help people with depression specifically in these communities?

Concept Statement \


Research \


One of the four ongoing projects from students in the Imaginaries Lab studio New Ways to Think, in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon

Empathy Rocks: Passersby are encouraged to express their feelings by writing what is weighing them down, or to place small rocks as a sign of empathy with others.


“The Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS), more commonly known as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, was created to do just that. This tool helps us measure the stress load we carry, and think about what we should do about it”.

“Researchers at MIT have developed an artificial intelligence system that can identify depression simply from listening to people talk or by monitoring their texts.”

Kelly Burch 


Ideation \

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Concept 1 Goal

Open a public discussion and create a health environment for self-expression of struggle and stress. / Build a better and stronger understanding and connection within the community. / Show and reveal a hidden side of this new and unfamiliar community of America society.


Chinese International Student / Parents / People in general

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Concept 2.

Create a self-reflection tool for Chinese international students. / Renovate the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale by adding Chinese culture contest. /


Chinese International Student who is experiencing depression /


Final Prototype \


I am Fine(series 1):

An art installation that presents a table has symbolic objects (left image) as containers hold black capsules inside. The viewer will need to open boxes or read documents before they can read the secrets that hide in the black capsules. There will be empty pink capsules and white paper outside allow viewers to write down their recommendation, thoughts and similar stories. They are welcome to put the pink capsules into the objects mixed with black capsules. The goal is to let the objects fill with more pink capsules to dilute black capsules at end of the installation.


I am Not Alone (series 2):

Utilizing OpenFrameworks to create an interactive generative art with a merging visual effect. The players press key “b” to add circle (symbolizes depressed individuals) on screen and press “P” key to accelerate the speed of merging. The color of circles will gradually change to pink, the color that warms people’s heart.

The future challenge: Connect with two physical boxes (input device). The player throw black capsule into box A to add circle on the screen; throw pink capsule into box B to merge more circles and made them pink.


Light My Heart (series 3):

A unity game that player collect all pink pills to light the black heart on top of his head. There will be a message bubbles on top of each pill with recommendations of how to deal with depression and negative emotion.


Final Prototype \


Other Design Work