Innovation School Product Design

Heather Drake (She/her)

Hello :),
I am a multi-disciplinary designer with an ambition to positively shape and challenge the way we see the world.
Deciding to study Product Design only felt natural to me, as I got to apply and combine my personal passions and interests which all work together to positively influence our future world and the way we experience and interact with it as people.
GSA has helped me blossom into the confident designer I am today, learning to work well under pressure and forming my organisational and leadership skills within the ever-changing world of design.
What makes me unique to other designers is my creative way of thinking – being able to research and identify human or non-human needs or desires.

During my time at GSA, I have built a passion in market and trend research for product placement and engagement; emotional journey mapping and storyboarding for experience design; user psychology research for product interaction and consumption; and future forecasting for brand development.

Future Experiences | Wee-Green
Think | Exploring urban environments – A Designed Subconscious Experience for Improved Citizen’s Well-being

Future Experiences | Wee-Green

A Service Which Aims to Bridge the Green Gap within Glasgow

The Green Gap | The year is 2032, with the rise of biophillic mindsets, Glasgow city have implemented plans through and around the city to become more ‘green’. City planning has led to green gaps occurring between households…citizens feel behind as their access/affordability to green means that their interiors do not reflect exteriors and social isolation begins.
Wee-Green is a consultancy which works for inclusivity, access and equality for green access among citizens in biophillic cities.
Working to rethink and apply adaptive and subtle artefacts within household’s interiors – Wee-Green ensures natural micro-environments have space, prominence and equality again on Earth – providing them with elements to thrive.
Making the natural environment tangible and accessible will form a nature connectedness bond, transforming human perspectives to appreciate, respect and care for the natural environment – trickling into surrounding natural environments as well.

Having an environment-centered focus throughout my research, I identified that humans are the facilitators for societal change to see themselves as equals to the natural environment, rather than accessors to deplete its resources (like they have done for centuries). So to transform human perspectives, I strived to create change through nature connectedness. This key relationship will ensure thriving conditions for environmental health, and in return, human health will thrive in conjunction.

Scale Model of Biophillic Considered Environment

Through ethnographic analysation and studies within domestic spaces, I explored how adaptive artefacts could be subtly considered providing a symbiotic relationship between humans and the natural environment - where ALL health thrives

The Products

The Wee-Mobile and Wee-Dado are embedded with biophotovoltaic (bpv) technology, generating energy through natures photosynthesis. This energy is utilised in communicating back and forth to the Wee-Meter, enabling the user to control the air purifying bio-filters within the products. The Wee-Meter also lets the user understand and examine their air quality levels within their home environments. Wee-Touch is a bio-smart gel which enables moss to grow and live within it. Applying Wee-Touch gel to furniture edges or corners acts as a tactile protector from children, pets or harm. As well as this, the natural environment is provided with prominence, space and air qualities improves.

Materialising Nature

Materialising nature means that humans have the opportunity to create a close and tactile bond with nature - ensuring nature connectedness occurs. Nature connectedness is a measurable psychological construct which focusses around humans and their relationship with nature - a key catalyst in pro-environmental behaviours, understanding, respect and appreciation.

Brand Values and Goals

User Journeys (human + non-human)

Think | Exploring urban environments – A Designed Subconscious Experience for Improved Citizen’s Well-being

By 2050, over half of the population are expected to be living in urban areas, yet people living in the city have a 21% increased risk of anxiety disorders and a 39% increased risk of mood disorders.

George Street, Edinburgh, has been a key case study for myself to rethink and examine the urban landscape’s design and its influence on urban citizens. Speculatively redesigning the design regulations and principles, I have delivered a subconscious experience which hypothetically iterates the importance and need for improved stimulation within urban environments for the better of citizen well-being. To deliver this, I formulated a business proposal called ‘Think’, suitable persona representations, visualisations of research and supporting insight material.

Brain stimulation is a proven catalyst for improved and boosted well-being for outlook and everyday engagements. Creating brain stimulation subconsciously through colour wavelengths, unpredictability and multi-sensor,: new active pathways within one’s brain will be formed.
Carrying out interactive workshops which examined the brain activity contrast between children and ages 40-60 has inspired me to work around children’s subconscious hierarchy of priorities, resulting in me being able to deliver a business proposal, personas and research materials.
Capitalising on the idea of exploring over exploiting, likelihood of neural pathways in the brain as one ages will be reduced – forming a healthy brain through this subconscious experience.

Interactive Research Workshop

As a research method technique, I designed an interactive workshop which could be done remotely by a number of participants. I created a story-building exercise which let me understand the subconscious of over 20 children (ages 6-8). Rather than working with words, I wanted to work with a storytelling, drawing and colouring exercise. This workshop taught me the user group's needs, desires, fears, self-expression, outlook. The act of story-building and storytelling relates to a child's psychological method called 'Fable' which is when lessons are taught from story. Flipping this recognised method, I aimed to extract the potential lessons from a story which the children make, contrast these to the adults, and reflect these onto my demographic of adults through designed social innovation. Codifying and overlaying the data, I was able to find trends and insights.

Psychological Research

With research and user psychology being a huge passion of mine, I formulated a research and data driven concept and proposal - sticking closely and applying theories, inspiration and methodologies as I went along. Interviews, field research, co-design, engagement tools, ethnographic studies, emotional mapping, infographics and synthesising insights are only a few of the research methods I utilised throughout this project.

Brain Activity Visualisation for Urban Landscape Design

The key theme I picked up through my research is the idea of exploration vs exploitation. This lead me to the theories of an ambidextrous mindset, and how a person can balance both for a ‘healthy brain’. A ‘healthy brain’ is a term used to relate to the idea that a brain is being exercised, stimulated and positively challenged which is proven to prevent and lessen age related diseases, well-being and brain fog. Neural pathways are something which drew me in to question - how can I create new pathways in the brain to create stimulation, physical adaption and brain expansion for creativity and outlook. Psycho-geography (the exploration of urban environments and how it affects someone’s subconscious and conscious), and the idea of ‘being a product of our environment’ were my concluded concept goals in order to generate brain stimulation for improved citizen wellbeing.

Key Insight Cards and Specifications

Case Study - George Street

For this project’s subconscious experience, it only made sense to create a multi-layered user journey. Based on the desk and field research I carried out throughout this project, I wanted to include and apply the layers of my research to one of my personas. The user journey - this essentially is a walk through description of the user’s subconscious experience from start to end on George Street. The next layer is a Brain activity layer. I felt that adding this would help take the viewer in to understand and break-down the invisible brain activity which my user would hypothetically endure during my proposed design. Finally, I had a wellness layer, which included a chart, symbols and descriptions to explain to the viewer how the user journey and brain activity go hand in hand in transforming the user’s well-being.


Persona Cards - These are a useful way to communicate to an audience the need or value of my innovation, so picking the personas whom represented minorities, averages and whole communities was key for me.

Design Principles for Urban Design

Visualising Brain Connections

Business Proposal Document

Subconscious Experience Momentss