The Gratitude Project

Brett Boivin

Graphic Design for Marketing

In a year like no other it is especially important to remember what we’re grateful for. The goal of this project titled “The Gratitude Project” is to encourage people to not only think about what they are grateful for but also what they are excited for in the year ahead. This would be presented as digital postcards in which people would answer the following questions: “Last year I was grateful for…” and “This year I’m going to…”. The cards have a front and back side, each with a question. The goal is for people to write down their ideas, hopes, or dreams for the year ahead. Also, equally important is the idea of looking back and reflecting on the unique past year. Due to COVID-19 and thanks to technology, it is easy for anyone to submit their photos through a simple pop-up website. The submissions would then be projected onto a digital billboard and in close proximity to transit stops in the hopes that others would see the responses and feel inspired to ask themselves the same questions. The billboards would be regularly updated as more are submitted, therefore acting as a constantly evolving live feed. Ultimately this project is intended to inspire people to pause, reflect on the past year and consider what they are grateful but also to look forward with anticipation of better days ahead.








Matea Cumpf​

Graphic Design for Marketing

When the pandemic hit, everyone was left sitting alone in their apartments or houses with limited social interaction. As an extrovert, I found it incredibly difficult to be apart from my friends. This project is a result of the longing to be connected to others, but within the limits of COVID-19 guidelines. Zoom and other face-calling technology were growing ten-fold so I thought, why not use that and mix it with an analog card game? Unitedly was born!  


This is a game that can be pre-ordered for a scheduled virtual party with friends. Everyone receives a box before the event and must individually log on to the call to begin the game. In the box there are 3 card decks; Do, Look and Ask. “Do” is a charades game in which people on the other side of the screen have to guess your actions. “Look” is a scavenger hunt where players race to find the applicable household item. “Ask” is trivia deck with questions on a range of  topics including, science, geography, pop culture, and more!  While friends can connect virtually, Unitedly offers the opportunity to interact in material, tactile ways reminiscent of the times before the pandemic.









Camille Dansereau

Product Design

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of air quality and proper ventilation have been highlighted as instrumental in minimizing the spread of the virus. Research found that poor ventilation in indoor environments results in a higher transmission risk, and CO2 can be used as a proxy to indicate poor ventilation. Bacteria and viruses are co-exhaled with CO2, therefore higher concentrations of CO2 can indicate a higher transmission risk. The result of this thesis project is Aera, a personal CO2 monitor for helping individuals assess the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other airborne infectious diseases. Aera measures the concentration of CO2 in a space and makes the invisible visible by illuminating a display indicating the air qualityAera works as a preventive measure in controlling the spread of contagions. Its purpose is to inform and educate users on their surrounding air quality in relation to the transmission risk of infection. 


Junction 74. Co-working + Study

Megan Pringle

Interior Design

Junction 74. is a co-working and study center located in the old Electric Railway building at 774 Columbia St. in downtown New Westminster.  Junction 74. Co-working + Study responds to the needs of individuals 18-25 who are now working from home because of COVID-19 and require more space in a stress free environment to stay productive and distraction free.  


From analyzing the architecture of the building and understanding the needs of the users, the concept of juxtaposition between the history of the building’s industrial architecture and the organic forms of biophilic design was developed. By leveraging biophilic design patterns we hope to create an environment that provides the users with an experience-driven, human-centered design utilizing the benefits of nature to help reduce stress and increase productivity and happiness while abiding with changing COVID-19 restrictions. 

Safe Individual, Productive Team

Hongmin Zhuo

Interior Design

This project was inspired by futuristically styled gaming room setup for a client that runs a tech product company. smart wayfinding system has been embedded in the floor, which can quickly help visitors confirm their destination and provides them with detailed directions and relevant information. As a result, even new visitors are able to navigate through the office space with minimal close contact to othersThis effectively supports social distancing protocols in place during the pandemic and creates ease of travel within the office space. The wide corridors are able to accommodate “Closed Room” units and pedestrians at the same time, providing privacy while also conforming to COVID-19 health guidelinesThis office design promotes both productivity and safety through technological innovation which is particularly relevant in our contemporary context. 

The Thermask

Paris Summers

Graphic Design for Marketing

I hate it when I’m sitting on the train, and I go to take a sip from my coffee but then I realize I still have my mask on — what a fool! And then if I were to remove my mask even just for a second, I would feel everyone’s eyes on me, surely judging me for my innocent yet bio-hazardous sip! Eating and drinking while traveling, especially in transit, is one of the many things I took for granted before 2020. Well, what if there were a product that lets you enjoy your hot beverages anywhere and could make drinking safer for those surrounding people?

Introducing the Thermask!

The paddle-like brim on this durable and sustainable thermos is designed to direct your breath upwards and away from others when you take a sip. A sleek divot in the centre accommodates most nose sizes while small fins on either side of the paddle prevent moisture from being pushed to the sides. The cup is made of recycled aluminum with a sustainable cork sleeve and bottom slip guard. The lid’s lightweight material enables it to fit your thermoses at home and, if you’re in a rush, any standard coffee-to-go cup too. Slip on the lid and boom, now you’re a hero! When people see you walking down the street with your new Thermask, they’ll immediately feel safer knowing you are taking their health into consideration, even down to your drinking utensil!







Lighthearted Pediatric (Oncology)

Patricia Denise Divino

Interior Design

This project addresses the question, “How can we design a space that will encourage children to come to the doctor’s office without feeling fear and anxiety?” The Lighthearted Pediatric Oncology office strives to provide an interactive and playful space with a child-friendly colour palette and biophilic elements to alleviate patients’ fear, anxiety, and stress. In response to the current global pandemic, every entry and exit is provided with automatic hand sanitizers to promote frequent sanitization. One way to encourage children to use these sanitizers is by locating them within their reach.  Their proximity to adult sanitizers, installed at a higher level, will encourage children to imitate what they see adults doing. According to social studies, children mimic their parents and older siblings, so locating dual height sanitizers will encourage all to participate in keeping hands and surfaces germ free while feeling part of the social group. Physical distancing in play areas is encouraged through integrated design elements like the lines embedded in the floor. This feature subconsciously directs visitors to stay within the borders, limiting close contact with others.

Tripping Up The Curve

Ella Taylor

Graphic Design for Marketing

Tripping Up The Curve is a chapbook attempting to process a sliver of the absurdity experienced daily through the COVID-19 pandemic, through my eyes. Normalcy and hope have been MIA for over a year now and these pages are a light-hearted ode to their void. Everyones experience through the pandemic has been unique. This book aims to be relatable to some, not all. Tripping Up The Curve is written from a place of safety, stability and is not trying to over-ride the difficulty experienced by anyone. The intention behind this book is tserve as a reflective documentation of the times, as well as to provide a mild sense of solace through common narrative.  

Future Human

Jessica Bayntun (Instructor)

Foundations in Design

While the world reimagines how live performance is delivered, our short absence to formal theatrical spaces is a reminder that performance is not limited to a theatre or building. Future Human is a showcase of design and sound through an improvisational live performance that allows the audience to control the light brought to the physical space. In the future as humanity evolves its physical appearances to survive the environmental impacts of industrialization, each performer showcases body modifications that challenge how our physical bodies are connected to our consumption patterns. As each audience member brings the physical light to the performance through a hand-held projector, the performers and set are only visible when the curiosity of the audience illuminates it. Seeking to shift theatrical performances from a seated passive audience, the experience of co-creating an intimate performance like Future Human seeks to bring performers into new spaces and allow a deeper connection each other.

Dental Office for People with PTSD and Anxiety Disorders

Stephanie Poole

Interior Design

This dental office project was completed for people with mental wellness issues, including mental health concerns related to the pandemic. Dental offices were some of our earliest and hardest hit medical areas during COVID-19 and continue to suffer because of the pandemic. Therefore, these adjustments provide ideas for current dental offices and ones to be built in the future. The dental office has separate rooms instead of the typical kiosks so as to provide optimal distancing between guests. There was also care put into researching HVAC systems with ultraviolet lighting for cleanliness. The rooms have automatic sliding doors that can be operated without touch even with full hands. The kiosks do not share equipment, are self-sufficient, and allow for social distancing between staff.  


Sarah Eppler

Technical Apparel Design

COVID-19 has created an acute awareness of personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfection to prevent droplet or airborne viral transmission.  This is particularly critical for healthcare workers and the people they care for.  Healthcare workers face a parallel challenge of preventing multi-drug resistant hospital-associated bacterial infection, typically transmitted through touchpoints. Sarah Eppler’s Technical Apparel Design Capstone project systematically explored solutions to enhance functionality and protection provided by the most frequently worn PPE in healthcare – medical scrubs. Worn with or under other PPE, with movement between locations or patients, medical scrubs and items carried within the pockets present risk of touchpoint transmission.  Evidence-based, user-centred design informed understanding of the problems and distilled an elegant solution for female healthcare workers that provides comfortable antimicrobial protection through textile selection, prevents touchpoint cross-contamination through purposefully located and labeled pockets, and maintains a professional appearance for our most essential workers.


Dan Robinson, Instructor, DETA

Face Shield

Victor Martinez (Instructor)

Product Design
This project was born in the urgency for protective equipment at the beginning of the COVID pandemic in March 2020. With the idea of sharing the know-how to anyone capable of manufacturing, the project proposes the use of additive manufacturing (3D printing) to produce face shields for health care workers in the front lines of the pandemic. It was meant as an emergency response, not as an industrial or for-profit product. A total of 75 face shields were manufactured with the Wilson School of Design’s 3D printers and laser cutter, most of them were donated to different organizations in the lower mainland area.

Outdoor Exhibits

Monica Le, Miguel Manrique, Angela Pasion, Kurtis Stevenson

Graphic Design for Marketing

For this Interactive Technologies and Society project, 3rd-year GDMA students were asked to curate an outdoor exhibit for a broad audience, considering as a basic parameter the incorporation of some element of interactivity to provoke engagement. Students were to consider as the backdrop real spaces in the Lower Mainland, and to curate works from artists, designers, and architects housed under a proposed unifying theme. In this imagined exhibit, students had the power to determine the pacing and the unveiling of the curated works, using physical features in the landscape, the relative distances between pieces, and elements of discovery or surprise to tell a larger story. Many students used the open-endedness of the assignment to reflect on the shared experience of the pandemic by interrogating challenges with mental health, solitude, and the depth of their interior world. In addition to curatorial and thematic development, students were also asked to design a visual proposal of their exhibit to reveal the nature of the work and the intended reception by the public. These outdoor exhibitions extend arts and cultural experiences, typically bound by architecture, to the general public and offer safer alternatives during the pandemic.


Carley Hodgkinson, Instructor, GDMA


When Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Emma Samson

Fashion Design

With our world shifting and changing so drastically over the past year, I wanted to do a piece that I could connect with to express my feelings. I have never consumed as much news as I have in this past year dealing with the pandemic. I thought that newspaper, an unconventional medium, could also represent the unconventional year that we have been experiencing. The subtitle of the article “When Waiting Is the Hardest Part” describes my sentiments perfectly. This entire past year I have felt as if my life was on hold. The eye symbolizes watching and waiting for news of the world to shift towards the life we were living before the pandemic. The unfinished embroidery symbolizes the ongoing pandemic and the unknowns that are still present.

Remote Creative Collaborations

Aimee Karlica, Chadwick Morrice, Danielle Nelson, Denise Divino, Jackie Frydenlund, Josh Swanson, Katie Li, Natalia Kwok

Interior Design

In light of the Pandemic, the Interior Design department had to depart from their annual in-person “vertical studio”, a week-long program facilitating collaboration between students across all years and fostering community within the department. Determined to maintain this tradition, the department pivoted to a virtual, creative and collaborative exercise. The Vertual Studio, seeks to undermine the common (but real) assumptions of the ‘digital’ as a world of disengagement and social disconnection. Instead, the latter was replaced with a hypothesis of opportunity and optimism: that the newly contactless and ‘fenestrated’ world can foster connection and collaboration. 

With this in mind, the Studio asked vertically mixed student teams to collaboratively and creatively use a digital medium (Zoom, Skype, iMovie, etc.) to create a max. 1-minute video/digital presentation based on a narrative of their choice. The only requirement was that the final product be a coordinated multi-person undertaking, created together or in unison. The video you see here is one of the submissions and demonstrates one possibility of how collaborations can happen creatively across virtual space. 


Erick Villagomez, Instructor, IDSN

further inquiry

Curious about other design innovations? Find additional resources below.

Learn about design in the age of pandemics from an historical perspective, read Diana Budds’ article  HERE


What are the sociocultural costs of the pandemic and what is the place of ritual? Read Caitlin McDonald’s anthropological ruminations HERE


Learn about design in a changing world. Read Gensler’s take HERE

What will architecture design look like after COVID-19? Read Zach Mortice’s article HERE


The hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit during the pandemic.  Learn about how this industry will have to adapt to the new normal in Ghersi & Gevorkyan’s article  HERE


Interested in new materials and their future potential for designing around viruses? Check out Blain Brownell’s article HERE


Designing with UV light? Read about the possibilities in Molly Long’s article HERE

Fashion trends of the last year reflect a world in crisis. Read more about it in Fiona Sinclair Scott’s article for CNN HERE


How has fashion marketing shifted during the pandemic? Take a look at Kati Chitrakorn’s article in Vogue HERE

Information design has become a crucially important element during the pandemic. Browse through Charlotte Walker’s graphic design archive HERE

The pandemic has elevated the need for PPE resulting in critical shortages. Learn about the industry’s recommendations for conservation and management HERE


Interested in traveling any time soon? You may be interested in ventilated helmets. Read Samatha Pire’s article HERE