Destigmatizing digital water bottle for children

3_Industrial Designers Mikayla - Seung Hwa Koo and Winnie Chen.jpg

Industrial Designer Mikayla - Seung Hwa Koo and team present a digital water bottle destigmatizing children.

Could you introduce yourself and tell me about what you and your group designed?

I'm Makayla. Right now, I'm a third-year industrial design student at OCAD University. For the Make, Create and Innovate at the Ontario Science Centre, my team (Priscilla Lee, Yiefei Li, Winnie Chen) are showcasing a digital water bottle destigmatize children who take pill medication day-to-day. We've integrated it with digital technology for it to be personalized. 

Why did your group choose to design this specific project?

It comes from a personal story. I had friends in middle school who has diabetes. During lunch time, she was always trying to find a small, quiet space in the washroom to inject her medication. I felt like she was always trying to hide this experience. I empathize with that and thought about how to destigmatize this experience for a lot of children going through the same thing.

Could you tell me about your first impressions of this event so far?

It's actually much more exciting than I anticipated! I met with a lot of young generation people, since the product is more targeted for children. It was great receiving feedback of how it applies their lives. The event is very vibrant and everyone's excited. People are very curious, which is very important.

Is there a mentor that you've worked closely with in the past?

My first internship was at a product design firm and I was specifically working with the design head. Under him, I learned the process of how to put ideas on paper and then create tangible solutions.

If you could master one skill, what would it be?

It would be reading someone's unconscious mind. As a design student, it's very important to really go down to what the user thinks. It's really hard to get down to how they feel, and that's where empathy comes in. I'm trying to develop that skill by working on projects related to social good. It would be really cool to understand and design the skill of reading someone's unconscious mind.

Is there a trait that runs in your family?

From my culture, it's being modest and humble. It’s always having a reminder that there's room to improve. Instead of showing off or boasting about your idea, it's about always being in a position of learning.

Was there a book that was really meaningful to you that you've read over and over?

I came across a book called Miracle Morning and it was about redesigning your life into becoming more energetic, focused, and motivated. When I wake up, I always feel stressed and tired. I thought about how I can reposition my life into being more motivated. I would redesign my morning to wake up early, meditate, do yoga, read and have some personal time. That gave me a positive momentum to start my day. I did this Miracle Morning project a couple of summers ago for the entire summer. It was the first time that I redesigned my life.

Where do you feel the most productive?

At school and at home. Home because I feel really comfortable. And school because I have a lot of very creative colleagues who can give me suggestions and feedback along the way.

When was the last time you pulled an all-nighter?

Actually last night! I Was preparing an internship application. It was a challenge and it’s a miracle that I arrived here today.

Renn Scott