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Segal Design Projects

Featured student projects

The process of working on real projects for real clients is essential to the student experience at the Segal Design Institute.

Browse our projects gallery to see examples of past projects.

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First-Year Projects

The Slider

A specialized cup for rehabilitation patients who have difficulty swallowing.

Tackling dysphagia after a traumatic brain injury or a stroke.

The Slider is a student-designed specialized cup for patients at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago who have dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing.

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Roll N Wash

A wheelchair-activated foot pedal to turn on sinks at the Shedd Aquarium.

The Shedd Aquarium needed a wheelchair accessible temporary hand washing station outside of its stingray touch exhibit.

Student engineers created a wheel-chair activated foot pedal to turn on water at these temporary sinks.

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Sensing Stroller

A stroller that integrates electronic sensors to improve safety.

More than 17,000 children under the age of 5 are rushed to emergency rooms annually for stroller-related injuries.

Kids In Danger, a non-profit organization in Chicago, challenged four Northwestern students to design a safer stroller.

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Undergraduate Projects

Illuminating Test Strips for HIV Diagnostics

Rapid HIV testing for infants in Africa.

An HIV testing solution that rapidly test infants and those who live in inaccessible testing areas.

Three undergraduate students are working with a center housed within the McCormick School of Engineering to improve rapid HIV testing for infants in Africa.

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NU PICC Simulator

A medical training device to help nurses place PICC lines in neonates

A team of students developed a life-like doll with realistic tissue properties and vasculature geometry as well as pressurized veins.

Users can prick the doll’s arms or legs, witness “flashback” and then thread a PICC line into the body.

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An expandable electric car that promotes car sharing.

Challenging traditional transportation systems and inefficiency.

An expandable electric car that promotes car sharing by reconfiguring the vehicle into different multipurpose rooms at the push of a button.

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Graduate Projects

Tide Spin laundry bag

Tide Spin

An app-based service that outsources laundry to Tide's own dry-cleaning facilities

Hate doing laundry? There’s an app for that.

When Procter & Gamble decided to re-imagine laundry, it looked no further than the EDI program to see what its students could design to make laundry a less tedious task.

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NM Check mock-up

NM Check

A comprehensive virtual care system that brings healthcare to patients

Get the care you need without leaving your bed.

Four EDI students created a forward-thinking solution after Northwestern Medicine asked them to create a virtual care system that would increase the ability of its Primary Care Physicians to see more patients.

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boost trekking pole


An energy-harvesting trekking pole designed for hikers and backpackers who bring their electronic devices into the backcountry

Charge your devices — even when you're off the grid.

An avid hiker, EDI graduate student Torey Kocsik wondered if she could passively power her electronic devices while walking in the backcountry.

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PhD Research Projects

Meaningful Audience Interaction

E.B. Hunter's work aims to understand the intersection of audience interactivity and canonical cultural products.

Creating meaningful audience experiences by evoking elements of new digital media forms.

As a complementary experiment in critical making, Elizabeth is designing and building Something Wicked, a video game adaptation of William Shakespeare’s gory, witchy tragedy, Macbeth.

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Surface Haptic Devices

Joe Mullenbach's team in the Neuroscience and Robotics Laboratory (NxR) designs, builds, and tests devices that provide haptic feedback on surfaces. They also work with the Inclusive Technology Lab at Northwestern.

Touchscreen feedback.

We have built and distributed over 75 surface haptic devices to university and corporate researchers and designers and they have been used in competitions, workshops, classes, and publications.

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Visualizations of Audio

Noah Liebman works with Collablab and Delta Lab to develop visualization of audio by applying computational model.

Creating visualizations of audio for multitrack audio.

We’re doing this to help audio engineers more efficiently mix multitrack audio, but the concept of visualizing models of perception extend beyond this application, and beyond just sound.

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