Project Portfolio – Helen Do

Aesthetics in Design Course

When I signed up for the Aesthetics in Design course, it was meant to be a respite from my engineering course. However, it became a class that taught me how to embrace the engineering method but also to incorporate aesthetic design to make products and art more enjoyable. I learned that engineering is not purely about functionality and efficiency, but that consideration for aesthetics, beauty, and look can amplify the experience with a product. 

Upcycling Project: Patchwork Jean Tote 

Final upcycled patchwork totebag


The challenge for this project was to create an aesthetic piece using only upcycled materials. I was inspired to use my brother’s hand-me-down jeans that did not fit me but I was holding onto. I was also buying a lot of totes, so I thought to create a tote from denim fabric and create a patchwork pattern that would utilize the different fabrics and components of the jeans. This tote not only became my favorite from my tote collection, but also encouraged me to continue to create more custom pieces from old clothes. 


Upcycle Aesthetic

Upcycle Progress

Opposite Upcycle Aesthetic 

Upcycle Report

Main Project: Storybook Guinea Pig Castle 

Front view of final castle


The main project was open ended except that a dynamic component was required. As someone with 8 pets (3 dogs, 3 cats, and 2 guinea pigs), I spend a lot per week resupplying food, materials, and toys. Additionally, I struggled to find quality and affordable products for my guinea pigs. Therefore, I wanted to create a custom and interactive play structure for them to hide and climb in when I take them outdoors during the summertime. The result of this project was a storybook wooden castle with 2 floors, a climbing ladder, tottering bridge, and swing. It was a tough build, but it made me more excited to take on more DIY projects for my pets in order to make more affordable and customized products for their specific needs and unique personalities. 


Main Project Inspo and Plan

Main Project Alternatives

Main Project Preview Report

Main Project Top 5 Specifications

Main Project Progress

Main Project Report Pt. 1

Main Project Report Pt. 2

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