My name is Justin Lai and I was a graduate student (Master's) in the mechanical engineering department at MIT after completing my Bachelor's in mechanical engineering in the same department. My research considered how people design through processes and in practice, how to teach students to design products for people. Areas of focus included: user-needs analysis, creativity, tacit knowledge, communication, and social science methods.
Two significant teaching projects I have been a part of are 2.97 Designing for People and Discover Product Design—now serving as an advisor. Additionally, I was a part of a team who developed resources for portfolio creation, Ideation Lab Portfolio Resources.
After grad school, I worked for three years (2011–2014) as the Invention Education Associate at the Lemelson-MIT Program with the InvenTeams initiative.
I now work at Punahou School in Honolulu, HI.
Email me at justinlai at mit dot edu
Written work (links to come. email if you'd like)
- AIEDAM Journal Article: A Study of the role of User-Centered Design Methods in Design Team Projects
- IASDR Conference Paper: Introducing User Centered Design to Mid-Career Professionals: Experiences to Build Upon
- Research Summary (PhD application statement of purpose)
- Poster from DCC08
- Paper for Technical report for DCC08
- Paper for DCW08
Conferences that I have attended
- Design Computing and Cognition, June 2008, Georgia Tech
- Design Creativity Workshop, June 2008, Georgia Tech (no link)
- Design Research Conference, September 2008, Chicago, IL
- SIGCHI-Human Factors in Computing Systems, April 2009, Boston, MA
- Design Research Conference, September 2009, Chicago, IL
- International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference, October 2009, Seoul, South Korea (no link)
- Clover Food Truck: 2.97 2010 Part 1
- Clover Food Truck: 2.97 2010 Part 2
- Core77: DPD 2010
- MIT Alumni Community: DPD 2010
- Boston.com RAW Photography: DPD 2010
- Daily Grommet: DPD 2010
- Seelio: Why engineering portfolios are important
Advice for grad life: applying, surviving, and thriving