Design Manifesto by Carolina Melo

Illustration of a snake shedding skin with a text title reading “Positive Discomfort”
Illustration of a snake shedding skin with a text title reading “Positive Discomfort”

The more we are willing to stretch the less likely we are to break:

Less likely to break ourselves, less likely to break others, and less likely to break our surroundings. How do we move forward as thinkers, as designers, and most importantly as human beings? By stretching.

This, however, is much easier said than done. Stretching hurts and can be uncomfortable. It requires practice, discipline, and perseverance. Stretching commands self-espionage and demands both long-term and large-scale participation. To better understand this, three main questions need to be answered. What is stretching? How does one…

Plant Sensory Perception in Poetry

Can we break away from anthropocentrism and expand our empathy by understanding a plant’s perspective and its perception of the world?

A Mile In Their Roots explores this concept through first-plant narratives (a play on first-person), in which their sensory perception is conveyed in the form of poetry. The thesis narrative focuses specifically on five senses from the perspective of plants:

  1. Proprioception (referred to in this project as gravity)
  2. Sight
  3. Smell
  4. Touch
  5. Time

The first three are important because they are the closest overlapping senses between plants and human beings. The last two are…

Final Coffee Cup: Sculpted out of used coffee grounds and other reused material.

A Material and Cultural Exploration

This project started as an encapsulation of my past (my history and heritage) and my present/future (my ongoing values and priorities). But for this proposal, I sought to expand to the representation of Colombian people and their relationship with coffee as a whole.

Math for Designers

Sine Wave Equation — Cube Color Gradient

“… I was inspired to really expand my own way of thinking about perception and what it truly means. This additional sense I would like to propose is therefore not usually included within the parameters of officially defined senses. It lies even beyond the full list of seven senses that exist, but it is something I strongly believe should be included as part of how we and other organisms navigate and perceive life as an experience.

This sense is the sense of time.”

- Carolina Melo

Mechanism of the Week: The Scrappy Fold (Made Up Name)

Step 1
Take a sheet of card stock, and fold it in half.

Step 2
Take the upper right corner, and fold it to meet the center of page. Repeat with upper left corner.

A green home full of luscious plants ❤

For this assignment I was inspired my house plants, in particular a huge Monstera Deliciosa I’ve had for a year, and a couple of Pothos plants I have all over the apartment.

Some visuals of the process.

For our first paper assignment, I created a scene of a cat trying to catch a mouse through a piece of Swiss cheese.

First Iteration:
Initially I used pencil to draw all of the details on the cat and mouse, although the cheese holes were actually cut out. I also played around with the positioning of the mouse and the direction it was running towards. Ultimately it ended up being best for the mouse to face to the right, as left-to-right motion seems to be more accentuated even if the off side layer didn’t result in as much movement.


For this assignment I made a paper pressure sensor. I used an old filing folder, which makes a wonderful substitute for card stock, some conductive tape, and a bit of eeontex.

Carolina Melo

Interdisciplinary Designer • Artist • Poet

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