This project explores design as a mode of telling personal stories about how something feels, felt or may be felt differently in the future. It consists of a very personal collaboration between Laura Devendorf, Kristina Andersen, and Aisling Kelliher. We started the project as an attempt to understand the limits of design–what does it mean to design if it’s not about making something “better” or “easier.” Specifically, we thought back on our experiences as mothers and tried to develop methods to investigate that experience through design. In this way, we try to make “memoirs” with objects that tell of our felt experiences and that bring out practices of witnessing and honoring instead of resolving.

 Unstable Design Lab    Unstable Design Lab Website



  • Laura Devendorf, Kristina Andersen, and Aisling Kelliher. 2020. Making Design Memoirs: Understanding and Honoring Difficult Experiences. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1–12. DOI: (Honolulu, Hawaii (virtual)–April 25-30, 2020) [Honorable Mention Award]


Other Researchers:
Laura Kristina Andersen, assistant professor, Future Everyday cluster of the Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology.
Aisling Kelliher,  associate professor, Computer Science Department, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.