Skip to Main Content
of desiGn

In the Loop: Rachel Abrams

September 3, 2013
12:30-2:00pm CST
IIT Institute of Design, 6th floor
350 North LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Designing services for public space

In 2012, as special advisor to the team designing New York's city-wide pedestrian way-finding system, Rachel led primary and secondary research, conducted quantitative desk research, and fieldwork with the public; developed content standards to validate and test initial cartographic concepts; and created final prototypes for a full range of just-launched, street-based map products. 

Rachel previously consulted to Karsan Automotive, to support their 2010 bid to design New York’s Taxi of Tomorrow and develop the communications strategy for a location-based media system (specifying hardware, software, user experience, and digital brand) for Karsan's distinctive, short-listed, next-generation taxi.

In her talk, she will present a show-and-tell of both projects, highlighting how a service design and user-centered perspective informs, influences, and improves the design outcomes of such complex, multidisciplinary projects for 21st-century cities.

About Rachel

Rachel Abrams is founder of Turnstone Consulting, New York City. She counts American Express, Amnesty International, the Atlantic Media Group, City ID, Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times, Pentagram Design, and the Queens Museum of Art among her clients.

Rachel teaches in the interaction design MFA program at the School of Visual Arts and was previously an adjunct professor at the interactive telecommunications program at New York University.  

On the board of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (New York) and a former fellow of the Design Trust for Public Space. She has presented at SxSW, Harvard Graduate School of Design, NYU Stern School of Business, Yale School of Art, Barcelona’s Istituto Europeo di Design, and Budapest’s MoME (National Design School) and has participated on panels for Arup Foresight and with Facebook and Zipcar executives. Her writing on design, emerging media, and urbanism has been featured in The Economist, Eye, Good, Frieze, and Wired magazines and on, Urban Omnibus, and elsewhere.

Educated at Cambridge University and the Royal College of Art in the UK, Rachel has worked in the US since 2000, working first for IBM then with multi-disciplinary branding agency Imagination.