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Gauri Bhatt, Design Researcher, Round Feather

Trained as an engineer, now dedicated to user testing and design methods

By Andrew Wyder

[101 Design Methods] is always with me; I’m literally using it in most of my projects. What I really appreciate is that [Vijay Kumar] provides so many different methodologies and tools that can be used for different circumstances.
—Gauri Bhatt (MDes 2022)

Gauri Bhatt presenting at the American Geriatric Society Annual Meeting
Gauri, presenting at the American Geriatric Society Annual Meeting. 

With a solid foundation in design from a graduate program in India, Bhatt decided to pursue the Master of Design program at ID. She knew of the program, in part, because of Kumar. She also knew she wanted to focus on design research and that ID’s MDes program provided the flexibility to choose the courses that she was most interested in.

Her education at ID has also included opportunities to conduct research on real-world projects, including an internship working on ID Clinical Professor Tomoko Ichikawa’s Caregiver Decision Support Tool project with UChicago Medicine. Bhatt came into the project after its initial development, utilizing feedback that UChicago Medicine got from its users to tweak the toolkit to better meet the users’ needs.

Every project starts with research. Whether it’s a new product that’s coming out into the market or something that needs to be evaluated after it’s been out in the market for a few years, research is the first step. That’s been a great thing for me personally at ID, because every class starts with research, irrespective of whether it’s a product, service or, even a communication design toolkit.
—Gauri Bhatt (MDes 2022)

Gauri Bhatt with work
Gauri, surrounded by ID work.

In June, as a design researcher at Round Feather in San Diego, she joined a design and innovation consultancy that is focused on making people’s happiness the focus of its work.

“That’s really cool, working at a company that looks into that so strongly,” Bhatt says. “In general, pursuing a career in design research as a consultant is something that really excites me because it gives me the opportunity to put my hands into a variety of industries.”

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Pursuing a career in design research as a consultant is something that really excites me because it gives me the opportunity to put my hands into a variety of industries.