Chunxiao Zhu


I have always believed that a qualified designer should design products that can help society; therefore, I have kept my eye on core social issues. My graduate thesis is definitely a great opportunity for me to help minority groups in society through a designer's perspective.

As we all have noticed, the number of families that have a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is increasing year by year, and these families are all struggling with difficult issues. That's why I chose ASD as my thesis topic. I want to help children with ASD through design.

Because ASD is a broad subject, my project started with plenty of research from books, online articles, and community activities, in order to narrow down the main topic and to decide on a target group. The design process included background research, research of children with ASD and their families, the creation of a problem definition, ideation, design advancement, and specifications. I hope my final design will not only help children with ASD with their physical performance, but also help them with their social and communication skills.

All in all, I think my thesis design shows how a product designer can care about individuals with unique needs in the society and originate a new product system that can help resolve issues for them. In the future, I also would like to develop this project into a universal design that can help all children, whether they are challenged or not.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Children with autism spectrum disorders--Services for; Children with autism spectrum disorders--Education; Educational games--Design; Tables--Design; Chair design

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CIAS)


Stan Rickel

Advisor/Committee Member

Alex Lobos

Advisor/Committee Member

Daniel W. Mruzek


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at RJ506.A9 Z48 2015


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes