Products of Design MFA graduate Kathryn McElroy’s thesis, entitled “Presence: How to Use Digital Technology to Live a More Analog Life,” explores approaches to limiting the distraction caused by modern information technology. After Kathryn fell in love with smart objects and electronics in her first year of graduate school, she knew that she wanted to pursue electronics in her thesis work. At the same time, however, she was keenly aware that information technology was capable of causing endless distraction and social interruption in her personal life. As a result, Kathryn directed her initial research and design explorations into mindfulness and technology-aided meditation, then quickly focused her attention toward limiting distraction and increasing focus as a way to help users become more present in their work and their experiences.

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