• Discovering design means [Re-]descovering users and projects

  • Design is an attitude towards action, towards shaping life and environment.

  • Design is the innate pattern-making impulse of human beings.

  • A metaphor is an intuitive perception of similarities in dissimilars.

  • Human beings design and redesign themselves.


I am Yung-Yi Juliet Chou, a designer, a cognitive researcher and a culture interpreter based in New York.  Welcome to glyfein, a reservoir of my concept design, research projects and inspirations to enhance everyday design and learning.  The word glyfein comes from the language of Greek, meaning “to write” or “to carve” and serving a symbolic gesture to show design as a process involving both thoughts and efforts.  I come from an interdisciplinary background in business administration, art and architecture, design technology and cognitive psychology. Most real-world problems require an interdisciplinary approach, particularly when it comes to human-centric design.

As a Designer

I was trained at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. I am a detail-oriented, self-motivated professional and a problem solver who enjoys collaborating with artists and scientists to deliver the solution. I am committed to an interdisciplinary perspective in my work and values openness to possibility. At the same time, I am proficient at making decisions regarding many levels and varieties of visual and spatial communication, including information architecture, navigation and way-finding, layout and arrangement, data visualization and options for interaction technology. I have designed many large-scale interactive learning projects for Columbia University, the Asia Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and various cultural organizations.

As a Cognitive Researcher

Having completed a PhD in Cognitive Psychology at Columbia University with a focus on creative thinking processes, I have utilized my understanding of adult learning, experimental research, statistical inference and cognitive bias to develop design concepts and design research. My research has focused on identifying potential design heuristics that promote alternative solutions to problems ordinary people encounter in daily life. Having developed effective learning programs using the empirical data from studies based on precise observations and implicit hints around people, I aspire to design more sustainable service systems. I am well versed in Human-Computer Interaction issues and psychological paradigms. I am interested in preventing many unnecessary design errors by exploring the design process in relation to the complexities of how the mind works in terms of memory, attention, decision-making and behavioral change.

As a Culture Interpreter

I am sensitive to how culture, society and geography affect the communication between our inner space and the outer world. I understand perfectly that cross-cultural interaction is never simply about translating languages or changing date/time formats, but incorporating all the important cultural contexts of metaphors in design processes. I have been working with a diverse group of stakeholders, including museum curators, art dealers, humanities scholars, scientists, architects, artists, educators and journalists. I am always concerned with how stereotypes, beliefs, personal experience and knowledge affect how people see things and want to use things. I am comfortable acting as a negotiator between content experts and their general audience, able to educate all parties about the respective needs and feedback loops. I am eager to identify “facts of experience” in the process of decision-making in design practices across cultures.


design = thoughts + efforts

MY PORTFOLIO - For more than a decade, I have leveraged my expertise to create programs that enhance visual learning experience across both physical and virtual environments.  There are many forms I can narrate using words, images, music and human behaviors through this digital platform.  To me, design is a way to constantly negotiate practical applications on one hand and research on the other — a process that scrutinizes the interactions between feeling and thinking in everyday life. Ultimately, I'd like to think about knowledge as design and design as research.

  • All
  • Concept
  • Data Visualization
  • Design Research
  • Interaction
  • Learning Experience



INSPIRATIONS - I love traveling. I love observing people through my lens. World is my cabinet of curiosities. A moment of inspiration saves me from boredom!

4 Feb 2017

通往天堂的一道算數題?| A Math Problem to Paradise?

In one painting for a manuscript called “The Path of Paradise,” recently exhibited at the Met Museum, “Muhammad see seventy thousand curtains made of light, fire, precious stones, pearls, or

1 Feb 2016

和畢卡索的童心面對面 |Stand before Picasso’s Mind

When was the last time you found yourself “talking" to an object in front of you? When we are young, we have an innate tendency to want to anthropomorphize objects

30 Jan 2016

看不見的伊斯坦堡 |Istanbul: Beyond Looks

In June of last year I took my first trip to Istanbul, the fascinating city which is home to the traditional Byzantine and Ottoman cultures along with modern Turkish culture.

28 Jun 2015

高原上的仙人洞和地下城 | Endless Houses in Cappadocia

Cappadocia (中文可大約音譯為:卡帕多奇亞) 位在土耳其的安納托利亞高原上,具有地理和文化特色的廣大地區,實際面積大概相當於台灣(東西大約為400公里,南北240公里)。造訪此地讓我再次體驗到老莊思想裡「天地與我並生,萬物與我合⼀」的微妙關係。 千萬年前火山爆發留下的灰岩經年累月的風化下形成了如同精靈世界裡獨特的地貌。大自然無意間留下的鬼斧神工固然令人嘆為觀止,但是「小鳥無羨於天地」,我卻更對那些無名建築師和藝術工匠們因地制宜下的巧思肅然起敬。

10 Sep 2012

在威尼斯的夜裡 | Night Montage in Venice

藉著參加威尼斯建築雙年展之便,除了少數幾個觀光客必到的景點重新回味一番外,我們很幸運地捕捉到著名藝術家Fabrizio Plessi的《水窗》裝置藝術,無意路過小廣場邊熱鬧的露天搖滾音樂會, 還有以詮釋維瓦第作品著稱的interpreti veneziani 巴洛克樂團在教堂裡精彩片斷。但是,最令人難忘的經驗是那段夜訪穆拉諾島(Murano)上有六百年歷史的Seguso家族所擁有的玻璃工廠。雖然以前曾經有過幾次觀看玻璃師傅現場吹制玻璃製品的經驗,但是多半流於觀光推銷形式而草草了事。這次參觀是在一個夜黑風高的暴風雨前夕,隱藏在暗巷裡的玻璃作坊裡卻燈火通明。裡面的工作人員熱情地為我們兩人解釋了玻璃製作從無到有的辛苦流程,尋找新點子時的實驗精神,不僅是上了一堂玻璃吹製和創作設計的課,更像是經歷了一場火光與砂石的盛宴。

4 Oct 2011

托雷多古城幻影 | Toledo: In the City of El Greco

2010年5月的西班牙之旅我們走訪的另一個古城 Toledo (可中譯為托雷多), 在11到16世紀間曾是西班牙卡斯蒂亞王國的首都,現在她的古城古建築群已被聯合國教科文組織列為世界文化遺產 (UNESCO World Heritage Site, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/379)。但這並不是我們拜訪的主因。 我們特別想要一探托雷多的重要原因,其實是托雷多為文藝復興時期藝術家 El Greco (可中譯為埃爾·格雷考,西班牙文的意思為「希臘人」,因為他原先出生於克里特島,具希臘血統) 的第二故鄉,他的許多重要畫作都是在托雷多創作出來的。他的重要委託多半偏向宗教人物題材,畫風卻叛離傳統充滿戲劇性,譬如使徒聖約翰在他畫筆下好像是「性格小生」(Apostle St John the Evangelist, Museo de El Greco, Toledo)。不少他的代表性畫作已散落在世界各大美術館。

Story Mapping Chinese Buddhist Woodcuts

The digital prototype is created by Juliet Chou to show the possibility of building a GIS “story map” to accompany Susan Huang's book project. The story mapping application can not

6 Aug 2017

這是誰的錯? | Human Errors: Vasa 1628

You probably heard about Vasa 1628. I can't believe that we spent the whole afternoon in the Vasamuseet when visiting Stockholm. The museum was devoted to the ill-fated warship Vasa

Renovating now…

CONTACT ME - I like to work with you to create a meaningful design and learning experience in life.  You may leave me a note through LinkedIn.