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