Portfolio About CV LinkedIn Instagram



This was undertaken as a group university project in 2021/22 for our 'Design Engineering Futures' module. We were tasked with analysing social, environmental, technological and economic trends to predict a significant global issue in the year 2041; before designing and developing a feasible future solution to this challenge.


Slash-and-burn agriculture is a leading driver of forest fire in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. This is caused by farmers clearing land for cattle ranching and soybean production. In 2041, increased global temperatures and extreme droughts will exacerbate these fires, increasing their frequency and severity. This will endanger the inhabitants and wildlife of the forest, and further contribute to the vicious cycle of global warming.


Commend empowers inhabitants to make informed choices. An interactive Hub, positioned within non-indigenous rainforest communities, provides an unintrusive experience. Through conversing with 'Atil', an AI-powered avatar, the user is offered profitable strategies for harvesting and selling Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), such as açaí berries. This provides sustainable income, eliminating reliance on slash-and-burn activities.


This project was kindly supported by EBCF and the Amazon Protection Foundation (APF), who own private rainforest reserves. This collaboration was essential to creating a solution that yields effective engagement with local communities, and has helped us in achieving outstanding recognition in the form of a DESIRE Award.

Short video explaining the problem and our solution

_________ My Project Roles _________

Contextual Studies & System Design

We first undertook foresight practices and a literature review, establishing a segment of the future where climate change has left the rainforest highly susceptible to increasingly common and severe fires.

I was responsible for studying technological trends, which suggested a digital twin of the forest would be implemented by 2041, and that social and wildlife data were pivotal in detecting fires at an early stage.

This yielded a shift in focus towards preventing fires through engagement with local communities, and hence influenced our system design, reliant on the digital twin. Our full problem discovery and early system development can be seen in this report.

Visualisation of the system's physical embodiment
A STEEPV sensing wheel, identifying past, present and future trends in the Brazilian Amazon
A diagram highlighting key inputs, processes and outputs of the digital system
A typical interaction - Atil provides the user with guidance to locate forest products
An example of virtual-AR communication between users in separate hubs
Visualisation of Atil highlighting profitable and accessible forest products

User Interaction Design

Working closely with APF to design for the end user, I led the development and visualisation of key interactions.

Although locals within these reserves have been exposed to technology such as TVs, it was still imperative that our system was unintrusive. Atil was designed to resemble elders - an embodiment that they could relate to and trust.

Reliance on language processing allows for natural-feeling conversation. This affords learnability and usability for those with little technological experience.

We also understood that economic incentive is key to influencing behavioural change in these communities. The Hub uses both market and rainforest data to provide the user with more profitable alternatives to slash-and-burn.

Roadmapping & Project Management

Focusing on the big picture, we identified predicted technological enhancements and conducted interviews with field experts to validate their likelihood and feasibility.

APF have already begun building a digital twin 'metaverse' of the forest. By 2041, this would provide a comprehensive database to build our system upon. Enhancements in renewable energy and internet access in remote locations would also ease current barriers to implementation.

APF have since signified they are keen to pilot an early-stage version of Commend in their private reserves.

I also used this opportunity to develop project management skills, delegating tasks and creating a Gantt chart to track the team's progress.

A roadmap of key enablers in the next 10 years that will make Commend feasible
Continuation of the roadmap, showing the subsequent 10 years, validated by field experts
A Gantt chart used to plan and track the team's progress throughout our module

_________ Skills Developed _________

Soft Skills

User-focused Design | Presenting | Communication & Teamwork | Foresight Practices (Identifying Opportunities)

Hard Skills

Product-Service System Design | Roadmapping | Lit Review & Report Writing | CAD Visualisation (Blender) | Project Management