Impact Engines | Advanced Design Augmentation (ADA) Through AI for Socially-Aware Product Design

Advanced Design Augmentation (ADA) Through AI for Socially-Aware Product Design

The Advanced Design Augmentation (ADA) Through AI for Socially-Aware Product Design Impact Engine is devising an AI framework to fundamentally enhance designers’ ability to innovate “socially-aware” products.


Evidence suggests that product design decisions often lead to significant social impacts concerning population change, gender inequality, education, stratification, health and wellbeing, and human rights, among others. Yet, current product design practices are predominantly focused on economic and environmental impacts, and little is known about the social sustainability of designed products.


There are several underlying issues with integrating social sustainability and product design.

  1. Existing methods to elicit the needs of users are mostly based on human interaction and assessment activities, which are limited in the scope of the data collected and rely on human assessment, experience, and intuition to develop unique insights.
  2. Bias, a lack of diversity, and limited inclusion are challenges designers must overcome as they design new products for the global community.
  3. The Internet, digital platforms, social media, and mobile devices have enabled users to interact, share opinions, and discuss the products and services they use at scale. However, existing sentiment analysis methods are mostly limited to extracting general favorability metrics from user reviews, leaving the fundamental “latent” needs of individuals/society unknown.
  4. There is a lack of computational methods to translate these insights into new, explorative ways to increase the quantity, quality, and diversity of new design knowledge and concepts. 

We envision a substantial opportunity to devise an AI framework to fundamentally enhance designers’ ability to innovate “socially-aware” products by identifying pressing and latent societal needs from social media and e-commerce platforms and automatically generating design concept recommendations for designers informed by those needs.


ADA will empower better design through better data. This Impact Engine will augment product designers’ performance to innovate “socially-aware” products, providing consumers with product choices that effectively complement their individual lifestyles.

Augment product designers’ performance to innovate “socially-aware” products


Tucker Marion

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group, D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University


Mohsen Moghaddam

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, Northeastern University


Paolo Ciuccarelli

Center for Design, College of Arts Media and Design, Northeastern University



Northeastern Ecosystem

College of Arts, Media and Design
Center for Design
College of Engineering
Northeastern University Seattle
Northeastern University San Francisco
Khoury College of Computer Sciences
The Roux Institute
D’Amore-McKim School of Business
Northeastern’s expertise in applied AI

Industry Partners

Providence St. Joseph Health
Odysseus Data Services
University of Oxford



If you’re looking to learn more about this Impact Engine or would like to talk about Impact Engines in general, our support team is eager to assist.


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