Research Questions

1. What are your drives for creativity?

2. How do we coexist with vulnerability?

3. What makes creatives vulnerable?


Connie Hwang, SJSU Graphic Design Professor
Primary Advisor

Diane Lee, SJSU Graphic Design Assistant Professor 
Secondary Advisor

Steve Fadden, Google Lead UX Researcher, UC Berkeley Lecturer
Tertiary Advisor


According to Brene Brown, vulnerability is a birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change. Vulnerability, as she describes, is taking action when there is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. Although there is a rising acceptance of vulnerability, some people still see it as a weakness. However, vulnerability is beyond negative emotion. Brown says, “You do vulnerability knowingly, or vulnerability does you.” It is a conscious mindset, living within our inner selves. If acknowledged and embraced well, vulnerability helps foster better human interaction and connection. As a result, build a healthier community.

As a young adult pursuing creative occupation, much of our creative work invites us to be vulnerable. Unavoidably, creativity is part of the practice for embracing vulnerability, but embracing it does not guarantee positive outcomes. However, when we decide to own it, we bring light to the darkness. The practice of vulnerability is the stepping stone into adulthood and the turning point of revealing talents.

To guide young creatives to grapple with stories and experiences, I created a space for vulnerability to be embraced, practiced and vocalized. Symbolized by the metaphor of animal shells, “Hatch” is a collaborative and self-reflective space for creatives. An animal shell is often regarded as a vulnerable mask for ones to hide, which resembles the common action ones tend to lean on when it comes to vulnerability. However, the deeper stories and meanings of the shells carry strength and depict the nature of survival tactic. The egg-shaped space, which carries many reflective thoughts and actions portrayed by abstracted forms will evoke a new perspective. It is a safe outlet for creatives to share and grow together. Through encouraging human interactivity and reflection, the place will bring vulnerable creatives together and break the silenced social taboo. Vulnerability from now on will truly unlock connections and talents.

Hatch is a safe space for young creatives to share vulnerability. Establish an understanding of vulnerability through the lens of the animal shells, where it takes place and how to tackle it with intention.

Understand vulnerability through the motif of shells

Vulnerability inside our minds.

The eggshell is small, fragile, and vulnerable yet full of potentials. It protects the chick during the developmental stage. However, the chick eventually needs to hatch from the shell to reach its full potential as an animal. Our creative process hatches from that moment.

Hermit Crab shell—Share!
Vulnerability when we are with people.

A hermit crab does not have a shell of its own. It relies on borrowing other shells to survive. Such a vulnerable innate disadvantage does not stop the crab. Instead, it learned to form a symbiotic relationship with the sea anemone and form a co-beneficial survival tactic.

Turtle shell—Endure!
Vulnerability thoughts when we undergo situations.

The shell of a turtle is very durable and can protect the turtle from predators. Although a turtle might be commonly seen as weak and timid because it tends to hide inside its shell when in danger. A well-known children’s story, “The Rabbit and Turtle” portrays an inspirational message for those of us who think our strengths are not enough to face obstacles. The perseverance and grit of the turtle remind us that the outside perception does not always dictate the outcome.

The Location

Salesforce Transit Hub is a place connected with the Salesforce Park and muni bus stops, it is meant to be a communal chill spot. The place is still growing in terms of traffic flow. With Hatch installed, the place will become the young creative hub in San Francisco.


Floor 3—Park Level

Understand vulnerability

Understand vulnerability through the functions of shells. This floor complements the outdoor/park theme with the Salesforce park. Allowing visitors to ease into the a topic by having a playful structure like a swinging chair and childlike paper cup phone.

Floor 2—Bus Station Level

Discover and share vulnerability in the community

Share your vulnerable strengths. This space is provided for creatives to gather and collaborate. This floor allows visitors to use the space to work and socialize. It provides a workshop space. It also has three interactive video display rooms that introduce vulnerable actions with strength within the larger community.

Floor 1—Hidden Level

Reflect upon our own vulnerability

This floor encourages visitors to reflect on their vulnerability. Mimic by the feel of the library. It provides a quiet and peaceful place for visitors to stay and think.

Final Thoughts

Every positive and negative action of thought leads to the outcome of an occasion. Vulnerability is neither good nor bad. It is what you do with it that matters. Strength will eventually hatch. Because I was once healed by people being vulnerable, I understood that vulnerability is not a weakness, it is the power to bring back humanity. Upon completion of this project, I will always remember that I have the option to design honestly, sincerely, and vulnerably, for the people and myself.

“The truth of who you are, the essence at your core, what you’re feeling at any given moment. It’s being able to open up your soul and let it flow so that other people can see their soul in yours.”

—Oprah Winfrey

  2020 timeiswhatyoumakeofit