CITRIS Invention Lab Superuser Spotlight: Lieyah Dagan (Class of ‘18, CED)

Lieyah Dagan graduated from UC Berkeley in 2018 with an individual major in Design for Urban Life, which explored a variety of fields, including art, architecture, design, and fashion. She currently works as an Industrial Designer. She was first introduced to the CITRIS Invention Lab when she took Critical Practice and Critical Making with EECS Professor and CITRIS Invention Lab Director Eric Paulos for her concentration in design.

As an Invention Lab user, I 3D-printed a modular toy house with parts and pieces that can be arranged and assembled in different ways. I’ve always found high art and design to be intimidating and inaccessible, so in my personal work I focus on accessibility and playfulness. With this in mind, whenever I am confronted with a complicated or challenging system, I really enjoy finding solutions that are simple and straightforward. 

I wanted to design a modular system that was easy to play with. To do this, I needed to make sure that the assembly was intuitive, so I went with a simple slot-and-hole press fit system. Developing this kind of system can be challenging, especially when working with 3D printers that may be inaccurate. I was able to work through this issue by prototyping on a variety of printers to confirm the quality, scale and fit of all the pieces.

I probably saw [Invention Lab Senior Manager] Chris [Myers] the most in the lab. We had great banter and I always enjoyed joking around with him. I found my interactions with him to be helpful as well as entertaining! Earlier, I didn’t have much knowledge about prototyping, and his expertise always pushed me to explore new techniques and construction methods. I remember when I first became interested in toy design, he was really supportive and sat down with me a few times to talk about his experiences in the field. He was a great resource and I gained a lot from our conversations.

To see some of Lieyah Dagan’s work, please visit her website.


The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute drive interdisciplinary innovation for social good with faculty researchers and students from four University of California campuses – Berkeley, Davis, Merced, and Santa Cruz – along with public and private partners.

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