Freesoul El Shabazz-Thompson, Resume





My focus is the participatory design of services, experiences, and products. I'm practicing meticulous and holistic design research and development. I care deeply about amending and generating the systems we use to solve problems. My underlying goal is to generate tools that support people (and all sentient beings) in their greatest well-being.


Northwestern University, Evanston IL
McCormick School of Engineering, Segal Design Institute
BS Manufacturing and Design Engineering, 09/2019

Experience (3+ years)

Research Associate at CMU HCII | CoALA Lab + Tech Solidarity Lab
February 2021 - Present
Design + HCI Research examining 1) The needs of Home Health Aides (HHAs): How an Interactive Voice Assistant might support HHA work duties, work-life and emotional well-being. 2) Care Labor: How care work platforms (e.g. and care work structural frameworks impact the work-life experiences of platform workers.

Social and Economic Justice Panelist for The Opportunity Fund
April 2021
Reviewed grant applications and collaboratively evaluated strengths and weaknesses to provide funding recommendations.

Studio Guide for Art, Marking & Anti-Racism at Northwestern University Segal Design Institute
January 2021 - March 2021
Worked alongside Professors Pam Daniels and Alex Birdwell to guide students in creating art as a means to draw attention to, and explore current challenges in combating racism.

Community Design Advisor with The Opportunity Fund
December 2020 - March 2021
Critiqued The Opportunity Fund's funding and cultural practices to provide recommendations for more liberated and inclusive systems for black applicants. Consulted on a number of creative projects for funding.

Research Scientist/Engineer with Oasis Farm and Fishery
October 2020 - February 2021
Research and development for automated plant environment data collection and in-house liquid fertilizater production.

AI Trainer with OpenAI
August 2020 - October 2020, Remote
Train AI systems to write summaries by reading, writing, comparing, and critiquing.

Intern: Phipps Conservatory
Summer 2020, Pittsburgh PA
Horticulture and Botanic Practice; Maintained Center for Sustainable Landscapes, Exhibit Staging Center beds and plants, designed portions of Tropical Forest Patio Display. Proposed Main Landscape changes for water savings, user experience, and aesthetic evolution.

Artist Educator in Residence: CCEEE Pittsburgh Public Schools
March 2020, Pittsburgh PA *interrupted by covid19 pandemic
Mentored continental African middle & high schoolers via visual arts.

Design Engineer (Hardware Lead): Cattle Tech
Winter 2018 - Summer 2019, Evanston IL & Sisaket Thailand
Research, designed, prototyped and tested software and hardware for virtual cattle containment for client: Raitong Organics Farm.

Admin & Design Aide: Segal Design Institute
Fall 2018 - Summer 2019, Evanston IL
Graphic Design, Administrative tasks, and Design/Build Projects for the Department.

Engineering Intern: LTA Research and Exploration LLC
Summer 2018, Mountain View CA
Research, Design, Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing for Lighter-than-Air Technology.


Conceptual Thinking, Socially Oriented, Growth Mindset, Wholeness Mindset, Adaptable: Self-directed or Guided, Collaborator, Intercultural, Somatic Empath

English, Chinese (Mandarin HSK2), Fante (Beginner)

HTML, CSS, Matlab*, Python*, Git

Rapid Prototyping, 3d Printing, Injection Molding, Shop: Machine; Hand; CNC and Manual Milling; Sewing, mechtronics, PLAY!

CAD + CAM: Solidworks, Siemens NX, Auto Desk Inventor, Rhino3D (beginner)
Render: Keyshot 8*, Inventor Studio
Audio: Ableton Live 9, 10, Audacity
2D: Adobe Photoshop, Figma
OSX + Windows Factory Apps

*I'll need to refresh these skills!

Awards and Support