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Allison Makani`olu Rowe

MA work

Simi | Inaudible Sounds


Healthcare is out of touch with half of the population. Too many women have told me: 'I wish I looked at my fertility sooner'. 'I thought I was going crazy, I didn’t realise I was going through menopause.' 'I dropped out of school from depression, and then found out it was a hormone imbalance.'

Hormones touch many aspects of a woman’s life, affecting everything from mood to muscle response, from appetite to attraction. More than health issues, however, these are life issues – the things we think about, that influence us, every day. And because life and health are inextricably intertwined, Simi integrates the two, allowing women to manage them simultaneously.

Simi is a health monitoring system for women that tracks hormone levels, activities and more to generate customised clinical and lifestyle tips, enabling women to predict and prepare for the future. The system provides a lifetime of benefits by watching just four key hormones – tracing monthly cycle patterns and drawing conclusions from long-term trends – giving women personalised advice about their interests, from mood and fitness to fertility and menopause.

Inaudible Sounds

Our group project is an exploration of the creation of a seventh sense – a three-dimensional audio experience that provides enhanced environmental awareness. Humans are able to process sounds 1,000 times faster than visual stimuli, yet we barely scratch the surface of this potential because our ears can only access a small fraction of the frequencies moving through us at any given time. And although our senses are currently limited by physical proximity, we aim to expand our perception through a sensory network – using others as our ears, eyes and nerves. With these principles, we are developing a technology that will allow a cyclist to feel a car approaching an intersection before she can see it, or for the visually impaired to independently navigate a city.


  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Global Innovation Design, 2015

  • I'm a designer and engineer who's passionate about improving lives through innovative and emotive technology. I dream up fantastical futures, distilling unexpected insights to challenge convention that are captured in radical new products, systems, services and stories. I make and do many things, from engaging digital platforms to whiz-bang interactive gizmos to far-future strategising.

    After spending a number of years developing medical devices, managing global healthcare projects and helping a hardware startup get off the ground, I set off in search of bigger fish. Now I'm happiest untangling the nuances of complex problems and revelling in a 'what if . . . ?' world. Although I work in all areas, I have a special interest and strong experience in combining high tech and healthcare (including two health startups on the side).

    I am about to complete a multidisciplinary, double Master's programme as part of the inaugural class of Global Innovation Design run by Imperial College and the Royal College of Art in London (plus jet-setting between partner institutions in New York and Tokyo).

  • Degrees

  • MSc Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College, 2015; BS Mechanical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, 2009
  • Experience

  • Co-founder, Numa Health, London 2014; Design engineer, Pediatric Device Consortium University of California, San Francisco, 2012–13; Mechanical engineer, Crave, San Francisco, 2011–12; Project manager and field service engineer, Siemens, San Francisco, 2009–11
  • Exhibitions

  • Hyperion, Tokyo Designer Week, 2014