Braden Kimmel

BFA | Industrial Design


I am from Noblesville, Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis. My interests in design include healthcare, furniture, and digital technology. I am passionate about social justice and my design philosophy is Design for the Margins. At Notre Dame, I have been an active resident of the Morrissey Manor Community, a member of the Themed Entertainment Association club, and involved with the Center for Social Concerns through several programs. Outside of design and school, I love to travel, cook, serve in the community, watch movies, and run.


My personal design philosophy is: design for the margins. I believe everyone is worthy of quality design. There are niche users with niche problems out on the edges of society, but that does not mean that I cannot bring good design to them. In fact, I believe it’s an imperative to empower these groups through design to improve their quality of life. My work takes a user-centered approach with a focus on design research methods. My thesis continues this philosophy by rethinking the job interview process for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a condition that many have come to mischaracterize and mythicize. 

Having a close relationship with someone with ASD, I saw a problem that I have become fully immersed in. Today people with ASD graduate high school and college and are qualified for employment, yet 85% of people with ASD are unemployed or underemployed. According to the social model of disability, it is not the impairment that disables a person but the physical environment and attitudes of others. The job interview process is a disabling structure for people with ASD, and this responsibility to correct this falls on the employer. The good news is that corporations and small businesses alike are investing into developing neurodiversity hiring programs to access the talent of people with. Because these are new initiatives, businesses are exploring methods of supporting Autistic employees.

Through a system redesign of job interview accommodations in Teamwork, I hope to inspire employers with the idea that accommodations are simple yet necessary to implement.