"I and I (also spelled I&IInI, or Ihi yahnh Ihi) is a complex term, referring to the oneness of Jah (God) and every human. Rastafari scholar E. E. Cashmore: "I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness. 'I and I' as being the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we're one people in fact. I and I means that God is within all men."

This painting is a self portrait referencing the oneness of the body mind and spirit with nature. Inspired by the Californian coastline and patterns of abalone shells from a road trip across the west cost, i&i explores identity and natural patterns.

~ Natalie Doud

Synaptic Design is 1 Year Old

It's hard to believe we've been at this for over a year now. So far, we have hosted creativity workshops, produced medical training apps, delivered our surgical trainers (Medjules) to medical students in Uganda and the University of Minnesota, spoken about passion projects at conferences like AHA and MobCon and collaborated with many exciting local makers like The Choosatron and the Innovation Salon!


Here's to another year of making, inventing, designing and doing what we are passionate about!

The Creation of Atom

I have been obsessed with creation myths since I was a child. Imagining how we came to be felt like a secret subversion of power. My stories were equally valid as any of the ones I had been told by adults. The more science I would tie in, the more valid my theories felt. We can all imagine and we can all create. The very fact that we are human endows us with the power to create and that makes us incredibly powerful. The Creation of Atom celebrates and explores the idea of creation and imagination.


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Alex Doud speaks at American Heart Association

Alex's research shows ‘Virtual reality hands’ may help stroke survivors recover hand function.

Last week, founder Alex Doud spoke at the American Heart Association Conference in Dallas, TX. He shared his research involving the use of virtual hands and brain-computer interface to improve rehabilitation after stroke.

Read the full interview at AHA's newsroom


“Using a brain-computer interface, we’ve created an environment where people who may be too physically impaired to move can practice mental imagery to help regain use of their arms and hands,” said Alexander Doud, M.S., lead author.


Synaptic Design Brings Laparoscopic Skills Trainers to New Simulation Center in Uganda

Our team has been working hard to bring our low cost surgical skills trainers to the newly formed simulation center in Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda.


Medjules are a suite of modular trainers intended to objectively asses skills such as knot-tying, suturing, and tool articulation. Each new skill comes in the form of a modular top to be attached to the universal base.

Like a 3D game of "Operation" meets "Simon Says", the tool articulation task tracks speed and accuracy while transferring metal rings from one S-shaped post to the next. This Medjule records the frequency and duration of error each time a ring touches a post.


Medjules are being developed for use within the University of Minnesota curriculum. For more information on Medjules, please contact natalie@synapticdesign.com

(It's not really) About You

That's what they call the section. But surely thats not what it really is. Not anymore. Up until around a year ago, Facebook considered the "About You" portion of your profile important enough to display, you know, on the About page. But these days, that little pocket of text has been relegated to near obscurity. Go ahead, try to find it. I'll wait.

Yes, that bastion of a place where you are defined not by a list of stats, but by the words that you have chosen for yourself has been relegated to not one, not two, but 3 clicks and 2 full page scrolls down the page. Once upon a time, those words held a more prominent location. Right alongside things like... notes. Remember those?

These days, freeform writing has taken a backseat to data. I'm not here to bash Facebook and I do see the value of data. But we have lost something to this method and we feel its effect every time we meet another human.

"Whats your name?" 

"What do you do?" 

"Where are you from?"

I don't know. I guess I'd like to learn a little more About You than that.


Feedback Loop

I am a positive feedback loop and an incurable optimist. I take in energy from others and send it back out with my own positive spin. When I spend time with the right people, anything is possible. I will never know where the world stops and I begin.


We output our inputs and input our outputs.

We output our inputs and input our outputs.

The Blissful Surrender

Yogis know a little something that others do not. I like to call this the Moment of Blissful Surrender.

There is a point in every real stretch when you've hit your limit and you feel you can go no further. Your muscles begin to shake and your mind closes to the pain. At this point, you can either end the stretch, or, you can take –


A deep breath. Close your eyes. Relax.

Accept the discomfort and exhale into the Blissful Surrender. You will find that you can press further than you ever believed possible. Your body will melt and accept the position it has been placed in.

We do this all the time. In life, we find ourselves in positions where we feel we have been pushed to our limit. I assure you, we have not. We haven't even taken a breath.


Behind your mask

I think a lot about empathy.  It is something that I believe is not only good for the soul but also allows us to better serve our clients. Often, we find ourselves creating boundaries between us and others. Our masks seem so different. Maybe we're even very different at a deeper level. But designing experiences for others requires trying on their mask. And in order to do that, we must identify and remove our own

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