Andrea grew up in Colorado and spent her childhood winters in ski school, first as a student, then as a ski instructor and a ski racer. She left the Rockies behind to attend Cornell University, where she received her BS in Engineering, studying mechanical engineering along with ergonomics and design. Andrea is interested in human-centered design and in incorporating knowledge from different fields to address a wide range of problems. In her spare time, she is fulfilling her forgotten childhood aspirations of becoming a ballerina.
Experiments involving jet pumps and pyrotechnics were a regular occurrence in Josh’s childhood backyard. In high school, he started a summer magic camp for children, has over 15 years of technical theater experience and has performed around the world. In 2010, Josh graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a major in Architecture. Combining his various backgrounds, he worked as an architectural lighting designer as well as a theatre consultant for several years in Chicago, assisting architects in documenting and constructing complex performance spaces. He also cofounded a storytelling publication that collects stories from across the country and produces online content. Always looking to become more proficient in circus arts, woodcarving and paragliding, Josh also hopes to use his curiosity and passion to design engaging interactions and meaningful products.
Doug Fertig received a BFA in Ceramics from Alfred University and an MFA in Ceramics from SUNY New Paltz. Doug has taught as an adjunct professor at SUNY New Paltz, Marymount Manhattan College and Long Island University. He has also worked as a studio assistant for KleinReid and Lightexture and as a glaze technician for Christopher Spitzmiller. Doug recently had a line of ceramic products for sale on Gilt and a collaborative commission with Kulvase for a vase that preserves the life of flowers, which was featured in House Beautiful. Doug has always been curious about the objects we make a part of our lives and how those things begin to reflect aspects of our own personality and behavior. Outside of the studio, Doug enjoys exercising, eating and things that are shiny.
Hailing from a small town in South Jersey, Alexa Forney has been an Austrian exchange student, worked on the world's first children's book on 3D printing, and traveled to discuss sustainability as far afield as Paris and as close to home as Philadelphia, where she earned a BS in Product Design from Drexel University in 2014. After a perspective-altering experience at a soup kitchen in Vermont, her goal is to build a career that supports the environmental needs of the future while serving the human needs of minorities and vulnerable groups.
Dayoung Hong is a product designer from Seoul, Korea. She obtained her BFA in Industrial Design from Sookmyung Women’s University, and has experience working across a broad range of design fields including UX/UI, graphic design, package design and editorial design. In 2014, her work was highlighted at the Seoul Design Festival. Before moving to NYC, she participated in an industry-academic project with SAMSUNG ITS and worked for a package design company. Dayoung believes that design created out of love towards humans and understanding of human nature will truly move everyone. Her goal is to develop user-friendly designs by determining what users need through observation of their subconscious habits and behaviors.
Hailing from Edison, New Jersey, Arjun Kalyanpur is a designer by way of engineering. He graduated with a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College in 2009, followed by an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University in 2012. Before arriving at SVA, he worked on the design, development and launch of several products for luxury cosmetics company La Prairie Switzerland. Involved with all facets of the packaging experience from bottle design and molding to carton manufacturing, Arjun was able to learn firsthand what it means to take products from the whiteboard to store shelves. Arjun is fascinated by the prospect of combining the physical and digital to create “smart” objects, and believes these products have the potential to transform the way we communicate with one another and fundamentally experience our world.
Gahee Kang is a product designer who gained a wide sense of design by studying Interior Architecture and Product Design at The School of Art Institute of Chicago. She has experience designing and launching various products, ranging from small objects to furniture. Gahee’s designs are logical and lovely, blending together her creativity and knowledge of design. This is exemplified in her design of Spring Ring, which was featured in the international design magazine Dezeen. She is currently attending SVA’s MFA Products of Design to broaden her design ability from the tangible to include the intangible. Gahee focuses on UX/UI design, solving problems by researching and prototyping in order to ensure user satisfaction. Gahee's design could be simply explained with three words: pretty, easy, functional.
Hailing from the salty green of the Pacific Northwest, Michael Kenney has built a career creating physical and digital product experiences for startups and established brands alike, including Vans, Dannon, SYFY and Microsoft. Dual undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Graphic Design have provided a solid foundation and belief in the power of storytelling, with a special focus on how it affects the human experience. His goal with every project is to leverage that power to shape radical product and brand interactions. So, whether he is developing interactive, web-based content, or working on his Original Pin camera project, Michael is right at home exploring the intersection of story-driven, user-centered design, and commercial product development.
Raised in Boston, MA and Basel, Switzerland, Julia Lindpaintner returned to the States to study History of Science and Dramatic Arts at Harvard College. Upon graduation, Julia moved to New York City to study and perform modern dance, and began her (formal) journey in design when she joined Michael Bierut’s team at Pentagram in 2012. During her three years there, Julia acted as project manager, strategist, researcher, and writer on projects ranging from brand strategy and corporate identity to books, digital marketing tools, and environmental installations across a variety of industries. During the summer of 2016, Julia worked for Common Cents Lab, where she studied behavioral economics, conducted original research, and worked with a team to develop products aimed at improving the financial well-being of low and middle income Americans. Julia is fascinated by behavioral science, organizational development, and win-win strategies, and believes in working across design disciplines to facilitate collaboration, envision alternative systems, and encourage prosocial behavior.
Will Lentz received a BA in Studio Art from Hendrix College in Central Arkansas where he grew up. He followed that strong conceptual experience with the Core Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts in Western North Carolina. There, he had the opportunity to explore, diversify, and strengthen his craft skills. Will can now be best described as a maker. His primary skill sets are in areas such as steel work, woodworking, and ceramics, but his diverse interests have driven him to explore a wider range of materials. Here at PoD, he hopes to use his broad making background in an effort to change the way we understand and interact with our environments and the things around us.
A true New Yorker, Cody Pfleging was born and raised on Staten Island. He can be found exploring the streets, camera in hand, or getting his hands dirty making custom furniture. While studying for his bachelor’s in Architectural Technology at NYCCT, he developed a passion for making. He gained a deep understanding of metal fabrication and the design, installation and management of architectural projects as he advanced from intern to project manager at Kin & Company. Currently, his creative force is directed towards studying the potential for products to foster self-discovery and develop emotional intelligence within the user.
Xumeng Mou’s name means “thought and dream.” She received her bachelor’s degree at the Beijing Institute of Technology, majoring in Industrial Design. She took part in summer courses at UC Berkeley, worked as an editor for a Sci-Fi website, and was a designer and racer in the Econopower Club, a college team that designs and builds cars. She has kept a diary for over 10 years, which is the best way for her to think about the world and her life. She believes that new values have the power to create a new world and completely different way of life. She has focused on finding ways for physical disabilities to be reconstrued as advantages, and for ways our shared living space can be designed to foster interaction and equality between people and plants. In the future, she hopes to explore ways to empower people to be their own agents for change by bringing awareness to their subconscious values and assumptions.
A New Zealander and an alumnus of Victoria University of Wellington, Oscar Pipson completed undergraduate degrees in both Industrial Design and Management. Adventurous in spirit and curious of mind, he has spent time travelling, living, working or studying in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Australia and the US prior to moving to NYC. A designer, researcher and teacher, Oscar worked for both Victoria University School of Design and Callaghan Innovation on various research projects focusing on multi-material 3d printing. Most recently, Oscar has been contracting for Formway Design Studio, world leaders in high performance furniture. An award winner at the Core77 Design Awards and Best Design Awards, Oscar’s work has also been featured on numerous international design blogs.
Ailun Sai was born and raised in China. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from China Central Academy of Fine Arts. With almost ten years of thorough training in fine arts and design, she worked as both a teacher and a designer. Going beyond considerations of function, Ailun believes that design should provide a rich user experience, which is reflected in her design of the Courier Vehicle. She believes that product designers should seek to understand society through human behavior and psychology, and is interested in the way design can address cultural values, social issues, and personal well-being. She sets high standards for herself for the quality and thoroughness of her designs, and works hard to meet them.
Happiest when she is creating with her hands, Karen is a "betwixtrovert"; she thrives on collaboration and discussion but also enjoys working in solitude for hours on a good project. Since completing her BFA in Costume Technology at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Karen has worked as a costumer, milliner, and hair & makeup artist from the Great White Way of New York to the White City of Tel Aviv. Karen has an emphatic interest in social justice and environmental issues and how design can play a part in building a more egalitarian society in a more beautiful world.
Jenna Witzleben is a "desigineer." She received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, then immediately leaped into the world of design by joining Products of Design. Jenna has expanded her experience through working as a researcher and engineer at Eleven LLC as an exhibition designer at Design Museum Boston, and as an experience designer at R/GA in NYC. Her interests vary, as she loves to be constantly learning something new, and her work has spanned from 3D printed ballet shoes to smart fridges to sustainable restaurant concepts. Jenna's background in dance founds her desire to design for physical and emotional interactions and connection with our surrounding environments in both analog and digital modalities.