Our students emerge confident, powerful, agile, and skilled.
From Brooklyn to Bangkok, the students of the MFA in Products of Design are a diverse group of designers from varying backgrounds, disciplines, nationalities and cultures. Together, they embark on an immersive journey, exploring multiple design lenses and creating important, thoughtful work.
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.
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.
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.
Judy is a Brooklyn-based architect and designer who received her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Barnard College, Columbia University. She has worked for the last 15 years in the commercial architecture and construction industry, at the nexus between workplace strategy, design, and behavior. She was most recently the Director of Design and Construction for the D.E. Shaw Group, a global technology investment firm. Judy has also held design positions at MKThink, an architecture and organizational behavioral consulting firm in San Francisco, and as an in-house designer at Bloomberg LP in New York. Her design work has brought her to many places around the globe including Delhi, Tokyo and London. Those years exposed her to life as an urban nomad, a condition that she is keenly interested in investigating. She looks forward to bringing this interest and her architecture background to the Products of Design program to see what unfolds.
Adam has spent the majority of his life crafting and telling stories through various forms of performance. He is unceasingly looking to explore the relationships between our daily social narratives and the components that bind them. He is a San Francisco Bay Area native and holds a BA in Performance Studies. He is also a proud alumnus of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He’s been working as a voice over actor in New York City for many years and can be heard on radio stations across the nation. In addition to being a life-long maker and mechanic, he has 20 years of experience as a public artist specifically using highly flammable and pressurized enamel paints. Adam is beside himself with the opportunity to become a more transparent, compassionate and learned designer and is positive that the future is coming and it looks bright.
Natsuki was born in a small town in China, grew up in suburban Tokyo, and is now based in New York City. She earned a BFA in Integrated Design, focusing on Service Design and Sustainability from Parsons The New School. Along her life journey, she has learned four languages: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean and English. Natsuki is interested in collaborating with people from different backgrounds, and using designed objects and service experiences as catalysts for social and environmental change.
Isioma is a former molecular biology student interested in exploring design as it relates to psychology, art, culture, and the environment. She is fascinated by everything from forests to construction sites, from science fiction to climate change; and is inspired by the micro- and macro- systems which dictate the ways in which people inhabit and create their spaces. When not in the studio, Isioma may be found on nature walks, dreaming up soundscapes, concocting herbal remedies and perfumes for her unwitting (but grateful?) friends, and indulging her newfound passion for surrealist photo shoots.
Eden is a designer from Texas with a broad body of work consisting of graphic design, UX/UI, packaging, furniture, architecture, exhibition design and design strategy. After completing an internship with the start-up industrial design firm Finell, she realized her interest in the production and business of tangible products. Armed with a BFA Design degree from the University of Texas at Austin, she moved to New York to immerse herself in the opportunities the city has to offer. In this era of new technologies such as 3-D printing, arduinos and online learning tools, Eden believes that design education should become more accessible to the masses. She sees new products as platforms for society to mold innovation and change.
Originally from Syosset, NY, Souvik graduated from Harvard College in 2011, majoiring in Social Studies—an interdisciplinary major that drew on the intellectual traditions of several different social sciences including government, economics, and sociology—as a way to understand and solve complex societal problems. His undergraduate thesis sought to use the India-Pakistan relationship as a lens through which to reconcile the neo-realist and constructivist schools of thought within international relations theory. A spring class at the Harvard Graduate School of Design opened Souvik’s eyes to the world of design. He hopes to explore the areas of medicine, technology, and a combination of the two through his design work. In the three years that intervened between college and SVA PoD, Souvik worked as a trader at JPMorgan. He loves to travel, to (break)dance, to eat, and to read comic books.
Vidhi Goel is a multidisciplinary designer with an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design. Currently working at IA Collaborative, as a Design Researcher and Strategist, she practices creative and action driven research everyday. Prior receiving her MFA from SVA, Products of Design, she worked for international clients like Xerox and Qualcomm at an innovation start-up in India. Vidhi's project as an undergraduate student earned her an internship at Tupperware Europe design office at Belgium. As part of the program at SVA, she interned at The Meme, as a research and strategy consultant for clients like Samsung, Pill Pack and Healthbox. Vidhi has worked on projects from creating banking services for rural India to designing smart pregnancy devices eventually featuring in Fast Co. Vidhi's thesis around education in India is a good example of her deep passion for impactful, scalable and responsible design.
Steve Hamilton is a designer, artist, filmmaker, and entrepreneur based in New York City. As founder of Spin Cycle Post he pioneered digital post-production workflows for independent feature films throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s collaborating on numerous projects with Filmmakers Ang Lee, Hal Hartley, Michael Almereyda and many others, visual artists Matthew Barney, Pierre Huyghe, and Mika Rottenberg, and Choreographers Trisha Brown and Cathy Weis. His own art work has been featured in New York at The New Museum, The Queens Museum of Art and Art-In-General, the Triangle Project Space in San Antonio, TX, and internationally at the Geneva Biennale. Hamilton’s design work inspires creative thinking and dialog using the lenses of future studies, speculative design, and experience design through workshops and conceptual design artifacts. Hamilton received his MFA in Design from the School of Visual Arts, Products of Design program and is principal and co-founder with Jocelyn Joson of Twelve Ton Rose, a creative design consultancy based in New York City.
Lucy holds an undergraduate degree in History from New York University. Her professional endeavors have explored a wide variety of disciplines throughout New York City – from hospitality and event planning to fashion and furniture design. She has experience launching new businesses, showing at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and presenting at New York Fashion Week. Her aim is to apply her unique range of experiences and analytical perspective to product design. Her work has been featured online at Core77, Archinect, Food&Wine and Epicurious. She has most recently completed a residency at Makeshift Society Brooklyn. You can catch her running around town collecting foam scraps for The Foam Agency or talking about the future of food.
Julia Plevin is a designer, strategist, and writer with a keen understanding of innovation and a passion for culture change. She's the co-founder, along with Lucy Knops, of Trouble Makers Inc., a design collaborative with the goal of making challenging issues digestible. They received an Awesome Without Borders grant and a Core77 award along with press from Popular Science, New Yorker, The Telegraph, Food & Wine, and Epicurious for their first product, Critter Bitters, which aims to change the attitude around eating insects. She's worked at IDEO and SYPartners and has experience leading creative teams around the world. Her writing has been published in The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, and VentureBeat. Previously, she was the Managing Editor of The Word Hanoi, a city magazine in Hanoi, Vietnam, and focused on user experience and marketing as the fourth employee at Luvocracy, a high-tech startup in San Francisco that was purchased my Walmart Labs. She has worked as a storyteller for various NGOs including IUCN, Operation Smile, and Indo-Myanmar Conservation. Julia has a B.A. in History from Dartmouth College.