Meet the Alumni: Class of 2016
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 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. Since he graduated from the Products of Design program in 2016, he has worked as a Design Consultant for Blue Apron, the Rockefeller Foundation, Ideo.org, Whole Foods, Tomorrow Lab, and Bark Box, to name a few. He also launched his own podcast, My Life in Letters, in which he documents the lives of graffiti artists and letter enthusiasts, as well as the culture created by graffiti art. You can listen to the podcast through iTunes and Google Play.
Born passionate and curious in Basel, Switzerland (1991), Oscar de la Hera Gomez is a New York-based award-winning Creative Technologist and Designer whose work fuses disciplines, and explores how interactions or activities can be heightened through experiential products. His craft is derived from his background in Engineering and Design, which originated at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art, and was further ignited through his MFA in Products of Design at the School of Visual Arts. Today, Oscar's work is sold around the world by the Museum of Modern Art and has featured in panels at ICFF and IFConference. Oscar currently works at R/GA as a Creative Technologist, working with clients that include Nike, Samsung, Verizon, ESPN, Walmart and has worked on high profile projects that include the Nike Apple Watch. Finally, Oscar has launched his studio, Delasign, that executes products, services and experiences for clients that include Closca and the Spanish Trade Commission.
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.
Wan Jung Hung is a product designer originally from Taiwan. After she graduated from National Taipei University of Education, she worked for a new design company, focusing on smart phone and tablet accessories in addition to working for an event company as a visual merchandiser. In her free time she likes to join workshop and design related activities. Wan Jung is passionate about new material and, near-future technology and open resource. She is excited about combining them together to invent new interactions between product and user.
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.
Panisa Khunprasert is from Bangkok, Thailand. She studied industrial design at Chulalongkorn University. Inspired by her family’s toy business, many of her projects have focused on children’s learning and playing experience. She has presented her work at Tokyo Designer Week 2014 and has experience working as a full-time toy designer and part-time fashion accessories designer. Many of her designs have been distributed in trade fairs throughout Europe and Asia. She came to New York and MFA Products of Design to experience, explore, and to be inspired.
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. She is currently employed as a designer at New York's Pentagram office.
Typically found in his natural habitat, the fabrication lab, Jon Lung is a maker of things. Spending a majority of his undergraduate career in the shop and his professional career with a furniture designer he has amassed skills and techniques working with various woods, metals, foams, plastics, fabrics, papers, resins, and clay. Besides his projects in the physical world, he also works in the digital world as a freelance graphic designer. Looking to use his powers for good, Jon aims to design the future with deeper purpose and meaning. When not working inside he can be found scavenging junkyards for interesting pieces and parts or scavenging for ingredients in the kitchen to cook with.
Marianna Mezhibovskaya received a bachelor’s degree in Technical Direction from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. After school she toured across North America, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean as a props artisan for the Blue Man Group. Upon returning to her hometown of Brooklyn, NY, she has worked as a welder, carpenter, and fabricator in several commercial set shops. She is ecstatic about jumping into the Products of Design program and, consequently, jumping out of her comfort zone in effort to combine her technical skills with the unknown in order create empathic design experiences!
Adem Önalan is a Turkish industrial designer who graduated from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. He was born and raised in Istanbul, the city where East meets West and this environment has played an important role in his identity as a designer. His works have been awarded by several international and national design authorities such as Red Dot Design Award, iF Design Award, International Design Excellence Awards. He has contributed to international design fairs and exhibitions such as Tokyo Designers Week and Turkey Innovation Week. In 2013, Adem was nominated for the Student of Asia Award by the Design Association of Japan. As a designer, he is always seeking meaning and beauty in life through object design.
Tahnee would say that her background is rather varied and unusual. If you take into account that she hasn’t stayed put for the last few years (living in Vancouver, Montreal, New York, London) and that her interests include hip-hop dance, yoga and cherry picking, then I think we’d have to agree with her. Her belief is that her past experiences will only make her a more well-rounded designer. What drives her creative practice is her belief that design is a new medium for creating art and that sometimes it’s necessary to make work that isn’t easy for the creator or the audience. Tahnee has grown the most when she’s leaned into discomfort or friction and that is something she’d like to share through her work.
Originally from Syosset, NY, Souvik graduated from Harvard College in 2011, majoring 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.
Ziyun Qi graduated from Beijing Institute of Technology with a MS in Industrial Design. During her studies, her work focused on emotional design and interaction design and she also took part in a national project of China as a product designer. Ziyun believes that a designer’s role is to strengthen the world though products. She is concerned with the psychological problems, emotions and spiritual states of people who live under stress. She thinks people in contemporary society have more psychological and emotional problems because of our separation from nature. She expects a second Master degree to explore and redefine the product under the guidance of natural law, adding emotion-based information to it and rebulding the connection between the human mind and the natural world.
Roya is an interdisciplinary and intercultural designer with a background in Physics. She completed her Bachelor of Design (BDes) from The York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design (YSDN) in Toronto, where she practiced theoretical, research, and practical aspects of design. Her interests span a wide variety of subjects, however there are recurring themes in her work: fashion, gender, and nature. She is constantly exploring and deepening her identity as an Iranian designer and is specifically interested in learning more about the emerging and often mysterious world of Design Thinking. She is fascinated by its possibility as a tool to tackle ‘wicked problems.’ She enjoys traveling, teaching, learning new things, and taking pictures.
Trained as an architect and urbanist at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, Leila has subsequently worked with architecture, exhibition, and product design in several offices. She has hands-on experience with woodworking, digital fabrication, metalworking and jewelry making. Her focus lies at the intersection of designing and making. Some of her clients and partners have included Rafic Farah, Artificio, Ralph Aplebaum, Blumer-Lehman, Ita, Sesc, Paulo Bruna, among others. In her spare time, she likes to draw.
Chelsea is currently a Sr. Visual Designer at Uneka Concepts, a design consultancy in the Bay Area, focusing on branding, packaging, strategy, and product storytelling. Before graduating from the Products of Design program, she was a summer designer with Nike's Global Brand Design department in Beaverton, Oregon. During her undergraduate studies in visual design, she also explored other interests such as furniture design, architecture, and design research from a variety of schools and programs. Her curiosity in the spectrum of design offerings and experience working with a range of studios and clients has provided her with a distinctive design perspective and visual voice. Outside of design, she is an avid photographer and soccer player.
Belen Tenorio was born and raised in Ecuador. She is a passionate visual creative, pop cultural enthusiast, food lover, and Junior Art Director. Before moving to New York she earned her BFA in Advertising at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. During her time at Ogilvy & Mather NY, she has worked for Fortune 500 clients like IBM, American Express, Cover Girl, NFL, Met life, BP and Adobe. She’s mostly proud of her ambidextrous skills though, how she arrived at this point originated with failing kindergarten, whilst she clumsily fiddled with right-handed scissors. She is currently attempting to co-found a start up in the food community at Orbital incubator, that is still a work in progress, like everything else in her life.
Louise-Anne van't Riet
Louise-Anne van ‘t Riet obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture & Design at C.A.D (Belgium – Brussels) in 2014. She is design and product oriented and is used to making 1/1 scale models of her projects. She has extensive experience working in international settings, including a year she spent abroad exploring Australia and her time spent working as an interior designer in Beijing. These international experiences provided valuable exposure to different cultures and values. Her goal is to design everyday objects in as simple and as elegant a way as possible, using perfect functionality to enhance the relationship between user and product. One of her design projects got the Annick Buchet Award for its completed outstanding achievement and her work has been featured in Furniture Served. Louise-Anne hopes to expand her experience to the design and reinterpretation of systems as well as objects.
Lijia Yang graduated from the Academy of Art & Design, Tsinghua University in China where he majored in product design. He joined international workshops held by the Royal College of Art and LG and won recognition in various design competitions. He has worked in TP-Link Shenzhen Tech Co. Ltd as a product designer and became a design director in Leroy Global Communication Co. Ltd. With great knowledge of the entire manufacturing process from ideation to market, he earned his client’s trust and respect. His designs of the MW316R series of Mercury wireless routers are still on the market. Yang is deeply curious about human behavior and aims to design products that solve problems. He is passionate about creating sustainable systems for the future.