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. Our students secure positions at some of the most prestigious consultancies in the world, such as IDEO, frog, SYPartners, R/GA, Fuseproject, Pentagram, Vice Media, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, and The Future Project.
CLASS OF 2019
Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Eugenia completed her BA in Product Design at Instituto Europe di Design (IED Madrid). After graduating, she worked as the assistant to the head designer for Johnpepe, a small design firm in Madrid. That experience gave her great insight into what it takes to build her own studio, along with the limitations attached to it. At a young age, she attended boarding school in Scotland, where she lived with people from various countries, and was exposed to the differences in culture that we have to consider when confronting any project. As she starts her journey through the MFA Products of Design program, she is hoping to be able to address complex situations within our society in a way that can make an impact in the lifestyle and principles that we have today, in order to face a better tomorrow.
Ben attended Western University in his hometown of London, Ontario, where he majored in English Language and Literature, and minored in French studies. He realized his passion for design in the final years of his undergrad while studying seventeenth-century country house poetry and its relationship to the prevailing architecture of the time. Ben then tried his hand at furniture design and continued to explore other areas of design—particularly product design. He has designed products using waste materials, and has written about developing innovative material for outdoor clothing. He has also worked for companies such as Grizzly Carpentry and TBI Irrigation. In his spare time, Ben enjoys reading books, playing adventure sports, and spending time with his family.
Rhea is from the colourful and dramatic country of India, and is particulary influenced by her homeland's numerous traditions and cultures. She completed her undergraduate studies in Design from Goldsmiths University of London, where she gained an indepth knowledge of product, textile, graphic, and system design. She has interned as a home decor and interior designer for Dileep Industries—a home and handicraft firm that designs and exports products for Target and Ralph Lauren. She also developed design concepts for Imaginarium—India's largest 3D Printing Company. For her undergraduate thesis project, she redesigned devices to assist in the rehabilative process for patients who recently started wearing prostethic limbs. These devices are now utilized by BMVSS—the world’s largest institute for prosthetic fitment. Rhea wants to combine science, technology and design in her future projects. Aside from being a designer, she is a sports enthusiast and a Bollywood dance instructor.
John was born in Sugar Land, Texas, and has always been a creative person, constantly seeking new ways to express himself. He studied Telecommunications and Graphic Design at Texas A&M University. He then worked as a graphic artist for local companies, such as Signet Interactive, Landry's Inc., and Drifting Creatives, LLC. His work there included branding for rock bands, developing user interfaces for private universities, and creating collateral for local restaurants. A self professed jack-of-all-trades, John loves learning new skills and applying them to everything he touches. At the MFA Products of Design department, he hopes to learn much from those around him, and explore as far and wide as possible. Being a type I diabetic, he hopes to apply this knowledge in the fields of medical design. As a Houston native, he is also interested in space exploration.
Zihan grew up in Kunshan, a highly developed city in China. He earned his BA from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Prior to joining the Products of Design program, he founded his own company SECStudio, which specializes in app development. Zihan is also an avid inventor and has patents (both granted and pending) for several of his inventions, which include an energy saving faucet and a pairing method for near-field electronic devices. He has also competed in and won several awards, such as the Red Dot Design Concept and Communication Design Awards, The One Show /Young Ones Competition, C/I Transit Advertising Design Contest, Coca Cola Innovation and Design Contest, and the Graphis Poster Annual. Zihan is also a licensed pilot and enjoys flying planes in his free time.
Evie is a visual storyteller, full-stack marketer, and all-around creative human being. Although born in New York, she has been shaped by her bicultural upbringing and travel experiences across six continents. After receiving a BA in Psychology from Pitzer College in 2013, Evie started working in content marketing and brand strategy for startups, such as Fluent City, Front of House NYC, and Unified Social. She also started her own freelance consulting companies—A La Moon and Evie Cheung Photography. At Products of Design, Evie plans to merge her interdisciplinary digital experiences with the physical world, and develop products that will combat the challenges of today’s political climate, encourage sustainability, and foster compassion between strangers.
Gustav was born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he served in the army as a Royal Guard to the Danish Royal family. He later obtained his B.Sc in Digital Media and Design at the IT University of Copenhagen. As a student, he designed an app in collaboration with Volkswagen to identify technical issues with cars for both customers and mechanics. He was also employed by Maersk, for whom he developed and digitized the on-boarding and off-boarding processes of their employees. Now, Gustav is looking forward to getting his hands dirty, expanding his creative skills, and immersing himself into the impressive Products of Design community.
Tzu-Ching is from Taipei, Taiwan, where he majored in Industrial Design in Tatung University. He is an aesthetic and culture enthusiast. Having a strong passion for ancient eastern wisdom and admiring the elegance of western culture, he wants to combine the two different cultures into a whole new point of view, and eagerly wants to show the world how he perceives it. Regarding technology, he thinks developers have overlooked the key elements of what makes us a human—a social animal that needs to bond and build relationships between one another. So he decided to use what he has learned and what he's going to learn to make the world a better place—to change human beings' behavior. In his free time, Tzu Ching enjoys playing basketball, watching fashion shows, playing chess (Japanese chess—Go), and playing the violin.
Micah was born and raised in the U.S., and has moved around various states throughout his life. In addition to being musically trained and talented, his exposure to fine arts and graphic design at a young age helped him to develop a passion and creative eye for design. He attended school at Gordon College in Massachusetts, where he earned a BFA with a concentration in Graphic Design. At school, he was encouraged to explore multiple media such as pencil, chalk, and clay to advance his understanding of other art forms, composition, and aesthetics. He had an apprenticeship with designer Brad Zimmerman, with whom he designed videos, animated slide shows and printed materials for Watermark Church. With the help of the MFA Products of Design program, Micah hopes to expand his knowledge and design process.
Sophie is an industrial designer with a passion for Graphic Design and Technology. She was born and raised in Queretaro, Mexico, where she completed her undergraduate studies at Monterrey's Institute of Technology, majoring in Industrial Design and minoring in Graphic Design. After graduating, she worked as graphic designer for Juriquilla, a local health and lifestyle magazine. She also freelanced for a variety of clients—ranging from rock-metal bands like Jake's Metal to music academies such as Academia de Musica Curiel, and local health specialists. Looking to expand her business experience, she then worked in logistics at Cristina Ramella—a world and travel inspired jewelry brand. When she is not designing, you can find her baking, going on a long walk, or doodling at the park.
Born in Moscow and raised in Saigon, Phuong Anh became an avid believer in human-centred design and design thinking after her studies and work in the U.S. She obtained her B.S. in Advertising at Boston University, and swiftly ventured into UX design to work with Eli Graphics, Boston University's AdLab and Potoo LLC, where she scrutizined user behaviours. She also interned as a PR specialist for T&A Ogilvy—an advertising/PR agency in Vietnam. The gap she sees between the product and the user can be remedied with the running revolution in design, and she wants to be part of it. During the next two years, Phuong Anh seeks to combine design thinking, doing and making to show sympathy to the user and the environment, and to find innovation in the interactions of industries. Her ultimate goal is to serve humans with the products we truly need for a completely sustainable future.
A native Californian, André is a trained writer with a background in digital marketing and advertising. Upon receiving his BA in Literature from Pepperdine University in Malibu, he designed and implemented marketing campaigns for Kia, the Boys and Girls Club, Bambino, Tiger Pistol, Little Quest, and Dose of Divine—specializing in analytics and digital strategy. He is wildly passionate about mentoring and serving youth, and has worked with organizations like Americorps, the Boys & Girls Club, and the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. He hopes to expand his experience as a mentor to create opportunities in design for youth. André is also a self-professed petrolhead, and will happily talk cars with anyone willing to listen. He is pursuing design with the hopes of removing barriers and providing design opportunities to those who may not have easy access.
Ellen approaches the Products of Design course with an eight-year background in visual presentation, having created window displays and interior environments for retail giants like Anthropologie, Saks Fifth Avenue and J. Crew (corporately). She graduated with a BA in Art (Fine Art & Art History) and Spanish Literature at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. Apart from her professional work, Ellen makes abstract paintings in her Brooklyn studio. She's also passionate about dancing to deep house music, baking birthday cakes, and making ceramic cups and bowls.
Hannah comes fresh out of Cornell University, where she earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering. She discovered her place in the design world while working as an engineering intern at Cascade Designs in Seattle, where she helped develop systems to provide clean drinking water in disaster relief settings. She has also been a professional outdoor educator for the past six years. Most recently, Hannah worked with Cornell Outdoor Education as a lead facilitator for the Cornell Team and Leadership Center (CTLC), where she designed experiences for clients to allow them to achieve personal and group development goals. As a designer, she is enticed by creating products and experiences that are "good" in every sense of the word, and by making the outdoors more accessible to us all.
Carly begins her new adventure in New York City by way of her hometown, Canandaigua, NY. She graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where she expanded her interest in design through Architectural Studies. She developed her desire to use design as a medium to connect cultures while participating in a specialized study program in Rome, Italy, where she studied architectural sketching and art history. Prior to joining Products of Design, Carly worked with furniture designer/maker Patrick Kana in Geneva, NY, and for nationally recognized non-profit, Second Nature, in Boston, MA. Carly’s passions for service and design attracted her to this MFA program, and she is excited for opportunities to prioritize and address social justice issues.
Oomung completed his undergraduate studies at Evergreen State College in Washington, where he studied the political relationship between ecology, identity, and resource-access through design research and sculpture. Oomung has developed his practice through collaboration with artists in the Kumon Art Collective and the Arbutus Folk School. As a student, he curated several art exhibitions, seeking to represent a diverse array of artists and artwork across institutions to develop a critical dialogue regarding art-making and exhibition. He creates artwork in visual, tactile, and sonic mediums. He is also classically trained in playing the tabla.
Antya was born and raised in Boston, and is greatly influenced by her German-American upbringing. She received a Bachelors in Environmental Studies from NYU, with a focus on cities and transportation. Prior to joining Products of Design, she worked as the project coordinator for the Harvard Graduate School of Design, overseeing a research project of how to transform urban transportation. She also received a Masters in Sustainable Management to better understand the role of design and business in shifting sustainable practices. For her Master's thesis there, she created a business proposal for a Sustainable-Laundromat-Cafe-Bar, which explored how the combination of design and sustainability could improve a laundromat's value, perception, and contribution to the community. She hopes to further explore this idea through the lens of a product designer, and also hopes to tackle how products and designs might be able to shape and encourage policy changes. While not in the studio, Antya can be found trying every ice cream shop in New York City in search of the perfect cone.
Born and raised in Dalian, China, Xuan received her undergraduate degree in biotechnology from Dalian University of Technology. She was supposed to continue learning cellular biology at Xiamen University, but then decided to explore product design instead. She believes that designers are problem solvers, and that she will foster the skills needed to become one in the MFA Products of Design program. This is a fantastic start for her in design, and she intends to earn more skills and knowledge to become a mature designer.
Wei was born in Beijing, China. He obtained his bachelors degree in Industrial Design from Beijing University of Technology. During his studies, he participated in and won design competitions, including the Red Dot Design Award and Hyundai Car Design Competition. After graduating, he travelled to Germany, where he learned German and further immersed himself in European product design. He is now pursuing his masters in the MFA Products of Design department, where he is looking forward to learning new perspectives.
Born and raised in Wenzhou, China, Yangying was exposed to art at an early age. She attended the affiliated middle school of China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, where she practiced sketching, painting, shaping and composition. She then pursued her undergraduate studies at the China Academy of Art in Shanghai. During her time there, she studied product design—with a focus on incorporating indigenous Chinese art in product design. Her ideology is to generate rich, spiritual and meaningful lifestyles by combining design and experiences. Prior to joining this program, she participated in SVA's CDFNY Summer Program for International Students. Over the next two years, she wants to develop her business and design skills so that she can establish her own design firm in the future.
CLASS OF 2018
Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Bernice graduated with a B.Comm from the University of British Columbia, specializing in Marketing and Sustainability. Over the last two years, she has travelled, studied, and worked in over twenty-five cities across nine countries. As a design researcher and strategist in Toronto, she worked with a team to design web-based solutions for improving the language of financial service provision toward vulnerable populations. In Shanghai, she continued to expand her marketing repertoire by using traditional and digital streams to increase foreign direct investment across China, India, and Vietnam. By combining her experience in business with design, Bernice aspires to reframe consumer dialogues with products, orienting them around product lifecycles rather than product lifetimes.
Louis grew up in New Zealand, studying at AIM Academy in Germany, Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburg, and graduating with a Bachelor of Design Innovation—majoring in Industrial Design—at Victoria University of Wellington. He continued to work with the National Library of New Zealand as a research scholar, visualizing Wellington City’s future through augmented reality, virtual reality, and digital manufacture. He was also a teaching assistant to undergraduate design students at Victoria University. Currently, Louis is an assistant at the Visible Futures Lab where he mentors graduate students in all things making. Today, Louis’ interests lie in the changing face of design, which have brought him to New York City where he seeks to explore his role as a designer in an increasingly accessible discipline.
Smruti is a maker. Since graduating from the National Institute of Design in India, she has designed and developed products—ranging from healthcare to home appliances—at Frog Design and Future Factory in Mumbai. She is skilled in ethnographic research, industrial design, and product strategy, which she is excited to apply in her goal of creating design that is impactful and products and services that are responsible. Here in New York, she will continue to search for her soul-food: seeing and understanding new cultures and ideologies.
Andrew was born and raised in South Florida, leaving for the Midwest to study Industrial Engineering at the University of Michigan. After completing his bachelor's degree, Andrew worked at Apple's Headquarters in San Francisco as an engineer in the Manufacturing Design team. His work focused on the development and mass production of iterative generations of the iPhone—from iPhone 4S to iPhone 7. Apple and its design team helped excite Andrew’s curiosity for the surrounding built environment. He hopes to tackle large-scale topics through design, such as early childhood education, sustainable materials, dietary behavior, and food waste. When not in the studio, Andrew can be found in a nearby park or beach (likely in a hammock) enjoying the outdoors.
Manako received her BA in anthropology from Reed College in Portland, OR. Prior to joining Products of Design, she worked in supply chain management for a major Japanese chemical company Toray, and in marketing for an Italian furniture manufacturer Kartell. Here at PoD, she has formed a new design manifesto for herself: "make it fit." Manako pledges to leverage her diverse background and use the sneaky power of design wherever possible to manipulate what others think and help those who share the pain of not fitting in.
Kuan Xu was born and raised in Zhejiang province, China, and completed his Bachelors Degree in Interior Design at Zhejiang International University. During college, he pursued his dream of becoming a designer and took every opportunity to learn the discipline, joining the International Industrial Designing Contest and the Countryside Reconstruction Design Program. He is proficient in pitching ideas, 3D modeling, and giving presentations. Kuan is eager to help people with all kinds of design-related challenges, believing that curiosity and boldness in the face of failure are key to becoming a good designer. Kuan has never been to the U.S. before, and is excited to learn a new culture.
Will is an experience designer and strategist driven by curiosity and an innate urge to make the obscure clear. Born in Pasadena, California, he lived there until the age of ten, when he traded coasts for the D.C. area. He studied Journalism, Advertising and English at UNC Chapel Hill before moving to New York to work in advertising at BBDO. But after three years of helping clients like Hewlett Packard Enterprise find their voice, he realized it was time to find his own. A self-proclaimed Wikipedia addict who has been drawing since before he could walk, Will is passionate about finding solutions that make our world safer, saner, happier, and more efficient. Most recently, he has been helping a software start-up develop the design principles, user flow and interface for a product aimed at putting the power of machine learning in the hands of non-programmers.
Jingting is a designer and a nationally-acknowledged Chinese poet. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing, while working as an aromatherapist and a drummer in a rock band. With her diverse academic and working background, Jingting is looking to explore design across a diverse number of fields, including technology, science, strategy, and art. When she’s not working on her projects, you can find her cooking, reading, drawing, playing music, and trying something new!
Kevin’s origins are in Montreal, Canada, but he has never been able to stay in one place. He received a Business Management, Entrepreneurship and Innovation degree from Dalhousie University, and continued as a marketing strategist before transitioning to branding—and most recently, to product design. It is his experience traveling though Asia, Europe, and the Americas, however, that has shaped him the most as a designer. Kevin has worked on a wide range of projects, including fully-recyclable footwear, 3-D printed hydroponic systems, and mobile apps. He is increasingly optimistic about the convergence of physical and digital products and the potential they have toward collective human prosperity. Kevin plans to use his background in business and his entrepreneurial spirit as tools to propel his design ideas. When Kevin isn’t plotting his next project, he enjoys playing music, writing, and cycling around the city.
Born and raised in Peru, Sebastian has always been involved in the world of extreme sports. A former member of the Peruvian National water skiing team, as well as an avid surfer, mixed martial artist, tennis player, and cyclist, Sebastian studied Architecture at the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas in Lima, Peru—focusing on Industrial and Personal Projects. After graduation, he spent three years in the industry working on residences, museums, hospitals, schools, theaters, office buildings, and HPC. Passionate about his craft, Sebastian moved to New York to learn new tools and techniques to expand his creative potential.
Hailing from China, Jiani Lin’s interests in handcrafting inspired her to pursue an education in products of design. Through her undergraduate major and various internships, she has gotten experience in different kinds of design—including product design, package design, graphic design, and website design. She decided to come to the United States to get a graduate degree after she read Design Revolution: 100 Products That Empower People, inspiring her to reevaluate the kind of things she actually wants to design, and challenging her to imagine how she could be a designer that makes people’s lives better. Jiani looks forward to exploring different design disciplines to find the area in which she can best combine her interests and skills.