Our students emerge confident, powerful, agile, and skilled.
From Brooklyn to Bangkok, the students of the MFA in Products of Design offer their diverse range of experiences from varying backgrounds, disciplines, nationalities and cultures to the world of design. 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.
Rhea grew up in India, and is particularly influenced by her homeland's rich cultures. She completed her undergraduate studies in Design from Goldsmiths University of London, where she gained an in-depth knowledge of product, textile, graphic, system and speculative design. For her undergraduate thesis project, she designed devices to assist in the rehabilitative process for patients who recently started wearing prosthetic limbs. These devices are now utilized by BMVSS—the world’s largest institute for prosthetic fitment. 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. Rhea wants to combine science, technology and design in her future projects, particularly in the field of healthcare. She is currently interning at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital as a design strategist. Aside from being a designer, she is a tennis enthusiast and a Bollywood dance instructor.
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.
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 Corporate. Apart from her professional work, Ellen is an artist and maker--she paints, draws and makes ceramics in her studio in Brooklyn. This summer she was accepted to the inaugural Wix Summer Design Playground: a branding, graphic & web design incubator. She graduated with a BA in Art and Spanish from Lafayette College in Easton, PA.
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, participating in a research project looking at the role of governance in transformative transportation initiatives. 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 how to change policy and societal behavior through the lens of a product designer. 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 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.
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.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Alexia received her BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in Jewelry and Metalsmithing. Aside from exhibiting work in various galleries and trade shows across the U.S., Alexia spent five years as a Jewelry Studio Technician and Visiting Professor at Pratt Institute. Making and experimentation often go beyond the jeweler’s bench for her: Lately, the kitchen counter has seen some examples of wild fermentation through sourdough bread baking, and her hands have developed new muscles through a new-found love for rock climbing and adventure. At Products of Design, Alexia is looking into finding ways to combine her interest in food, artistry, and adventure to create opportunities for shared experiences and value.
Originally from South Korea, Juho moved to the U.S. by himself when he was 15 years old. He joined the military after his freshman year in college, and worked as a military police at the Korean Embassies of Japan, China, Israel, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. After retiring as a sergeant, he returned to school—graduating with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Business Studies from New York University. Juho has worked across a broad range of industries—from lifestyle retail to pharmaceuticals to social justice media. Most recently, he has expanded his experience through working as an interaction designer at Frog Design. He has been always excited to apply design thinking to tough problems, and is particularly interested in exploring the way design can respond to and influence our subconscious habits and patterns of behavior.
Prior to joining Products of Design, Lassor worked at ModernMD Urgent Care—a medical start-up where he helped manage marketing, human resources, construction, financial reporting...and everything in between. He graduated from Brandeis University with concentrations in American Studies, Film, Business, and Law. His Senior Thesis, Wired America, explored the transformation of America through the cultural, legal, and economic parallels between the dawn of electrification in early 20th century and the Information Age. The paper concluded that, without thoughtful intervention, technological change will reflect the most regressive elements of society. Lassor developed his interest in design through the informal study of architecture and CAD. He hopes to leverage his broad range of interests to bring a unique perspective to the PoD program.
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.
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. Over the years to follow, he applied his knowledge and skills at a retail packaging company, quickly developing and launching several products for luxury cosmetics brand La Prairie Switzerland. Learning firsthand what it meant to take products from the whiteboard to store shelves, Arjun was inspired to pursue a design career. He completed his product design graduate degree in 2017, as part of SVA's MFA program, Products of Design. Arjun now works at design consultancy 10XBeta which is located in the New Lab, a ground-breaking product realization facility. His diverse skills and previous experience allow him to work on products ranging from consumer goods to medical devices, helping bring them from concept to commercialization.
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 is a highly-motivated multi-disciplinary designer who merges creativity with positive social impact. An industrial Designer by training, Ailun draws reference from diverse cultural and disciplinary backgrounds. She also has a particular interest in exploring new possibilities in future scenarios and proposing open social questions with possible alternatives. Born in Dalian, China, Ailun is currently based in New York. She holds a BFA in Industrial design from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. In addition to being a designer, Ailun is also an illustrator, artist, teacher, sports enthusiast, and animal lover.
Jenna Witzleben is a designer, strategist, engineer, environmentalist (and more!). She received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, then immediately leaped into the world of design by joining the Products of Design program. She loves to be constantly learning something new and 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. Jenna is drawn to exploring the furtherance of human capabilities and resilience, an interest she often associates with her 20 years of dance training. She enjoys being able to hold seemingly contrasting interests and points of views, resulting in work spanning from cyborgism to rewilding.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Lusha Huang is from Guangzhou, China where she gained a BA in Industrial design at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Her passion for design has been recognized in various international design competitions, such as the IF Design Award. She holds five patents for her work and was the only Chinese student asked to participate in the Milano Salone in 2012. During her undergraduate years, she was invited to Japan, North Europe and the US to exchange ideas about design. Lusha is interested in design rooted in Chinese culture. Her thesis, entitled "It’s Chinese to me: Luck and Cultural Empathy", explores the disconnect between Chinese and American culture. As a designer, Lusha channels her upbeat personality and love for learning and technology into her products and interactive designs. She particularly enjoys creating products and experiences that improve the quality of life. She worked at Quirkyand littleBits, where discovered her interest in smart objects and The Internet of Things (IoT). She is currently working as a product designer at Disignir, a platform that builds relationships between designers, manufacturers, and consumers.
Berk Ilhan is a New York based product and experience designer, who uses innovation as a pillar to cultivate delightful experiences via novel and meaningful interactions. His design recipe involves rigorous primary research, holistic system modeling, latent need identification, participatory design, empathy, play, minimalism, and chasing wild dreams by pushing against accustomed constraints. His portfolio ranges from healthcare experiences to modular furniture systems, and virtual reality interfaces to futuristic household appliances. Berk’s design work has been recognized by 13 international design awards including the prestigious iF Design Award, International Design Excellence Award (IDEA), Red Dot Best of the Best Award, International Design Award (IDA), and A’ Design Award. Berk is an alumnus of SVA (School of Visual Arts), MFA Products of Design Program in New York, and he holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from Middle East Technical University, Ankara.
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.