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 is a product designer and design strategist based in New York City. Rhea was born and raised in India, and earned her undergraduate degree in design from Goldsmiths, University of London. For her undergraduate thesis project, she designed prosthetic limbs—devices now utilized by BMVSS, the world’s largest institute for prosthetic fitment. Most recently, Rhea interned at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a Design Strategist. Her thesis, Hysterical Women: Designing Experiences to Counter the Current Gaslighting Healthcare System, aims to improve the healthcare experience of women by designing more efficient and empathetic diagnostic and treatment strategies to counteract a patriarchal healthcare system where women face neglect, misdiagnosis, and gaslighting.
Evie is a Senior Design Consultant at Doblin in New York City. After receiving a BA in Psychology from Pitzer College, Evie started working in content marketing and brand strategy for startups, such as Fluent City, Front of House NYC, and Unified Social. As a student at MFA Products of Design, Evie started her own freelance consulting company, and was a Creative Strategy Intern at Code and Theory, working on projects with clients including Adidas, Maybelline, and Moncler. Her thesis, Alexa, Help Me Be A Better Human: Redesigning Conversational Artificial Intelligence for Emotional Connection, interrogates the status quo of the artificial intelligence (AI) space, and suggests pathways to use intersectional thinking to imagine new applications for the technology.
Gustav is a designer based in New York City. Born and raised in Denmark, Gustav served in the army as a Royal Life Guard to the Danish royal family before obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in Digital Media and Design at the IT University of Copenhagen. As an undergraduate student he designed an app in collaboration with Volkswagen for both customers and mechanics to identify technical issues with cars. He was also employed by Danish company Maersk Line, for whom he developed and digitized the on-boarding and off-boarding processes of their employees. After learning about food deserts and food insecurity in New York City, Gustav quickly decided to dedicate his thesis, Food Justice: Through the Power of Knowledge Sharing, to food justice and the problem of food insecurity.
Kevin is a product designer based in New York City. Born and raised in Montréal, Canada, Kevin has experience bringing manufactured products to market, including children’s toys, medical devices, consumer electronics and sporting equipment. Most recently, Kevin has worked as a User Experience Designer at Sid Lee where he worked with clients including Samsung, BlackRock, MetLife, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. His thesis, Closer Kin: Building Stronger Family Environments by Design, explores how children’s outcomes could be improved by strengthening family relationships.
Bernice is a designer at Luminary Labs in New York City. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Bernice graduated with a B.Comm from the University of British Columbia, specializing in Marketing and Sustainability. She has experience in a variety of spheres, ranging from professional services to service design to non-profits. Bernice has also travelled, studied, and worked in over twenty-five cities across nine countries. Her thesis, In Equality: Migration, Labor, and Our Modern Global Economy, is an investigation of our modern labor system and how it allows individuals to be vulnerable to exploitation or enslavement.
Smruti is a designer at Deloitte Digital in Seattle, Washington. 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. Her thesis, entitled UPGRADE: Designing for Access and Acceptability around Limb Loss and Limb Difference, aims to create the conditions that lead to more open conversations about and with people with LL/D and their acceptance in society, as well as easier access to products and services that improve their quality of life.
Andrew is a Design Researcher at TrialSpark in New York City. Andrew studied Industrial Engineering at the University of Michigan before moving to San Francisco to work at Apple as an engineer in the manufacturing design team. His work focused on the development and mass production of iterative generations of the iPhone, from the 4S to the 7. After earning his MFA from Products of Design, Andrew was a design research fellow at the Omidyar Network. His thesis, entitled GENTLEmen: Challenging Adults to Raise Feminine Boys, explores gender identity, masculinity, stereotyping, parenting, education, and male culture.
Juho is Interaction Designer at frog design in Austin, Texas. Originally from South Korea, Juho moved to the U.S. by himself when he was fifteen 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's thesis, entitled Cast Away: Designs for Socially Isolated Korean Men Contemplating Suicide, was presented in May 2018.
Alexia is a Venezuelan-Belgian-American designer, currently working at argodesign in New York City. After graduating from MFA Products of Design, Alexia worked as a freelance design consultant, co-leading the design and production of The Human Account project exhibition for Dalberg Design and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. During her graduate studies, she was a TEK-TILE Fellow at the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator where she collaborated with 14 designers and engineers to develop textiles with embedded electronics. Alexia’s thesis DARE + DEFY: A Woman’s Place in the Great Outdoors explores a women’s role in the outdoors, yielding a suite of design offerings that are meant to honor, amplify and celebrate women’s position within this space, ultimately arguing for a more inclusive and diverse outdoors sphere.
Lassor is a designer based in New York City. Prior to his design career, Lassor worked at ModernMD Urgent Care, a chain of medical clinics in underserved neighborhoods in Brooklyn which he helped grow from zero to seven locations in a year. He graduated from Brandeis University with concentrations in American Studies, Film, Business, and Law. His thesis, You Are on the Fastest Route: Intentional Community and Responsible Autonomy, examines how self-driving cars might impact American culture and the habits of everyday life.
Jenna is a design strategist at Arup in New York City. She received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and immediately after, joined the Products of Design program. Before graduating from the program, she expanded her experience through working as a researcher and engineer at Eleven LLC., an exhibition designer at Design Museum Boston, and an experience designer at R/GA in NYC. Jenna's thesis, entitled Finding the Wild: A Visceral Approach to Sustainability, explores an alternative future trajectory—“rewilding”—and how physical and emotional reconnection with our natural environments can inspire lifestyles of environmental stewardship.
Ailun will be joining IDEO Shangai in the fall as a junior designer. Currently, she is the lead designer for Bonbouton—a medical technology firm promoting preventive diabetes health care. She collaborates with the engineering team to conceptualize and define product solutions for diabetes-monitoring wearables. She briefly consulted with Vayu Inc. as an industrial designer—conceptualizing functional prototypes to production-ready CAD models. She holds a BFA in industrial design from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Ailun's thesis, entitled DOMINION: Redefining the Relationship and Humans, was presented in May 2017.
Julia is a UX Designer for 18F, an office within the General Services Administration that partners with federal agencies to improve the user experience of government. Previously, she worked as a senior designer at innovation consulting firm Luminary Labs in New York City and served as a Civic Digital Fellow for the US Census Bureau’s Census Open Innovation Lab (COIL), where she helped to conceptualize and produce materials that would engage partners across the country in anticipation of the 2020 Decennial Census. While she was an MFA Products of Design student, Julia worked for Common Cents Lab, where she studied behavioral economics and worked with a team on products aimed at improving the financial well-being of low and middle income Americans. Prior to her time at PoD, Julia spent three years on Michael Bierut’s team at Pentagram, where she 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. Her thesis, entitled JUSTICE BY ALL: Revitalizing Civic Engagement in the Judicial System, was presented in May 2017.
Arjun is a Junior Creative Strategist at Code and Theory in New York City. Soon after he received his MFA in 2017, he worked at 10XBeta—a design firm for which he consulted as a product manager on six projects in the fields of medical devices, IoT consumer products (product/app), and robotics. Arjun developed an interest in product design after graduating with a B.S. in Engineering and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. He worked for a retail packaging company, quickly developing and launching several products for the luxury cosmetics brand La Prairie Switzerland. Arjun's thesis, entitled Invisible Tethers: How Time and Memory Shape Products and Places, posits that people are connected to one another through time via shared experiences and history with objects and places.
Josh is one of the co-founders and lead designers for Double Take Labs—a transdisciplinary design studio making exhibitions, robots and installations for clients such as MoMA Store. Prior to establishing Double Take Labs, he was a design and electrical engineering intern at Tomorrow Lab, and design director at Throughlines. Prior to joining the MFA Products of Design program, Josh graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors in Architecture, and then worked as an architectural lighting designer and theatre consultant for Schuler Shook in Chicago, IL. His thesis, entitled Awe and Astonishment: Wonder in the Age of Democratized Magic, aims to inspire wonder and awe through the design of products, services, and experiences.
Oscar is the art director for Game Seven Marketing—an experience design shop that creates, develops and executes innovative and authentic experiences for its customers. Prior to joining MFA Products of Design, he worked as a designer, researcher and teacher on multi-material 3D printing for Victoria University School of Design and Callaghan Innovation. He has also consulted for Formway Design Studio, world leaders in high performance furniture. Oscar’s product—Divine Proportion Bottle Opener—is solder at the MoMA Store. An award winner at the Core77 Design Awards and Best Design Awards, Oscar’s work has also been featured on numerous international design blogs.
Adam is a freelance design consultant and works with companies such as 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. Adam has spent the majority of his life crafting and telling stories through various forms of performance. 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. He has 20 years of experience as a public artist specifically using highly flammable and pressurized enamel paints.
Isioma is the Creative Director for VICE Media. She provides creative direction to project designers and video editors, and also conceptualizes for branded content on VICE’s platforms. Her prior experience includes working for Mother New York and PSFK Labs. Prior to joining MFA Products of Design, Isioma received her BA in molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley.
Eden is one of the co-founders and lead designers for Double Take Labs—a transdisciplinary design studio making exhibitions, robots and installations for clients such as MoMA Store. Previously, she worked as a designer and brand strategist at Pentagram in New York City. Eden has had experience in graphic design, UX/UI, packaging, furniture, architecture, exhibition design and design strategy for companies such as Gensler, Finell, Acumen Design, and Blue Genie Art Industries. She received her BFA in Design from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jonathan "Jon" Lung is an American television personality, industrial designer and graphic designer. He is a co-host on the Science Channel TV series MythBusters, a reboot of the original show which premiered November 15, 2017. Lung and his co-host Brian Louden won their hosting duties on the reality television competition series MythBusters: The Search, which aired in January and February 2017. When he’s not in front of the camera, John generates concepts, prototypes and tests as a product designer, and also designs and builds furniture. He also works as a freelance graphic designer.
Roya is an interdisciplinary and intercultural designer with a background in Physics. She is a design technologist for JPMorgan Chase & Co., and splits her time between San Francisco and New York City. 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.
Souvik is the President, CEO and Co-Founder of Cathbuddy Inc.—a medical design firm that is developing a device that safely sterilizes, stores and reuses catheters. They were the winners of Tufts’ 2018 $100K New Ventures Competition. Souvik also serves as the Healthcare Solutions Lead for J&J Design in New York City. He graduated from Harvard College in 2011, majoring in Social Studies. Prior to joining Products of Design, he worked as a trader at JP Morgan Chase.
Steve is a Designer in Residence responsible for Branch Transformation at Ponce Bank and is teaching design led research in the Transdisciplinary Design MFA Program at Parsons in New York City. As founder of Spin Cycle Post Steve pioneered digital post-production workflows for independent feature films throughout the 90’s and 00’s, collaborating with filmmakers including Ang Lee, Hal Hartley, Michael Almereyda, visual artists Matthew Barney, Pierre Huyghe, and Mika Rottenberg, and Choreographers Trisha Brown and Cathy Weis. His own work has been featured at The New Museum, The Queens Museum of Art and Art-In-General. Steve founded Twelve Ton Rose, a creative design consultancy based in New York City, through which he is currently Designer in Residence focused on Branch Transformation at Ponce Bank. Steve'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. His thesis, entitled Enough is the New More: Reframing Scarcity to Feel Like Abundance, was presented in May 2015.
Lusha is currently a Ph.D. Student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Hailing from Guangzhou, China, she gained a BA in Industrial design at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts before coming to Products of Design. Her work has been recognized in various international design competitions, such as the IF Design Award, and holds five patents. After her MFA she worked as an Industrial Designer at Pip Tompkin Studio and at Quirky, and interned at littleBits. Her thesis, entitled It’s Chinese to me: Luck and Cultural Empathy, explored the disconnect between Chinese and American culture.
Berk Ilhan is a New York-based product and experience designer whose work focuses on bringing humanity, delight, and empathy to technology. His designs have been recognized by over 15 international design awards, including the Red Dot Best of the Best and iF Design Award, and he has been featured on numerous television networks including CNN. As the Director of Innovation and Strategy for 10XBeta, Berk designed many products for company's global clients including KLM, PUMA, NRG, as well as health technology startups focused on disruptive innovation such as Inspiren and Myovue. In addition, he co-created a Design Thinking curriculum for Thomas Jefferson University's JeffSolves Incubation Program, and co-directed the program for three years, facilitating design workshops and giving lectures. Berk holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from Middle East Technical University, Ankara. His Masters Thesis, entitled Uplift: Happiness & Communication in the Context of Cancer, has enjoyed considerable renown.
Julia Plevin is a nature-centered designer, strategist, and writer based in San Francisco. She is the creator of The Forest Bathing Club and author of a forthcoming book on forest bathing (Ten Speed Press, Spring 2019). She's also the co-founder 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. Julia holds a B.A. in History from Dartmouth College. Her thesis, Gowanus Outdoors Club: A Field Guide to Soliphilia, was presented in May 2015.