Meet the Alumni: Class of 2017
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.
Michael is a content strategist for IBM in Austin, TX. He develops content strategies, standards, and voice and tone guidelines. He also worked as a UX Strategist for them—focusing on rapid prototyping of front-end interfaces for cognitive (AI) architecture. Michael’s previous work experience includes creating physical and digital product experiences for startups and established brands, such as Vans, Dannon, SYFY and Microsoft.
Dayoung is a product and UX designer for Critical Mass. She creates digital screen experiences and interactive prototypes for clients including BMW USA. She obtained her BFA in Industrial Design from Sookmyung Women’s University, and has worked in several design fields including UX/UI, graphic design, package design and editorial design. In 2014, Dayoung work was highlighted at the Seoul Design Festival. Before moving to NYC, she participated in an industry-academic project with SAMSUNG ITS. Dayoung's thesis, entitled Pygmalion: Creating systems to empower people with social anxiety disorder, was presented in May 2017.
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.
Xumeng is a product designer in ION Design, a New Jersey-based award-winning product design and development firm that has worked with some of the world’s leading healthcare and consumer product companies. Her thesis work has been recognized by the Global Grad Show during Dubai Design Week, Core 77 and SVA's Ground Floor Incubator. Prior to Products of Design, she interned as a visual designer and editor with the science fiction department of Kedo, an educational science website for Beijing Association for Science and Technology. She researched, coordinated and prepared visualization content for two major events within three months. Xumeng received her Bachelor of Science in 2015 at the Beijing Institute of Technology, during which she participated in the 7th Honda Eco Mileage Challenge with a team of mechanical and electrical engineering students to develop two energy-saving race cars as the Body Group lead, and helped the whole team won the 3rd place in the Electric Vehicle Student division amongst all university teams.ed her BS in Industrial Design from Beijing Institute of Technology in 2015.
Gahee is an experience designer at GoDaddy in San Francisco, CA. She designs screen experiences for GoDaddy Pro—a suite of tools for web developers. She is also the cofounder and lead experience designer for Play Lab—an experience design firm that creates learning experiences for children with Digital Technology. Playlab has led workshops at the Museum of the Moving Image, Brooklyn’s Children Museum and Maker Faire. She completed her undergraduate studies in industrial design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Gahee's thesis, entitled Digital Natives, explores designing technologies for children.
Will is a designer and shop manager at YoungBuk Art Services—a metal fabrication shop located in Brooklyn, NY. He received his BA in Studio Sculpture from Hendrix College in Arkansas. He also served as a Core Fellow at Penland School of Crafts in Western North Carolina, where he developed a diverse set of fine craft skills ranging from ceramics and glass to wood and metal work. Will's thesis, entitled Eating Together: Explorations in an Anti-Social Food System, promotes a resurgence in the social value of communal eating experiences.
Doug is the UX/UI Design Lead at Everlasting Footprint—a platform for people to curate and preserve life stories. Previously, he was a user experience designer for Live Surface, for whom he conducted produce and website testing to ensure successful product implementation and operational efficiency. Doug received a BFA in Ceramics from Alfred University and an MFA in Ceramics from SUNY New Paltz. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at SUNY New Paltz, Marymount Manhattan College and Long Island University. Doug had a line of ceramic products for sale on Gilt and a collaborative commission with Kulvase for a vase that preserves the life of flowers, which was featured in House Beautiful. His thesis, entitled POWER SUITS: Building Confidence in Children with Mental Health Conditions, was presented in May 2017.
Alexa is a freelance designer in the Greater New York City Area. Her most recent experience includes designing for Loliware—a bioplastics startup dedicated to eliminating plastic partyware. She worked as a 3D designer for Carla Diana Design, and helped create LEO the Maker Prince, the world's first children's book on 3D printing. She earned a BS in Product Design from Drexel University in 2014. Alexa's thesis, entitled With, Despite, Because: Living your Best Life with Chronic Pain, was presented in May 2017.
Andrea is a designer based in New York City and a current Fellow at SVA's Groundfloor Incubator where she is currently working with an education startup on a platform connecting students to transnational mentors. Prior to graduating from SVA’s Products of Design, Andrea earned a BS in Engineering from Cornell University. Her thesis, entitled Playing with Firebrands, explores student agency in education.
Karen is a freelance design strategist based in New York City. She serves as the national design committee member for the Democratic Socialists of America, and facilitates co-creation workshops for their members. Karen is currently a fellow at SVA’s Groundfloor Incubator, where she is designing and branding a digital platform for accountability and transformative justice around sexual assault and harassment. Previously, she worked as a costumer, milliner, and hair & makeup artist. Karen's thesis, entitled Good Grief: Inducing Eco-Anxiety as a Call to Climate Action, includes products and services that humanize the narrative around climate change, intentionally creating opportunities for experiencing the depression and anxiety caused by the effects of climate change and environmental degradation. In doing so, her thesis aims to instigate an urgent demand for climate action.