Meet the Designers | Design Career Fair 2022
Learn about the many shapes design careers can take from National Design Award winners, visiting colleges, and guest designers at the Design Career Fair. Get to know peers and hear stories about designers’ paths to success in small breakout groups.
Participating colleges include Cooper Union, Drexel Westphal College of Media Arts + Design, Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, and Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York.
Participating designers include:
Hammad Abid, textiles designer | tick studio
Hammad Abid specializes in weaving and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Textiles from Rhode Island School of Design in 2021. His Textiles degree is augmented by a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Finance, which has informed his perspective on sustainable design and approach to independent craft economies. He is motivated to translate the philosophies learned in his fine arts education at RISD into a holistic economic model that supports and centers textile artists, artisans, and other creators in the textile industry.
Melissa Altig, Senior Product Designer | eBay
Melissa Altig is a creative leader and designer based in Kirkland, WA. She has been a product designer for four years and has a background in architectural design. She is currently designing for eBay, building experiences that empower our buyers to discover more valuable products, and our sellers to reach more buyers. Melissa’s team focuses on building products that appeal to future generations.
Gail Anderson, Chair, BFA Design and BFA Advertising | School of Visual Arts
Winner of the 2018 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement
Gail Anderson is chair of BFA Design and BFA Advertising at the School of Visual Arts and creative director at Visual Arts Press. Gail serves on the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for the United States Postal Service and the advisory boards of Poster House and The One Club for Creativity. She is an AIGA Medalist, the 2018 recipient of the National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a 2022 Art Directors’ Club Manship Medallion honoree. Her work is represented in the Library of Congress’s permanent collection, the Milton Glaser Design Archives, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Jason Bacher | Origami Advisory
Jason Bacher is currently the creative director of Origami Advisory, a Brooklyn-based boutique consultancy that helps create and implement sustainable change for brands and businesses. Prior to joining Origami, Jason co-founded gfda.co, a thought-provoking colorful advice brand and design studio—most well-known for their products and irreverent humor. In his role at GFDA, Jason and team served a variety of clients, developed creative workshops, and wrote a book published by HarperCollins in 2019. Jason continues to serve the design community as an advisor to a number of students and creative professionals and is regularly invited to speak at conferences and universities around the globe.
Lilit Balagyozyan, Product Designer | Kickstarter
Winner of the 2020 National Design Award for Design Visionary
Lilit Balagyozyan began her career five years ago as an undergraduate UX designer for an IBM research lab, and has been a product designer for a little over three years. While at early-stage startups like Nfluence and Caper (now part of Instacart) Lilit learned to wear many hats and design products from concept to implementation. In between, she took on freelance clients where she designed websites and led company rebrands. Lilit loves to work on products that positively impact people, and at Kickstarter, she can be found designing solutions that empower creators to make their dreams a reality. It’s been a fun journey and she hopes her story can be inspiring to you!
Malene Barnett | Malene Barnett Inc
Malene Barnett is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, and activist based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work envisions a modern black experience rooted in the cultural traditions of the African diaspora.
Julian Body, Product Designer | eBay
Julian Body currently serves as a product designer at eBay. Before eBay, Body earned his B.S. in Product Design and Engineering from Stanford University and recently completed a Master’s degree in Interaction Design from the University of Washington. One of his core motivations lies in investigating the unexplored and building joyful experiences from it—this curiosity has driven his work across UX, IxD, print, and photography.
Kevin Cadena | Independent Designer & Web Developer
Kevin Cadena is a Colombian-United-Statesian new media artist, designer, and educator based in Queens, NY. As a designer, Kevin collaborates with local non-profits, educational institutions, and artists on projects ranging from websites to print. As an artist, their practice revolves around interactive and game-like narratives unfolding on the Internet. Kevin also maintains the DigiMyths initiative, a project focusing on familial heritage and computer technologies.
Beckie Choe, Product Designer | Studio Rodrigo
Beckie Choe is product designer, illustrator, animator, and New York native working at Studio Rodrigo. Studio Rodrigo is a digital product design consultancy in Brooklyn, NY. They work with companies like Comcast, WeWork, Spotify, and Stripe as well as start-ups like Uprise Art, UMA Project, and Fora Travel.
Elaine Cook | Equity in Lighting
Elaine Cook is the co-founder, executive director of Equity in Lighting, a non-profit whose aim is to increase the diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging of the lighting community so that it may better reflect the population of North America. Elaine’s full time job is working at Moxie Lighting, a sales agency in NYC, as a specification sales representative. Outside of work and Equity in Lighting, Elaine is a passionate dog mom to her one-year-old golden retriever, Poppy.
Melinda Dietz, Director of Industrial Design | BioLite
Winner of the 2021 National Design Award for Product Design
Melinda Dietz is the director of industrial design at BioLite, where she leads a multidisciplinary team of designers and engineers in the creation of off-grid energy products such as biomass cooking devices, rechargeable power banks and power stations, portable solar panels, and portable high efficiency lighting. Her goal as an industrial designer is to de-marginalize design processes by demonstrating how they can be used to predictably identify successful, innovative product opportunities. She hopes to achieve this goal by designing products that solve new problems, are profitable, and are carbon neutral in the consumer hardware space.
Matthew Famularo, Senior Product Designer | Kickstarter
Winner of the 2020 National Design Award for Design Visionary
Matthew Famularo has been in product design for most of the last decade, working at agencies, startups, and in-house to create products and experiences for users all over the world. Prior to joining Kickstarter, Matthew led design at a startup called Thingtesting, led design on Condé Nast’s CMS, and led design on end-to-end projects with clients like Shopify, PBS, Barnes & Noble, and Amex at Postlight and Versett.
Travis Fitch | Fitchwork
Juror for the 2022 National Design Awards
Travis Fitch is a multi-disciplinary designer working in architecture, fashion, and product design. Driven by an obsession with pattern, Travis combines geometric research with novel design and fabrication tools to create radical-yet-rational forms. An initial collaboration with fashion house threeASFOUR on their collections Biomimicry and Quantum Vibrations included a series of landmark 3D printed dresses. In 2017, Fitchwork launched Superpattern, a collection of intricately structured, made-to-order lighting and jewelry, with a two-week pop-up in Soho. Travis’s work has been featured in Vogue, the MFA Boston, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As a part time faculty member with the Parsons Textiles MFA, Travis is critically involved in the research, development, and applications of hybrid textiles.
Tanya Flores | Architectural Designer
Tanya Flores is a Mexican-American transplant from California, where she was born and raised. Growing up in a community that was heavily influenced by Mexican culture, Tanya saw the disparities that weighed on their community and decided that the built environment could help create a more even framework. Coming from a home with a hardworking, single mom, her work focuses on giving a voice to those who feel like they can’t, or won’t, be heard. Everyone deserves dignity and safety in their life, everyone deserves to feel like they belong— that’s Tanya’s goal and it goes beyond just design.
Laura Gonzalez Fierro | Studio Fierro Architecture PLLC
Laura González Fierro is an architect, curator, and educator based in New York City. She was co-curator of the exhibition Walls of Air and co-editor of the homonymous book for The Brazilian Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. She is a graduate of the Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México and holds a master’s in advanced architectural design from Columbia University. In 2010, she founded FIERRO (formerly +ADD), a human-centric architecture and design studio with projects in New York, Miami, Mexico City, and São Paulo in the fields of architecture, urban planning, design and curatorial work in multidisciplinary collaborations. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University GSAPP.
Gonzalo Guerrero | Secret Riso Club
Gonzalo Guerrero is a designer from Chile now based in New York. Currently, he designs and produces freelance and personal design and art projects out of his studio, Secret Riso Club. Gonzalo primarily does design consultation and work for the arts, non-profits, and music, and has worked on projects for New Latin Wave Festival, Immigration Equality, Mayday, Knockdown Center, Silent Barn, and Clocktower NYC. His approach is multidisciplinary, involving illustration, photography, and other formats, and his interests lie particularly with the intersection of art, community, and social justice.
Sugandha Gupta | Textile Artist, Designer, Educator, Disability Advocate
Sugandha Gupta is a textile artist, designer, and educator. She creates sensory textiles that are reflective of her identity as a disabled woman, and invites audiences to explore their embodied knowledge through their sensory engagement. Her teaching philosophy is focused on rigorous exploration, reflective practice, and research-based inquiry. Sugandha’s disability advocacy redefines disabilities as opportunities and strengths. Her work has been presented at the American Crafts Council Show, Smithsonian Craft Show, Hunterdon Art Museum, Talking Textiles, and Disability Unite Festival. She has won prestigious awards such as, Dorothy Waxman Textile Prize, CFDA Design Graduate, and International Design Award.
Paula Guzman, Product Designer | Instagram (Meta)
Paula Guzman is a product designer at Instagram. She focuses on keeping Instagram simple and well-crafted through her work on Design Systems. She has worked on the app’s latest UI refresh and its dark mode version. Originally from Bogota Colombia, she’s now enjoying life in New Jersey with her dog Rio.
Monica Herman, VP Group Creative Director | Giant Spoon
Monica Herman is VP, group creative director of experiential at Giant Spoon. Previously, Monica led experiential creative globally across the VICE Media Group brand portfolio, which includes VICE, Refinery29, and i-D. As design director of experiential at Refinery29, she managed the team responsible for the visually stunning, award-winning viral sensation, 29Rooms. With both an architecture and agency background, Monica offers expertise in multiple fields of design, including environmental design, graphic design, UX, and art direction, and ranging in scope from conceptual visual storytelling to advanced fabrication and construction techniques for built environments.
Alexandra Karamallis, Design Director | Calico Wallpaper
Alexandra Karamallis is a New York-based artist and textile designer who earned her bachelor of fine arts from Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. Her multifaceted career has involved experience in the fashion industry, the home industry, and the fine art world. She is currently the design director at Calico Wallpaper, a start-up that specializes in original, made to order wall murals. She also shows and sells her original watercolors and collages around the world, and recently collaborated with Brooklinen on a limited edition bedding pattern. In 2019 she launched a small line of knitwear called DAĒZA, manufactured in Peru and sold online at daeza.com and in boutiques throughout North America.
Andrew Kim, Founder & CEO | Scattered Kind
Andrew Kim is the founder and CEO of Scattered Kind, a rug tufting studio that holds weekly tufting workshops in Brooklyn, NY. The team assists customers with the setup, instruction, and supervision so that customers can enjoy the experience of creating their own rug. This summer, Scattered Kind hosted an on-site workshop at Cooper Hewitt.
Schuyler Klein, Project Architect | Curtis + Ginsberg Architects
Schuyler Klein is a project architect who works on the design and construction of affordable housing in New York City, always advocating for energy efficiency, healthy materials, and thoughtful design solutions. He enjoys biking to work, is a student of the city, and is always excited to learn.
Allison Lane, President Elect | nycobaNOMA
Allison Lane is President-Elect of nycobaNOMA, the New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects. She is a Senior Associate at AECOM Buildings + Places in Manhattan, NY. Her background is in architecture, interior design, development and asset advisory.
Vincent Lin, Associate Designer | Macy’s Inc. & Chair, IDSA NYC Chapter
Vincent Lin is an associate designer at Macy’s, Inc., where he designs and develops Macy’s private brand, the Cellar, which includes food prep, kitchen gadgets, cookware, and housewares. Vincent graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA in industrial design, a minor in business management, and a concentration in advertising and public relations. He has a wide range of design experiences in housewares, digital products, home electronics, service design, art direction, and UX design. Vincent has a passion for learning new skill sets in design, business, and technology, and he loves to infuse these new skills into every design opportunity.
Carol Lindsey, Product Development Manager | Tick Studio
Carol Lindsey is a textile designer and weaver working at Tick Studio in the East Village. The studio creates all of the design and product development for the contract textiles brand, Luum Textiles. As Product Development Manager, Carol is responsible for overseeing developments through the whole production process, from fiber to finish.
Giorgia Lupi, Partner | Pentagram
Winner of the 2022 National Design Award for Communication Design
Giorgia Lupi is an information designer and a partner at Pentagram, where she works to create a deeper understanding of the world around us through data, stories, and design. One the world’s leading data visualization experts, Lupi has pioneered and popularized a philosophy of information design called “data humanism.” She designs engaging data-driven narratives across print, digital, and environmental media that create new insight and appreciation of people, ideas, and organizations. Lupi has worked with major clients including IBM, Google, Gates Foundation, Starbucks, UN, and WHO. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Guardian, the Washington Post, NPR, BBC, Time magazine, Forbes, National Geographic, Scientific American, Popular Science, Wired, Vogue, and Vanity Fair, among others. Her work is part of the permanent collection of MoMA and has been exhibited around the world, including at the Design Museum London, Cooper Hewitt, Triennale Design Museum, Palais de Tokyo, and Centre Pompidou.
Florian Mewes, Design Director | 2×4
Florian Mewes is a design director at 2×4, leading a team focused on environmental, signage, and placemaking projects. He originally joined the studio as a senior designer working on the branding team for a diverse range of clients including Prada, Nike, Samsung, and Kanye West. He now leads large-scale signage and wayfinding projects, such as those for the Apple Campus, Glenstone Museum, the New York Public Library, or the Hyundai Motorstudios, a series of brand experience spaces in Korea, China, and Qatar. Florian holds a B.A. in Communications Design from the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, Germany.
Victor M. Newman, Creative Director | Sesame Workshop
Victor M. Newman is an award-winning creative director recognized for his work in the entertainment and advertising industry. Specializing in exploratory and experimental design, Victor delivers creative advertising, promotion and branding solutions to a broad range of commercial, broadcast and corporate clients.
Sabine Ostinvil, Product Designer | Studio Rodrigo
Sabine Ostinvil is a visual artist and project manager at Studio Rodrigo. Studio Rodrigo is a digital product design consultancy in Brooklyn, NY. They work with companies like Comcast, WeWork, Spotify, and Stripe as well as start-ups like Uprise Art, UMA Project, and Fora Travel.
Patrick Roberts, Director of Creative Services | Bode
Winner of the 2022 National Design Award for Fashion Design
Patrick Roberts serves as the director of creative services for Bode. He studied fine arts at Cooper Union. He has worked for over fifteen years as a creative freelancer with a professional background in luxury retail and hospitality.
Melanie Roven, Marketing Director | Tick Studio
Melanie Roven is the Marketing Director at Tick Studio. She holds a BA in Art History from the College of Charleston and an MA in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She is passionate about art, fashion, architecture and design of all shapes and sizes. Tick Studio specializes in materials brand strategy, product design, development and direction for textiles, floorcovering and architectural glass, with an eye towards sustainability and wellness.
Todd Simmons, VP, Brand Experience + Design, Co-lead | IBM Blue Studio
Based in New York, Todd brings over 28 years of multi-disciplinary experience across IBM, and has the distinction of being the very first “Designer” in the company’s long history to be brought on as an Executive VP. In his eight years since joining, Todd and team have worked across all businesses and disciplines to elevate every expression of IBM, every experience, as well as to help evolve and expand the IBM Design Program itself, the philosophy, principles and practices that guide everything we do (and don’t) as a company.
Mackenzie Schmaltz, Studio Manager | Bode
Winner of the 2022 National Design Award for Fashion Design
Mackenzie Schmaltz started working for Bode shortly after receiving a degree in fashion design and history of fashion from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She has been the head of the in-house studio and OOAK program for three years. She helps with sourcing and coordinating the production of all OOAK styles and custom projects.
Shikha Sharma, DESIGN RESEARCHER | DIGITALOCEAN
Shikha Sharma learns about people’s beliefs, motivations, and needs so she can help digital designers innovate elegant solutions. She currently works at DigitalOcean, where she investigates how engineers build apps in the cloud. She values empathetic connection and storytelling, and when she’s not researching, she is tutoring kids and DJing.
Scott Starrett, Founder | Tandem NYC
As Tandem’s founder and principal, Scott Starrett is a strategic communicator with a focus on brand development, strategy, messaging, and user experience design. Scott has worked with commercial sector, non-profit, and political clients alike, including Black Lives Matter, The Sunrise Movement, Bernie Sanders, Planned Parenthood, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Netflix. Scott’s work has been acquired by the Library of Congress, The Poster House, and The Henry Ford Museum.
Jasmine Stein, Associate Strategy Director | 2×4
Winner of the 2006 National Design Award for Communication Design
Jasmine Stein is an associate strategy director at 2×4 where she leads the development of brand strategy, conducting research and analysis to uncover insights across sectors from cultural to commercial clients. Recent projects include brand architecture for Instagram, branding a cultural arts district in Delhi, India, and an identity project for Qatar Museums. Before joining 2×4 she was the head of strategy at WP Narrative, an experiential content studio, and worked as a senior creative strategist at the New York Times planning concept development for print, digital, audio, and experiential campaigns across the New York Times’s platform. She has a master’s degree in creative writing and critical studies from CalArts and holds a BA from Purdue University.
Donald S. Strum, President | Michael Graves Design Group
Winner of the 2015 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement
Donald Strum has been with Michael Graves Design Group since 1984, and has brought to market thousands of products as the principal-in-charge of product, furniture, and graphic design. In 1997, under Donald’s leadership, the firm began a relationship with Target Stores that pioneered Target’s ultra-successful Design for All strategy. In 2005, after witnessing the issues and indignities Michael Graves was experiencing after an illness left him paraplegic, Donald and the product design group made a passionate, life-changing commitment to transform healthcare through design. Patient room furniture and the Prime TC Transport Chair, co-branded with Stryker Medical, raised people’s expectations within the hospital environment. Addressing the needs of the aging and disabled community, as well as the people who care for them at home, Donald designed a collection of mobility and bath safety products for CVS Pharmacy. Leading Michael Graves Design, Donald’s primary focus is harnessing the power of design to tell stories and improve lives.
Francesco Stumpo, Product Designer | Spotify
Francesco Stumpo is a product designer at Spotify where he designs the future of audio experiences, with a focus on Freemium R&D growth opportunities. Previously, he was a founding product designer at Copper Books, founder of the design studio Incremental Colab, a design leader at OpenIDEO San Francisco, and a designer of workplace experiences around the globe for Google, Facebook, Youtube, and IDEO. Francesco solves problems through design, making art, and photographing his surroundings. He’s a big advocate of side projects and writes about products and design.
Nader Tehrani, Principal | NADAAA
Winner of the 2022 National Design Award for Design Visionary
Nader Tehrani is the founding principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and an intensive dialogue with the construction industry. Tehrani is also former dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union. Tehrani’s work lies in building bridges between education and practice, creating healthy institutions to ensure equity, democracy, and education for all. Major clients have included: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Historic New England, Harvard University, Northeastern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rhode Island School of Design, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Toronto, and the University of Melbourne.
Sam Valenti, Founder/CEO | Ghostly International
Sam Valenti is the founder of Ghostly International, a New York-based music, art, and technology company that has challenged the concept of the traditional record label with its various projects and collaborations.
Valentina VergaRA, Art Director | The Spring Hill Co.
Valentina Vergara is a NYC-based art director/designer, who is interested in using design as a catalyst for change. She’s collaborated on projects addressing gender disparity in graphic design education, and most recently is the co-author of Extra Bold: a feminist, inclusive, anti-racist, nonbinary field guide for graphic designers. She’s interested in continuing to explore new ways of rethinking oppressive design norms while advocating for and uplifting marginalized perspectives.
Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy, Co Founders | CW&T Co.
Winner of the 2022 National Design Award for Product Design
CW&T started as and remains the two-person design practice of Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy. Over the last thirteen years, their work has spanned from interactive software to human-scaled tools that enhance our relationships to work, life, and time. The practice centers around an iterative process of sketching, prototyping, testing, writing code, machining parts, and building each edition themselves to assess their intuitions around improving everyday experiences. Projects range from devices that alter the perception of time, an electronics curriculum for artists, an astrological compass for space travelers, to objects engineered to last multiple generations. With backgrounds in architecture, film, and computer science, the duo met at NYU ITP where they began their scale and medium agnostic approach to design.
Lesley Ware, Founder | Creative Cookie + Art to Ware
Lesley Ware is a designer, author and small business owner. She lives in Queens with her husband and two cats. She is a lefty and loves fashion.
Lorraine West | Owner/Creative Director
Brooklyn-based jewelry designer Lorraine West is known for her handcrafted contemporary and fine jewelry that are designed to reflect your own inner beauty and power. Her avant-garde jewelry has graced numerous celebrities, including Viola Davis, Ariana Grande, Tracee Ellis Ross, Mary J. Blige, and Zendaya. Beyoncé recently wore West’s iconic Abstract Palette Earrings in the film Black is King. A self-taught craftswoman, Lorraine pays homage to her Caribbean roots by mixing bold and minimalist design sensibilities. Hand fabricated from precious metals and gemstones, her jewelry is inspired by geometric shapes and symbology that is meant to be a form of self-expression and liberation.
The National Design Awards are made possible with major support from
Major support is also provided by Helen and Edward Hintz and Shelby and Frederick Gans. Generous support is provided by Alexandra and Paul Herzan, Crystal and Chris Sacca, and Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer.
Additional support is provided by Agnes Gund, Amita and Purnendu Chatterjee, Esme Usdan and James Snyder, Jon C. Iwata, Keith Yamashita, Kim and Mac Schuessler, Margery and Edgar Masinter, Richard M. Smith and Dr. Soon-Young Yoon, and Cooper Hewitt’s Board of Trustees.
Design Career Fair is made possible with major support from
Generous support is provided by The Hirsch Family Foundation and The Pinkerton Foundation.
Featured Image: 2022 National Design Week