Hi, I’m Erika

Born in the concrete jungle of New York City and raised in sunny Singapore, I had quite the culture shock starting my undergrad at University of Virginia in Charlottesville VA. I got a taste of many different majors but was never able settle on one path. After discovering that I could hack the system by creating my own major, I applied to graduate through the Interdisciplinary Majors Program and designed my own undergrad career. My thesis work centered around an arts-based practice on the self and the categorization of identities.

Fast forward to today, I’ve adopted many identities – from professional dancer & choreographer to creative director at digital design. I love anything related to the mind-body connection, cooking (& eating of course), and the woods.

I’m psyched to make things with my hands, learn about circuit boards & code, and create funky products.

IG handle: @erikachoe

Hey, I’m Monica

Me working at Noble Plateware

I was born in Bogota, Colombia, and came to New York to pursue a BFA in Studio Art at NYU. I came in as a painter and left as a sculptor with a newfound passion and interest in ceramics. After graduating, I worked at Noble Plateware, a boutique pottery studio in Gowanus. I was in charge of casting all the mugs and glazing most of their dinnerware. I had a great time listening to podcasts, the Brian Lehrer Show and all the Harry Potter books with the small team at the studio.

For the past year and half I’ve been working as a freelance graphic designer and also dabbled into starting my own little handmade pottery business.

When I’m not working I like to partner dance, eat cake and anything sweet, and watch any good show or movie in German. I thrive when I’m around people and movement, which you can see on my personal insta.

I look forward to getting more techy in this course and and apprehensive about the inevitable coding frustrations.

Ps. I’m working on moving my old WordPress website into my new website. In the meantime you can check my older artwork and writing, go here.

See you in class!

-Monica

What’s up, my name is Giancarlo Cipri.

I’m from NYC and I recently graduated from Fordham University in 2021. Despite not studying design formally — and majoring in Finance/Philosophy —I dabble in making through graphic design, screen printing and “sewing”.

If you would like to see my work or social media, I can be found @greatestgee on Instagram and greatestgee.com

I’m a huge fan of street culture — from graffiti to sneakers and t-shirts —and I’m creating a bit of an archive.

Lastly, I love to eat sushi and hope to visit Japan as soon as possible hahaha.

Carter Brigham

An entrepreneur from Baltimore, Maryland, I have designed products/problem-solved for decades, but always go to someone with the skill I don’t have to finish my products. I’m excited for How To class to be that person!

I’m on break for school from CORCL, the round boat company I founded with my husband. CORCL is an award-winning round boat for 7-13 year olds found in summer camps across the U.S. and Canada.

insta @corclcarter. Facebook Carter Brigham.

Hi, I am Nihaarika!

Nihaarika Arora

Hi, My name is Nihaarika (NEE.HAA.REE.KAA) but I also go by Nihaa.

I am from Mumbai, India and have been living in New York since the past 5 years. I graduated in 2020 fr0m Parsons School of Design with a major in Product Design and minor in Communication Design. Before committing to SVA for PoD I was working full-time for a year as a Product Designer and Design Consultant and also worked on a few a freelance projects in UI/UX.

What brings me here today is my interest in understanding the psychology of the human experience to improve the design of products. Observing not only why people do the things they do, but also how they feel physically and mentally while performing these tasks are, I believe, at the core of innovative design strategies. I also enjoy exploring the interaction between a product and its user on a digital platforms. I believe that this program will compel me to explore this paradigm shift between disciplines that define industrial and digital products and that’s why I am very excited to be a part of this program.


Living in two diverse metropolitan cities, Mumbai and New York, my works are influenced by different cultural experiences that are skillfully maneuvered to fit into current times. I love making things with my hands and exploring different materials with a hope to create hybrids between the natural and built environments to generate awareness and create design solutions.

An interesting project that I created in my senior year(not my thesis) involved building a zero-electricity air cooler using terra-cotta (RE.fresh). The goal was to preserve energy, while still providing relief from the heat. The air cooler consisted of cones fitted into a hollow brick, filled with water. Experiments on the product were tested in an outdoor space where the temperature dropped by about 2.16 ° F near the smaller opening of the cone. As a result of evaporative cooling and the Venturi Effect, the change in pressure resulted in an increase in air velocity providing a cooling effect. The success of the project motivates me to continue working on it. My future goal is to create an interactive digital algorithm for this product to be used on a large scale by automatically calculating its effect in different settings based on recorded temperatures and wind velocities. 

My project, RE.fresh was part of a pop-up exhibition where I branded it alongside 12 Product Design studio projects, all designed for disasters in the age of climate change. An advanced Web: Interaction course I took during that semester, helped me design and code an interactive digital poster as an introductory statement for the pop-up show. You can check it out on my website below. And also see all the student projects on Instagram here:

Nihaarika with RE.Fresh and her Studio class in Undergraduate.

So, I am very excited to not only create a physical products but also add technology to it to create smart products. I am excited about working with the Arduino and am slightly apprehensive about coding but still VERY EXCITED!!

You can follow my work on my website:

Liam’s Intro

Hi! My name’s Liam Monaghan. I’m from Westchester, NY and received my undergrad degree from Temple University in Media Production, with a minor in Business. Since graduating in 2019, I have worked freelance in the live events industry as well as DJ and produce my own electronic music around NYC. I have always been a maker and a builder and I enjoy using my hands. As the world slowed down because of the pandemic I spent some time thinking about my long term career goals. This has led me to pursue a graduate degree in Design, and I would love to end up working in a space building and designing installations and venue spaces for nightlife. Besides my professional track, I listen to music, I love to cook and entertain as well as surf whenever the waves are nice.

You can follow my insta @liamomusic to check out the music I put out 🙂

Hi, I’m Kaylan

Hi everyone, my name is Kaylan Tran. I was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A recent grad of BFA Design at SVA. I picked up a bunch of hands on hobbies like baking, furniture flipping, and knitting etc. so I’m just excited to learn how to make stuff.

Outside of design, I foster for and help run a small Queens-based cat rescue.

My instagram is @trankaylan