Design fellows bring unique perspectives to the Jacobs Institute. Fellows spend dedicated time in Jacobs Hall, participating in design activities and exchanging ideas with students and other members of the institute’s community. Each fellow contributes to the institute in a different way, in formats that range from open office hours to creative workshops. Students and instructors, we invite you to get to know the design fellows by checking out their bios and setting up a time to talk with them; learn more below.
Zahin Ali is an interaction designer at IDEO Chicago where he leads design on interdisciplinary teams to solve ambiguous problems with human-centered design thinking practices. He engages in all stages of the innovation process: defining strategy, user research, identifying key insights, building and testing prototypes, product/vision storytelling, and working with development teams. As a design consultant, he works with a growing portfolio of global clients in a range of industries such as automotive, healthcare, education, and financial services. Agnostic of product or medium, he has a penchant for building meaningful, human-centered interactions. He believes that good design is about thoughtful negotiations between people and technology. His superpower is articulation with expertise in communicating ideas with a storytelling approach and tackling problems by asking the right questions. As of late, his interests are in experimenting with collaborative design thinking methods, specifically around strategic prototyping. In a prior career, he leveraged his Berkeley IEOR degree to play a role in Tesla achieving high volume manufacturing during the early days of the Model S program. He then made his way to design in an unconventional path via startups, a stint with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and with graduate work from Art Center College of Design and the Carnegie Mellon University School of Design where he earned a Masters in Interaction Design. Schedule a meeting with Zahin during his office hours.
Jaewoo Chung, Ph.D, is a UX leader and technologist trained in the field of UX Design, HCI, Computer Science, Music Composition and Psychology. He received his PhD from the MIT Media Lab. Jaewoo has been working in industry and academia for more than 20 years, dealing with various topics such as multi-modal interaction systems (voice, gesture, touch), intelligent systems for mobile and wearable, virtual/mixed reality, IoT, decision support systems, and smart homes. He is currently Head of UX Design and Research @ HP and previously, he was the Director of Next Experience Display Lab @ Samsung. Contact Jaewoo to schedule a meeting during his office hours.
Sara Cinnamon is an Associate Director at LUNAR Design in San Francisco. LUNAR is a product design firm that joined the McKinsey & Company family in 2015, adding a depth of business strategy to their innovative spirit to deliver ingenuity that delights. Her areas of expertise include medical devices, inclusive design, efficient design for manufacture and assembly, and systems thinking. As an alumna of UC Berkeley Mechanical Engineering, she looks forward to sharing what she’s learned since graduation — from her time in grad school at MIT to running her own startup in consumer healthcare to joining a world class design firm. Book a meeting with Sara.
Purin Phanichphant is an artist, designer, and educator with a deep interest in the intersection between creativity and mindfulness. Purin combines his roots in Northern Thailand, where he spent part of his life as a Buddhist monk, with his background in designing innovative products and experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds a BFA in Industrial Design and Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MFA in Product Design from Stanford University. He previously worked as a principal product designer at IDEO San Francisco, and taught design courses at Stanford University and General Assembly. Over the past several years at the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, he has taught DES INV 21: Visual Communication and Sketching, DES INV 181: Reimagining Mobility, and held multiple workshops on Visual Design Hacking and Designing Your First Portfolio. As a Design Fellow, he hopes to help students realize their full potential not only as design practitioners, but also as designers of their own lives and the world we all live in. Contact Purin via email or book an office hour appointment with him.
Eric Weinhoffer is a mechanical engineer specializing in product design, rapid prototyping, and scaling from prototype to production. Currently, Eric is a Prototyping Lab Specialist at Skydio. Previously, Eric designed products and ran a prototyping shop at Bolt. He has designed and shipped a variety of products, including technology demonstration payloads to the ISS, CNC milling machines (the Othermill), and a variety of consumer devices. When not making parts at home, Eric enjoys riding bikes and spending time in the mountains. You can get in touch with Eric by booking a time to meet with him here or emailing him.