Executive Director, Advanced Design
Hector Silva brings over 5 years of teaching experience at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Notre Dame in their nationally-acclaimed industrial design programs. Recognized for his contributions in academia, Hector was awarded the Young Educator of the Year by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). An active professional in the field, Hector works as an industrial design contractor through his own studio, H Design, partnering with Crate & Barrel, DesignLab, Nickelodeon, LeapFrog, Foster Grant, Insight Product Development, Lund & Company Invention, as well as various entrepreneurs. Hector is also the founder of the design nonprofit, Advanced Design (AD), an organization awarded the Special Achievement Award by the IDSA for making design education more accessible and through disrupting the mediums through which design education has been traditionally offered. AD continues to grow today, connecting students and working professionals to foster a community of design excellence. Most recently, Hector founded Offsite, a 12 week pilot program catered towards furthering design education outside of traditional academia space. This program was developed to translate the needs of the industry into course content taught by design industry leaders. The goal is to help students develop the right skill set and mentorship to thrive on the job and support them along the way.
Graduate Director, Industrial Design, Rochester Institute of Technology
Alex explores design, technology, sustainability and emotional attachment as means to elevate quality of life. He is Professor and Graduate Director of Industrial Design at Rochester Institute of Technology, and Research Fellow Emeritus at Autodesk. At RIT, Alex leads a top-ranking program focused in interdisciplinary collaboration, accessible technology and applied design research. Alex and his students have partnered with Autodesk, AT&T, Colgate-Palmolive, General Electric, Makerbot, Stryker, Staples and Unilever, in projects covering digital fabrication, sustainable behaviors, learning futures, generative design, and everyday living. Alex holds a MFA from University of Notre Dame and a BID from Universidad Rafael Landivar.
Senior UX Designer, Ernst & Young
As a Senior UX Designer at Ernst & Young, Danielle creates visually compelling interactions and breakthrough experiences that solves complex systematic problems while advocating for the users’ needs. She brings a sense of playfulness to her everyday work and life to create engaging and meaningful moments that connect with others, and she studies the effect play has on social impact to cultivate positive impact in people’s lives. She gives guest lectures at various universities, and is a frequent critic at University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.
Freelance Industrial Designer
Kat Reiser is a strategic thinker, driving innovation by understanding what to make and why it matters. In her time as a designer, Kat has consulted and participated in in-house design teams. She has had the opportunity to work with companies focused on housewares and packaged goods including Pampered Chef, PepsiCo, Chevron, P&G, AB InBev, and Oculus.
Kat is also an instructor at Offsite, where she helps designers build the tools they need to seek employment while guiding the students through understanding and reflecting upon who they are and how they present themselves as designers.
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