Meet the Class of 2022: Alice Niu, Brenda Hawley, and Cyan Guan

by Naomi B. September 23, 2020

Meet the students of the Class of 2022! Over the next few weeks, we’ll highlight incoming students, as well as their professional bios and portfolios. Today, get to know our designers Alice Niu, Brenda Hawley, and Cyan Guan.

Alice Niu

Alice is a graphic designer and visual artist who creates concept, branding, and experiences that seek to inspire people. She recently graduated from California College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Graphic Design. Throughout her four years of graphic design study, she discovered her passion for not only designing logos but also designing experiences for people.

Alice pays attention to details while she is designing. Her work prioritizes visual communication, storytelling, and the interaction between audience and design. 

Besides design, Alice is a huge fan of fashion and intrigued by its cultural and political components that drive diverse fashion trends. As a result of her experience growing up in several cities, she is interested in the impact of the environment on individuals from family to culture, and curious about what constitutes a unique person. She looks forward to meeting new people at the School of Visual Arts. 

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Brenda Hawley

A hobby/obsession turned decade-long career had Brenda living out her childhood dream of designing in the fashion industry. Starting with a local company and working her way up to creative direction for a global brand, she’s run the gamut across kids, menswear, and womenswear, doing everything from technical design to trend forecasting. 

While Brenda’s love of design is what drove her fashion path, her insatiable curiosity and human-driven focus is what’s pushing her to explore new adventures in interaction design––taking her back to her core belief: design is about people. Truth be told, she doesn’t know what to expect down this new road, but she knows that her broad design acumen, creative thinking, and love of people (especially kiddos) has her armed with all the necessary tools to build a second, purposeful, and impactful career in interaction design.

Brenda is originally from Seattle and enjoys all of the typical Pacific Northwest things: tall trees, low-tide, and overpriced coffee. As a self-titled Creative Jill-of-All-Trades, she relishes in exploring hands-on, artsy (and sometimes messy) curiosities.

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Cyan Guan

For the past two years, Cyan was a UX designer at Laix, an artificial intelligence company in China that delivers online service to popularize English learning. During this period, he and his team devoted themselves to providing personalized and effective English learning experiences by analyzing different English learners' needs and feelings. He believed that his work could help solve the shortage of high-quality educational resources in China, as well as the unequal distribution of educational resources in the country.

Prior to this, he was a graphic design student at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. At that time, because of the rapid development of smart devices and studies in interaction design, he was deeply attracted by the study of human-machine interaction and eager to find out how he could improve people's lives through interaction design. He feels so lucky to live in a society full of changes and challenges. He is excited about creating new value for society as a designer.

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