Meet the Class of 2023: Yi Li, April Chien, and Shiyu Ma

by Aprajita C. December 21, 2021

Meet the students of the Class of 2023! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting incoming students, so our community can get to know them better. Today, get to know our designers Yi Li, April Chien, and Shiyu Ma.

Headshots of IXD students (L-R) Yi Li, April Chien, and Shiyu Ma. They talk about their experience as first year students. Headshots of IXD students (L-R) Yi Li, April Chien, and Shiyu Ma. They talk about their experience as first year students.

Headshots of(L-R) Yi Li, April Chien, and Shiyu Ma

Yi Li

1. Tell us about yourself

I recently graduated from Massachusetts college of art and design with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Graphic Design. As a designer, I have always been drawn to creative experiments and innovative ideas. Although mainly trained in the discipline of graphic design as an undergraduate, I always thought of design as something more than simply creating aesthetically pleasing compositions but also problem-solving through creative and artistic explorations. Besides design, I am also a huge fan of digital illustration, painting, and handcrafting.

 2. What class are you enjoying the most so far and why?

I am very excited about and enjoy our Strategic Innovation in Product/Service Design class. In this class, we are working on a project presented to us by sponsors from different companies. We cooperate with project managers and UX designers to solve problems. I think this is an excellent opportunity for me to learn about professional work and learn to work in design teams. 

3. What is your favorite part of NYC since moving here?

 I spent my undergraduate time in Boston which I am used to the slow pace there. So I was overwhelmed when I first moved here. But as I began to explore the city, I started to like the rich culture here, that there are always so many activities, exhibitions, and opportunities. I look forward to exploring the city more.

4. Current favorite album?

I listen to mostly Chinese and Korean music, and my current favorite is Elaine Kim's album '1'.

Check Yi's work here

April Chien

1. Tell us about yourself

I grew up in the California bay area, went to school in Chicago, and have previously worked in marketing and as a UI/UX designer. Few things I love are movies, cooking, traveling, photography, and my dog!

2. What class are you enjoying the most so far and why?

I'm loving Service Design with Marshall. It gives a lot of perspective into the design of services we encounter all day, everyday, sometimes without even realizing it. I've definitely begun noticing and thought about a lot more things relating to different services, since the class started.

3. What is your favorite part of NYC since moving here?

I love how much there is to do in NYC. It's such a vibrant city and I never feel bored. Also, the food scene here is to die for!

4. Current favorite album?

‘Positions’ by Ariana Grande

Check April's work here

Shiyu Ma

1. Tell us about yourself

Hello, I’m Shiyu Ma. I am a designer who is fascinated by the impact of technology on urban space and lifestyle in the future. After receiving a Bachelor of Architecture from Southeast University, I turned my eyes to interaction design, with a passion for creating more flexible space experiences and connecting people, space, and technology. My professional education in architecture has developed my 3D design and modeling skills, as well as the understanding of urban space and real-life, while my interest in interaction design has prompted me to experiment with new technologies and design forms such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and game design.

In my spare time, I enjoy playing video games and eating and drinking wonderful food and wine.

2. What class are you enjoying the most so far and why?

So far, Service Design and Interaction Logic have been my favorite classes. Service Design encourages me to pay closer attention to all of the services that we use every day. According to this class, I find that service design is related to every facet of our daily life. The assignments after class also prompted me to rethink services and try to redesign them. For me, Interaction Logic has opened the door to coding. It raises my interest in learning to code, which enables me to put my design ideas into action. I’m looking forward to the next two years with more excellent classes.

3. What is your favorite part of NYC since moving here?

The diversity. Every day as I walk down the street in NYC, the diversity of people fascinates me a lot. I think NYC is such an inclusive place that everyone can live in their own unique way here. Sometimes there are some cultural shocks for me, but learning about something new and different also makes me excited. I’m trying my best to adjust to my new life in NYC and look forward to meeting more amazing individuals here.

Check Shiyu's work here