Shelly X Ni

Class of 2014


One-year old Shelly left China kicking and screaming, terrified by the automatic flush toilet on the flight to her new life in the United States. She soon overcame her first encounter with new technology, and now embraces it to her advantage in her design work with overlooked communities. Consequently, she plans to spend her two years at SVA designing for the less able and their caregivers, and figuring out how designers can spark and sustain widespread civic engagement.

Most recently, she designed interactive kitchens for the cognitively disabled at the University of Pittsburgh’s Rehabilitation Sciences Lab. Her first mobile product no longer exists, acquired shortly after its launch by Google. Her subsequent projects remain alive and well, consisting of UI/UX consulting for Bay Area and Pittsburgh start-ups, including teams funded by Y Combinator, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon University. While studying Product Design at Stanford, she created bags out of firehose in Cologne, graphic novels out of dreams and pen and paper in her dorm room, and assistive tableware out of printed and sanded plastic in the machine shop.

She’s looking forward to all the streets, alleyways, and bagel shops in New York she hasn’t been to yet.

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