Katherine Wong, Architecture ’05

Katherine Wong

Architecture 2005 | Director, Omberry | Email

Katherine is an architect and has practiced for over 6 years in New York City. She has recently co-founded a new yoga and travel wear company, Omberry Living Aesthetics, with a childhood friend. Omberry creates edgy, versatile, and aesthetically functional apparel with a vintage flair. We want to create chic and comfortable designs with quality fabrications that will empower women. Katherine enjoys traveling, watercolor, knitting, sewing, yoga, and running.

My favorite hangout at Rhode Island

Cable Car and friend’s homes

My vivid memory of RISD

The strong creative energy and the insanely talented crazy people.

My advise(s) to prospective students

Always keep an open mind, Never say never.

What occupies me now

Omberry, interior design, yoga, running, family and friends.

My next big move

The unknown future is the constant big move.

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Joseph Ng, Architecture ’08

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Architecture 2008 | Co-Founder, Handsome Bag Co. | Email

Joseph is an architect in training but in his spare time he runs a social enterprise, Handsome Bag Co., with the aims of empowering local craftsmen and to bring back small time skilled manufacturing to Hong Kong. He is also an avid cyclist and ultra-marathon runner.

My favorite hangout at Rhode Island

The Pit (Shave Steak Sub with extra mushrooms), Circle A Cycles (for the bikes), the Beach (for the grass and people watching), the Farm (for the bike ride), the Point Street Bridge (for the peace), the Jolly Roger (cause I worked the night shifts), the Coffee Exchange (for the hot coffee) and Seven Stars Bakery (for the Ice Coffee).

My vivid memory of RISD

Lee Dejasu’s freshman class for teaching me that nothing is perfect but you won’t know unless you try.

My advise(s) to prospective students

RISD is the Reason I’m Sleep Deprived.

What occupies me now

Too much? I see that as an occurring theme with RISD grads, then again, it can never be too much. You only live once.

My next big move

Continue to be Hungry and Humble.

Alice Zhang, Graphic Design ’06

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Graphic Design 2006 | Founder, Mischmasch | Email

Alice is a graphic designer and gallery owner. She founded Mischmasch, the online artist community, in 2008 as a tool for herself and her friends to keep each other updated with their work. Mischmasch now has artists from over 55 cities and consists of a physical art gallery in Hong Kong and an online store. Alice is interested in using technology and social media to change the relationship between art, the gallery and the public. Born in China and grew up in New Zealand, Alice has lived in four continents and worked as a graphic designer in Beijing, Auckland, New York City, and London. Alice moved to Hong Kong in 2008. She has been featured in various media for her contribution to the local art scene including Milk Magazine, Harpers Bazaar HK, ATV World News, Time Out HK, and Travel+Leisure Asia.

My favorite hangout at Rhode Island…

The benches outside the Design Center, next to the river. It’s an open space so you feel a bit vulnerable sitting there…in a good way.
My vivid memory of RISD…

2 weeks before finals in senior year my friend closed her car door on my thumb, yeah the car door CLOSED ON MY THUMB. I was taken to the ER, where the nurse used something reminiscent of superglue to stick pieces of my thumb back together. I remember being in so much pain not just physically but because I almost gave up on my final project then and there. (My final project involved a lot of craft — I was making a board game — you know, cutting up cardboard with an x-acto knife and glueing things straight). So I calmed down and thought “I can’t let my degree go down the drain cos of a broken thumb, who needs a thumb anyway!" I don’t know how I did it, but I ended up finishing… Oh yeah, I made a wall of Red Bull cans in my dorm room and listened to The Prodigy on repeat, it was fun!

My advise(s) to prospective students

Try to have your portfolio ready as soon as you graduate and put your work online. If you don’t know how to build a website you can use a template or a blog.
What occupies me now

Figuring out how to use technology as a tool to help bring this thousand year old art industry to the future. Turning Mischmasch into a social e-commerce website. Figuring out how to make Chinese people have good taste. And I just got a gig as the art consultant for the third tallest building in Guangzhou…so that…and I paint sometimes.
My next big move

I think Hong Kong is a nice doorstep to a really big house.

Tino Chow, Industrial Design ’09

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Industrial Design 2009 | Partner, Big New Ideas | Personal Website | Email

I am Tino Chow, a military officer turned designer and community builder. Grew up in Hong Kong, served in the military in Singapore, educated in United States, I now run a boutique creative consulting studio in the United States called Big New Ideas. I am a designer, strategist, thinker, entrepreneur, trouble maker; who is interested in making the world a better place by bringing people together, hosting events, going to conferences, working on world changing big new ideas.
1. Your favorite hangout at Rhode Island is….
The Bristol bike path. The 15-mile ride down the coast south to Bristol is probably one of the best ways to enjoy Providence and Rhode Island. Being a cyclist and an advocate for city biking, this is where I take a couple hours off my busy schedule a day to unwind and be with myself or chat with friends.

2. Your vivid memory of RISD is
One of the most vivid memories I had at RISD is taking Mike Fink’s class. He’s ninety years old, and frankly I took his class thinking that it would be easy, and it was. The class started at 8 in the morning, and for college that is an ungodly hour… I remember dreading going to his class, but every time I did manage to drag myself into the classroom, he never fails to deliver. At his age, I didn’t expect him to be so quick on his feet, physically and mentally. Not just the way he articulated his ideas that made him memorable, but the fact that he jumped onto the table one class to fix the blind, that left us all in awe.
3. Your advise(s) to prospective students is
Education is so much more than what you learn in the classroom, as I went through RISD, I learnt more and more outside of the classroom and less and less in it. That makes RISD the best school – it is more than the curriculum, it is the quality of professors, the quality of your fellow students and communities surrounding the school that provided me with constant challenges, to mold me as a designer and person I am today. And my hope is that you will find that too.
4. What occupies you now…
My main job is running a boutique creative strategy consultancy called Big New Ideas in the United States, where we work with clients to make their Big New Ideas happen. We are located in Providence, RI and San Francisco, CA.

I cofounded A Better World by Design in 2008, a conference which brings together thousands of people from all corners of the world, across disciplines, to better the world we live in. The conference is entering into its 4th year in 2011. I was selected for the inaugural class of the TED Fellowship in 2009 and then cycled across the United States with Bike and Build the following summer to raise awareness for affordable housing (video).

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A couple of recent projects include a Monthly Design Review24hour Design Jam and 1200 PostersMonthly Design Review is a meet up in New York City, where 25-100 gather monthly to share their creative experience and unveil the importance of design. The Design Jam is a weekend meet up of creative minds to revamp a local nonprofit’s brand and website. 1200 Posters is a monthly poster series powered by the community and collective affect change.
5. And your next big move?
I am in Hong Kong exploring opportunities for Big New Ideas’ operation in Asia, looking for world changing big new ideas to be part of. I continue to believe in the good of humanity and being part of making the world a better place.