Our Fellows push the vision of MADWORKSHOP forward year by year. Handpicked from the most competitive design programs and burgeoning studios, these remarkable young thinkers bring their ideas from concept to reality during the course of their fellowship.
Born and raised in Orange County, California, Kevin Shapiro has been skateboarding since an early age — a passion that has contributed to his attitudes towards architecture and design. He studied in Mammoth Lakes, Fullerton, and Costa Mesa, California before transferring to Portland State University where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. Following his two years in the Pacific Northwest, Kevin was admitted to the University of Southern California School of Architecture where he is currently a Master of Architecture 2018 candidate. As a designer at MADA s.p.a.m., Kevin worked closely with architect QingYun Ma to design and build the “Pole House,” a pavilion hanging from an existing electrical pole in Yushan Town, Lantian County, Xi’an, China completed in 2017.
As a MADWORKSHOP fellow, Kevin will be developing a collapsible plywood chair and table set. The chair was designed to collapse flat for transport, inspired by Kevin’s years consistently uprooting during his undergraduate studies. The table consists of glass and plywood to display and celebrate the coffee table book. Both the chair and the table were designed in a dialogue between hand sketching and 3d modeling. Sketching is vital to Kevin’s design development process in addition to being an avenue for communicating ideas with others.
Nahal Mohtashemi was born in California and raised in Tehran, Iran. She is currently a Master of Architecture student at USC and a designer based in LA with a background of studying and working in the Middle East. She has also worked as an architectural intern in Shanghai, China. Nahal is interested in exploring simple geometries as a basis for generative form finding. She begins a design by first understanding simple geo
Nahal works across a variety of disciplines. Her projects range in scale from urbanism to furniture design while constantly reconsidering the shared commonalities between the two.
Joseph Chang enjoys designing with his hands. He grew up in the Bay Area, CA, where much of his time was spent building in his high school’s fabrication shop and father’s garage. During his two years in the architecture program at the Illinois Institute of Technology, he found a passion for wood working and furniture design. In 2013, he transferred to the USC School of Architecture in pursuit of sharpening his design skills. Joseph is currently a fourth year student and is interested in investigating furniture design within tiny homes.
For his MADWORKSHOP fellowship, he will be prototyping a backpacking stretcher for emergency situations. The apparatus can be operated by a single person to carry heavy loads such as an injured person or loose items over rough terrain.
Heeje Yang is currently a student at University of Southern California pursuing his BARCH. He joined Madworkshop after attending USC’s 4th year Advanced Topic Studio regarding to the problem with homelessness in Los Angeles directed by Sofia Borges and Scott Mitchell in USC School of Arhcitecture. He has work experiences in multiple designer firms such as Michael Maltzan Architecture.
As a fellow, he will be woking on Chair Six to be more easily operable through a study of origami folding and kinetic motion. He will also be preparing his 5th year thesis with an emphasis in kinetic motion through folding and unfolding algorithms. With a significant interest in design and fabrication, he will also explore the intelligence of interactive design through multiple moving objects from a pencil to a building.
Since Jayson Champlain was a kid, born and raised in Torrance, CA, he has had a strong passion for architecture and design. Starting with his legendary lego structures and early wood shop classes, Jayson always had a drive to create and work with his hands, so his mother jokingly told him, “You should become an architect.” From that moment forward, the only career path Jayson has ever pursued was architecture. After obtaining an AA in Architectural Drafting from Saddleback College, Jayson was accepted into the USC School of Architecture, and was able to advance his architectural knowledge and craftsmen skills. Now in his forth year in the B. Arch program, Jayson has further developed his architectural abilities, and is interested in focusing his future career on designing socially conscious architecture utilizing innovative technology and representational techniques.
Belinda Pak is a fourth year student at the University of Southern California pursuing a Bachelor Architecture. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, she is now based in Los Angeles. After being part of the MADWORKSHOP’s Homelessness Studio, she was inspired to continue her efforts towards improving the lives of those less fortunate. As a fellow, she is designing and prototyping a wristband with built-in features that can aid a victim in an emergency, such as a beacon and internal storage for contacts and medical information.