BIO

Education

01 / 2019 - 06 / 2021

Rhode Island School of Design | Master’s Degree of Industrial Design
 

02 / 2020 - 05 / 2020

Brown University | Coursework: Innovation and Commercialization in Medical Devices, Diagnostics, and Wearables

02 / 2019 - 05 / 2019

Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Coursework: Product Design and Development

09 / 2014 - 07 / 2018

Beijing Jiaotong University | Bachelor’s Degree of Mechanical Engineering
 

Awards & Exhibitions

  • Adaptive Ecologies: Building on Nature’s Blueprint (Providence, 2021)

       "Urchin Futures"​

  • The Lost Graduation Show, (Milan, 2021)

       "Inter-"

  • RISD Grad Show (Providence, 2021)

       "Inter-"

  • Norman Bel Geddes Award (2021)

  • RISD Fellowship  (2019 & 2020 & 2021)

  • Fred M. Roddy Scholarship  (2019 & 2020 & 2021)

  • Global Grad Show (virtual, 2021)

      "Friendly Protector"

  • RISD MID Biennial Exhibition  (Providence, 2020

       "Friendly Protector", "Invisible Whales In Wild"

  • RISD ID Triennial Exhibition  (Providence, 2019

      "WINGS", "Post Plastic Age: Clean Couture"

   

Skills

Digital 2D & 3D

  • Adobe Creative Suite

  • CAD        Solidworks, Rhino, NX, AutoCAD,
                   Grasshopper, Keyshot, Octane,
                   Zbrush, Cinema 4D

  • CAM       MaterCAM
                   3D printing, CNC, Laser cutting

  • StyleGAN Training with Phython

  • Figma

Physical Prototyping

  • Wood / Metal / Foam / Paper Forming

  • Wax / Clay Sculpting, Mold-making, Casting

  • Arduino

Research

  • Brainstorming, Storytelling,
    Competitive market analysis, User testing,
    Data visualization

Certificates

  • Certified Simens NX CAD Associate Engineer (2016)

  • Certified Collegiate Teaching in Art + Design (2021)

Elena Danlei Huang is a multidisciplinary designer and researcher. Drawing upon a background in mechanical engineering, she pursued industrial design to further develop her creative process. In her research-based practice, with a focus on nature & human relationships, transition design towards sustainability, and embodied social innovation, Huang draws upon both artistic and scientific inquiries to generate methodologies for design-driven interdisciplinary collaboration. It is her goal to build a bridge that connects art, science, engineering and the general public, in order to engage, communicate, and tame existential social and environmental complexities.

Huang is currently working as an industrial designer at Formlabs, Somerville. She holds a Master of Industrial Design and a Certificate in Collegiate Teaching in Art + Design from RISD. Prior to graduate study, she holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Beijing Jiaotong University. 

Academic Experience

Talks:

F2021  Köln International School of Design, Attending To                         Futures: Critical Practices

             Microbial Cosmologies

S2021  Stanford University, Leonardo/ISAST LASER Talks,                       Microbial Cosmologies

S2021  Columbia University, Digital Storytelling Lab, 

             Microbial Cosmologies

Workshops:

S2021  Montclair State University, Co-Immunity

S2021  Columbia University, Digital Storytelling Lab, 

             Co-Immunity

Publications:

2021    “Machines Have Eyes”, essay, Big Data. Big Design: Why                 Designers Should Care About Machine Learning.                           Princeton Architectural Press. (Book released on                           October 19, 2021)

06 / 2021 - ongoing

Interdisciplinary Researcher | Harvard CAMLab | Cambridge

· Working as a research fellow and visual designer on  interdisciplinary projects at Harvard Chinese Art Media Lab:

   1) Dunhuang Music & Dance: Researched on the corresponding study of visual and literal archival materials of Dunhuang dance posture; Created skeletal dance posture dataset for machine learning kinetic generation; Research on spatial experience and designed the immersive exhibition space.

   2) Digital Gandhara: Research on the visual narrative of Gandhara Buddhist art; Created digital 3D reconstruction of archeological sites and archives in Afghanistan and surrounding countries in Central Asia.

01 / 2021 - 02 / 2021

Teaching Fellow | RISD Industrial Design Department | Providence

· Teaching a self-designed course: Naturing Future (ID-1517) at RISD, Wintersession 2021.

 

09 / 2020 - 01 / 2021

Research Assistant | RISD Nature Lab | Providence

· Designing the physical installation layout of Illuminated Bay: A 3D visualization platform funded by RI’s Science and Technology Advisory Council, that aims at helping the general public understand bay dynamics and anthropogenic impacts on the estuary.

 

01 / 2020 - 08 / 2020

Lead Student Researcher | RISD & Hyundai Motor Group | Providence
· RISD and Hyundai Collaborative Partnership brings the deep expertise and experience together to look creatively at the relationships among the natural and built-environments and towards solutions for the future of mobility, urban change through mobility, and sustainable solutions for our built environment.

· Created two research-based, speculative design projects in collaboration with a multidisciplinary group of four designers and Hyundai UAM Team.
  1)
Microbial Cosmologies: An immersive project speculating a posthuman future of mobility based on a re-defined relationship between human and the microbial world. Work  presented at Stanford University, Columbia University, Yonsei University, Korea, and Köln International School of Design, German.
  2)
From Noise to Form: A multi-media project that employed styleGAN, 3D modeling, and ambisonic sound design, to investigate how forms emerge in nature as the boundary between the natural and the artificial becomes obsolete. Work  presented at University of Bergen, Norway.

 

06 / 2020 - 08 / 2020

Pedagogical Research Assistant | RISD Nature Lab | Providence
· Supporting research and academic work related to the Arthur Loeb Design Science Collection at RISD Nature Lab, my work included: documenting selected works, developing an explorational process and creating visual materials for understanding geometric polyhedral structures.
 

02 / 2019 - 06 / 2019

Teaching Assistant | RISD Industrial Design Department | Providence
· The purpose of the course: Designing with Solidworks is to expose undergraduate students to digital solid and surface modeling. My job working as TA included Q&A, helping students learn to use software and analysis the structure and components of their design objects.

10 / 2017 – 07 / 2016

Framework Lead & Designer| Green Energy-conservation Vehicle Team | Beijing
·  Our team designed and built the green energy-conservation vehicle and won the 3rd Prize in 10th Honda China Eco Milage Challenge. Working as the framework lead and industrial designer, my main responsibility in the teamwork is frame and body design and integrant layout.

Professional Career

08 / 2021 - ongoing

Industrial Designer | Formlabs | Somerville
 

09 / 2020 - 11 / 2020

Lead Assistant Curator | RISD Industrial Design Department | Providence
· Acting as the ID Graduate Biennial 2020 supervisor, I coordinated the activities of the curation team, liaised with the department and the gallery management team to ensure the show is delivered successfully.

 

01 / 2020 - 06 / 2020

Graduate Admission Assistant | RISD Industrial Design Department | Providence
· Reviewing admission applications, coordinating assessment operations, setting up interviews and answering applicant emails.

 

06 / 2019 - 09 / 2019

R&D Industrial Design Intern | Aibee Inc. | Beijing
· Working with robotics team, I designed and developed a real-time mapping data collecting bckpack used for immersive VR navigation both at a laboratory and consumer level.
 

09 / 2018 - 11 / 2018

Product Designer Intern | Kidtopia Children’s Museum | Beijing
· Cooperating with STEAM educators, I designed products and exhibits for kids to better understand urban public infrastructure system. I also participated in children behaviors research and user testing.


01 / 2018 - 06 / 2018

Creative Brand Designer Intern | Overseas Marketing Department, Ofo | Beijing
· Cooperated with the design team in strengthening and coordinating the branding strategy of overseas marketing department. Participated in the planning of the exhibition & event of SXSW(South by Southwest Festival) 2018, Austin. Designed and developed the branding peripheral products and related graphic works.


06 / 2017 – 07 / 2017

Junior Engineer Intern | Taiyuan Heavy Industries | Taiyuan
· Cooperated in the company’s routine. Worked in the mechanical manufacturing workshop of wheels and axles of high-speed train, learned to operate devices in production departments.