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Our Students

One of the best things about our Product Design program is that it brings together students from a wide range of disciplines and career paths, including those with a variety of educational and trade backgrounds, including engineering, carpentry, science and business. 

Student Spotlight

Alisa Yao - 4th Year Student, Product Design


“Ever since I was in high school, I knew I wanted to make things. I was always very hands-on and it was more enjoyable than taking notes,” said Yao. “My automotive teacher recommended I go into engineering, but after two years and a co-op, I realized it wasn’t for me. The massive lecture halls, upwards of 200 people wasn’t for me, and I still hadn’t made anything!”  She found her niche and enrolled in the product design program. Since then, Yao has gone on to create work overalls with articulating knees using repurposed theatre curtains and collaborate on a pre-hospital hypothermia rewarming bag. She even runs a side business selling zero-waste food storage solutions through local stores and her online Etsy store. Over a year ago, Yao committed to living a zero-waste lifestyle, but quickly realized that change had to be systemic in order to have noticeable impact. So with the encouragement of her product design instructor Dr. Victor Martinez, she joined a team of fellow students (Megan Davidson, Harry Chai, and Eyshr Sahota) tasked with designing a viable solution to diverting more organic waste away from the landfill. 

The Challenge Dialogue was a year-long project that partnered our Product Design students with business and environmental experts to develop a clean technology working prototype for the City of Surrey. In November 2017, Yao travelled to Ottawa as KPU’s student ambassador at Polytechnics Canada’s <<Link to Our Polytechnic Page>> National Strategy Group Meeting. She pitched her group's clean technology working prototype to the Minister of Small Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Trudeau Peter Schiefke, and to the Parliamentary Secretary of Science Kate Young. She also spent time on Parliament Hill meeting with government representatives focused on youth and young entrepreneur agendas.  “Hands-on learning and theoretical learning all come together in studio class and that’s where you apply all the knowledge you’ve gained. For me, it’s the perfect place to work because I get to turn my ideas into reality."

Full Story 

Visit Alisa Yao Etsy Store 

View Alisa Yao Portfolio 

View Photos of Ottawa Trip

Contact Alisa Yao 

Student Project Spotlight

Course: DEPD 3610 Studio 5 - Design Implementation

In this applied learning class, 3rd year students apply design process with hands-on prototyping skills to develop inventive, well-researched design solutions.

* Project photography/layout courtesy of Alisa Yao.



Project Burrito


Student Project Spotlight

CourseDEPD 1130 - Design Thinking 
Project: Conceptual Exploration: The Future Sports Bag

Project Brief:  By completing this project students will explore potentials of future sports and sports bags. Taking into consideration environmental changes due to global warming, students will predict transformations of existing sports and emergence of the new ones. These predicted changes along with new technologies will shape student ideas about future sport bags. 

En Garde - The Future of Fencing

Halo Bag