Meet the Designers behind "Renew Me"

Meet the Designers behind "Renew Me"

Renew me is our 6th Annual NY Design Week Show About Sustainability.

Can you believe this is our 6th show!?!! Founder Krystal Persaud was inspired to start the Grouphug Collective in the spring of 2013. When New York Design Week came around, she remembers going to a handful of events and feeling underwhelmed. It was embarrassing to see shows that had not evolved past high-end furniture or lighting. Yes, we know that ICFF is a Design Week staple, but there are over 40,000 industrial designers in America – what’s everybody making? It can’t all be chairs and lamps.

Our annual shows push New York Design Week into the future of design. We believe design week shows should be on the cutting edge, thought provoking, and forward-looking. You can read more about our origin here if it suits your fancy.

When we posted the call for entries for Renew Me, we were looking for designers who challenge the status quo and want to make a positive impact with their work. From product design to fashion design to architectural concepts - we were blown away by the quality of submissions this year. Mark your calendars for May 10-12, you are not going to want to miss this exhibition.

The cohort of ‘Renew Me’ designers is OUT OF THIS WORLD.

But enough from us, check out the talented crop of designers below & the projects they are working on.


 Ari Elefterin 

Ari is working on a project called “Embodied Water”, a didactic product line that proposes a future where products simultaneously teach and conserve.


 Charlie Padgham 

Charlie is working on “Doro”, beautiful wearable objects with seeds in their core for community to plant.


 Cassidy Lavine 

Cassidy is developing “Tilt”, a sustainable indoor farming system for beginners.


 Christina LaFontaine & Rosalind Paradis 

Christina & Roz are exploring the question “what if we could harvest energy from storms caused by climate change?”. They are creating “Unharnessables”, a kinetic sculpture that creates twisting torsional energy and when activated represents a fraction of the energy in a storm system.


 Dalia Ahmed 

Dalia is creating a grow light system for plants in small, urban settings. It will be designed specifically for beginners who have no experience with gardening.


 Orange Sparkle Ball 

Meaghan Kennedy, Diego Perez, & Ashley Touchton of Orange Sparkle Ball are working on a concept called “Steam Stack Energy”. When considering everyday un-harvested energy, they were drawn to the idea of New York City steam stacks. What if this release of steam could generate power for the city? What if the New York steam distribution system, the largest steam system in the world, could harvest energy from steam running through the pipes to be re-used for the plant itself? They are creating an interactive installation involving a functioning rotor prototype.


 Hailey White 

Hailey is developing “LIV”, an affordable, self sufficient home. Her design includes prefabricated houses that fit within the footprint of a used shipping container that can be easily customized and transported.


 Hirumi Nanayakkara 

Hirumi is creating “Sci Fi Algae Clothing”. She’s integrating algae bioreactors with clothing to harvest energy.


 Jackson Fordham 

Jackson has created “SafeTech”, a wearable jacket that includes tools and features to help the user in the event of a flood or related emergency like hurricanes.


 Ke Hu 

Ke is creating “Aray”, a transparent solar panel that attaches to the inside of your window to power devices in your home.


 Luz Cabrera & Nahin Shah 

Luz & Nahin are developing near-future product concept that is essential in an apocalyptic climate. They are also developing characters and a backstory that explains the world this product exists in.


 Nate Soto 

Nate is working on a project called “21XX”, a series of advertisements for future products during dystopian future.


 Oscar Salguero & Goeun Choi 

Oscar & Goeun are working on a project called “Shy Flora”, speculative energy-generating explorations of a future woman called Gaia.


 Sky White 

Sky believes that graphic design & branding are too often used to coerce people into purchasing goods for the sake of self-fulfillment. For Renew Me, he is using those same visual tactics to offer critical perspective on emerging virtual tech. He is creating an retail product display for the satirical VR company called Happy Fool Fun Co.


 Tim Ronco & Joonas Kyöstilä 

Tim & Joonas founded Mooki Meelo, a creative sustainable furniture company. They are exhibiting the Posse chair, which is made of 100% paper pulp, a natural material that's biodegradable and sustainable. Soft and lightweight, paper pulp is perfectly suited for children.


 Tan Tran 

Tan is designing a “Calisthenic Energy Harvester”. His goal is to create a prototype of exercise equipment that educates & makes you a user feel how much energy it takes to generate electricity.



  • Christina Mayo is developing a project called “Living Lab”, a educational house model that will inspire you to transform your home to be more sustainable one room at a time.

  • Natalia Szabla & Fabio Castellanos are creating a Plastic Recycling Tool. The tool is a simple-to-use mold that allows your to take what ever plastic scraps you find and reclaim them.

  • Joe Gelber & Sid Sugathan are creating “Eye Can”, a smart trash can that helps users reduce & sort waste.

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