Melika Alipour Leili


Melika is a creative strategist, a designer, a performer, and a trouble maker who uses design insight in different capacities to impact society. Her main focus is on social innovation in relation to technology and its implications. She inherited storytelling as she grew up in the post-revolution Tehran, a city of conflicting narratives, and uses it in her process to study and reframe problems. Later in life, she moved to the US to attend leading design schools and thrive as a designer. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BA in product and industrial design, and from Parsons School of Design with an MFA in transdisciplinary design. Her professional experience spans from working with pioneering technology companies such as Samsung Research America to collaborating with social/governmental innovation initiatives.





Family Hub is a Smart Refridgerator that enables families to have access to their fridge and kitchen remotely. They may leave notes, coordinate schedules, and display personal photos.




Role: Interaction Designer

Smart View is an App that lets the user enjoy multimedia content from your mobile and PC on your Samsung Smart TV.



Role: Interaction Designer

Eco-centric Futures

In the face of environmental crisis, the fields of sustainable and human-centered design have lacked a holistic perception of the planet and its actors, and have thus failed to reimagine their scope at the scale demanded by the challenges at hand. If this is the result of a cognitive failure, how might we design new thinking? Particularly in the face of rising climate chaos, design can play a role in shaping new perceptions of the nonhuman in order to promote other ways of being. We seek to explore new perspectives to reframe knowledge and transform understanding. Considering our sense of separation from nature, we are looking to how common languages can bridge our distances. Design has potential to serve different communicative utility for translating nonhuman perspectives. In changing our perception, how might we redesign our relation with the world to address the roots of our misbehavior?

MiddleTable is a transdisciplinary rethink-tank that stages actions to challenge the human-nature dichotomy, toward an ecocentric future. For us that means de-centering of the human and a deeper consideration for the nonhuman Through Tactical Media, Critical Frameworks, and Collaborative Workshops, we aim to articulate ways designers might intervene to rethink our relationship with Nonhumans.




Recognition: 12th International Design and Design History Symposium (Presented),

VergeNYC (presented)

#Co-speculation events


Developed by Middle Table, The River Speaks is a speculative curriculum for high schoolers, focused on a speculative future where rivers have recognized agency.




Recognition: William Randolph Hearst Scholarship for Parsons’ socially responsible art/design projects of the year, 2017 (Winner), Core77 design award 2018,
Iron A Design Award 2019

#Speculative Design

 What if governance becomes driverless?

Driverless Governance is an ongoing project with the aim of stimulating discussions about social, cultural, behavioral consequence of emerging possible data-driven governance for absolute equality. 


Recognitions: Design for Next conference(presented),

Design Journal(Published-Forthcoming), 

Creative Application Magazine (Featured)


How might anthropomorphized objects change our relationship with non-humans?

In this project we studied how might human relation ship with anthropomorphized object will shape. A cultural probe methodology was used to prototype three hypothesis about behavioral changes that might happen




Role: Researcher

Home Draw Service

Home Draw service is a collaboration with Rochester General Hospital for improving home draw service experience for patients by reducing the blood test error rate. This project reduced 40% error rate to 0% for RGH.



Recognitions:RIT Business Plan competition-2015 (Runner Up), Digital Rochester Great Award - (winner)

#ServiceDesign, #ProductDesign

Role: Industrial and Service Designer

How might hospitals provide safe low cost health services?

Dear Neighbor

What if every New Yorker becomes a lifesaving hero?

Dear Neighbor aims to prepare New York residents for psychological impacts of disasters and motivates them to learn about a possible future by creating a series of speculative roles.



#ServiceDesign #SpeculativeDesign

Role: Product Designer, Design Researcher

New Americans 

What if the transition to a new citizenship make people more financially powerful?

New American is a collaboration with NYCitizenship program for empowering new American citizens financially. The goal of the services is to help individuals who are eligible to apply for citizenship to get more information about services available by NYCitizenship program and get the chance to collect more information about banking systems in the US.



Recognitions:National Immigrant Integration Conference (presented)

#Service Design

Role: Design strategist, Illustrator


What if the hospital infruscture cleans its staff hands?

EasyClena is addressing the low rate of hand sanitation issue at hospitals, which increases the risk of contagious diseases for staff and patients. 

#Health Care, #ProductDesign

Role: Industrial Desigenr





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© 2016 by Melika Alipour-leili.

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