I help companies with design collaboration, employing research, synthesis, and prototyping to find those insights that will amplify their work. Additionally, I facilitate design workshops and sprints, and I love using my hands to make things, especially out of wood and paper.
My name is Nihir ("knee-here"). I'm a design consultant currently based in San Francisco. I embed with multidisciplinary teams and facilitate design process based on a design thinking and systems thinking approach. I've had the pleasure to work with such diverse organizations as IBM Design, Fidelity Investments, Airbus, and various start-ups in the Bay Area. I also teach and mentor at the Stanford d.school where I co-developed award-winning curriculum, which focused on the underlying fundamentals of creative collaboration.
I hold a Master’s degree from the Stanford Design Program. My training and focus are on design and systems thinking, the built environment, design futures, and the opportunities and challenges of urbanism. My talent is employing metaphorical thinking to help investigate, understand, and reframe challenges, as well as inspire ideas for solutions.
I am deeply fascinated with cities—how we engage with them and how we engage with each other in them. I’ve been fortunate to live all around the world throughout my life, and those experiences are part and parcel to my design philosophy and approach. Really, it has always been a curiosity of people—our cultures, built environment, systems, and relationships.
"If you want to read about design, read about culture."
A mentor gave me that advice. Design is my enabler, a convenient excuse to be a part of people's lives and explore my interests. My design journey actually began with an unsatisfying career in Marketing. I decided to erase my etch-a-sketch, so I quit my job and set out to pursue dreams of hiking across Spain on the Camino de Santiago, studying kung fu in China, and practicing flamenco music in Madrid. During that year of adventuring around the world, I identified my resonance with design, so I returned to the US, designed furniture for a studio in Austin, Texas, which eventually brought me to San Francisco.
Thanks for visiting. Please feel free to reach out.
Independent Design Consultant
Various Companies · (2017-Present)
Facilitate design process, conduct design research, user interviews, and prototyping with various companies in and out of the Bay Area. Many projects under NDA; companies include Airbus, Fidelity Investments, Momentum Machines, Alchemist Accelerator and Stanford University
the d.school · Stanford University, Stanford, CA (2015 - 2016)
Developed, designed, and created award-winning curriculum to advance the d.school pedagogy; researched material, prototyped user experiences and analog artifacts for teaching & learning
IBM · Austin, TX (Internship, 2014)
Defined user needs and user experience for smart-phone application (NDA); developed wireframes, storyboards, mockups, and prototypes to communicate design ideas and interaction; mentored inter-disciplinary teams employing a design thinking process
Sarabi Studio · Austin, TX (2011 - 2013)
Designed and fabricated hand-crafted furniture and architectural metalwork; also conducted client meetings and media presentations
Technical Marketing Representative
Caterpillar, Inc · Peoria & Chicago, IL; Houston, TX (2006 - 2009)
Developed product group business plans; performed competitive analysis, marketing research, advertising, and product development for heavy machinery; trained dealer salesmen & fellow employees
Stanford University · Stanford, CA · MS Stanford Design Program (2015)
Colorado School of Mines · Golden, CO · BS Mechanical Engineering (2005)
Design thinking, need-finding, prototyping, form-giving, teaching/facilitation, story boarding, Adobe Cloud, Sketch, Invision Craft, woodworking, paper folding, Spanish language (high proficiency)
Core77 Design Awards, Runner-Up Design Education Initiatives · Awarded for curriculum developed during Fellowship at the d.school (2016)
Entrepreneurship & Innovation Certificate, Ignite Program · Stanford University GSB (2015)
Engineer-Intern (EI) License · Colorado (2005)