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Kenji leverages creative problem solving and design research to distill complex problems into simple and intuitive solutions that empower users. As a designer at frog, he draws from his diverse background in engineering, industrial design, visual design and branding to craft user experiences that is both innovative and relevant in the market place. At frog, he as worked in a variety of industries with clients such as GE Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Honeywell, Mozilla, Verizon, HP and Chase. Prior to frog, Kenji worked with consumer product companies, Stanley Black and Decker and Restoration Hardware, as well as at a boutique design firm Nonobject in Palo Alto.
Kenji graduated with distinction in product design from Art Center College of Design, has a dual degree in mechanical engineering and material science from Berkeley, and completed a Business and Design Exchange program from INSEAD business school in France. Before becoming a designer, Kenji worked as a QA/QC engineer in the geotechnical industry.
Kenji has a passion in the health and wellness and sustainability space with personal projects being featured in online publication such as core77, notcot, yanko design, inhabitat, and trendhunter. Recently, he has been involved with a frog initiative to help at-risk high school students learn about problem solving through the design process.
I was born with two souls. Two souls. How did it happen? Why did it happen? My father came from a long line of business men from the capital city of Taipei, Taiwan while my mother was an adventurous girl from the countryside an hour south of Hiroshima, Japan. Both wanted to explore the US and ultimately met in Kansas. And on March 30th a reflection of numbers
they bore a son with two souls.Taiwanese/Japanese.
I was born in Taiwan and lived there for 7 years before moving to Japan. I couldn't quite fit in, two souls and all, but I learned what it meant to be both different and the same.
After I moved to the US and became an American citizen, my two souls continued to grow. Now I was
I lived in the suburb near Philadelphia trying to fit in for 7 years. Most were frightened never seeing two souls in one body before. But it wasn't long before I moved to California.
East Coast/West Coast.
Time past and in college when I was studying
Mechanical Engineering/Material Science
that someone finally told me what I was. He was older and wiser, a PhD candidate for he was two souled as well: a bass and counter tenor in the madrigal singing group we were both in. Before we went on to sing at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in SF, he caught me staring pensively into a pond in the outdoor foyer. It was very uncharacteristic as I was usually chatting or joking around. He said, "Kenji, you have two souls. One that is young and one that is old."
Young/Old. And it stuck to me.
As I continued onward, I was drawn to engineering because I saw it as fortune telling. I, as an engineer, could tell you what was going to happen in the future. But my two souls weren't satisfied. And so I went back to school to learn about something both my souls could get into: industrial design.
As the world would have it, that was not the end of the story for me. At my last internship before I was to graduate, I found myself in the position of interaction designer. The perfect balance of creativity and logic that encompossed the greater field of the user experience.
Native Americans call me the two-spirit people. They are storytellers, conveyor of songs, healers, matchmakers, and foretold the future, . And so I have come to embrace this notion of two souls, two spirits.