Saturday High student Lana Vong
Every one of us has stared in frustration at a poorly designed product and boldly declared, “I could design something better than this!”
But how many of us actually get to work on doing just that?
This past summer, San Gabriel High School junior Lana Vong took Introduction to Product Design through Saturday High—Art Center College of Design’s program that helps high school students become better artists, designers and thinkers—and created the concept for Stikitti, a cat-shaped foam sticker maker.
“Lana’s foam sticker maker project is a classic example of how product designers have the power to improve the things they love to do,” says instructor Jeffrey B. Jones. “On the first day of class, I simply asked her what she liked to do. She pulled out one of her foam stickers and said, ‘Well, I like to make these.’ I asked her how she could improve the way kids make stickers, and the rest was history.”
We caught up with Vong to learn more about the story behind Stikitti.
Dotted Line: How did you find out about Saturday High?
Lana Vong: I joined my high school’s art club, and the club’s president was going to enter Art Center’s Graphic Design program this year after graduation. I was interested in product design so I started asking her for advice and she suggested Saturday High.
Dotted Line: How long have you been interested in product design?
Vong: For about a year. Joining the art club made me more open to creative careers, and I thought product design was a good balance between creative and critical thinking.
An image from Vong's class presentation
Dotted Line: Tell us about your Introduction to Product Design course.
Vong: Our instructor, Jeffrey Jones, had us do one major project throughout the course. There were three stages to it. The first stage was the research stage, where we planned out our project based on the idea we had in mind. Next was the exploration stage, which is where we started drawing and testing out different ways to approach the project. And the last stage was the refinement stage and the making of the final product.
Dotted Line: Had you ever been involved in a similar three-step creative process?
Vong: No, it was all new to me. When I first heard of Introduction to Product Design, I thought we’d be learning about marker techniques. But we ended up focusing more on the thinking and reasoning behind our products. It was almost like solving a math problem. I really liked it.