The Vancouver Design Nerds are made up of a large community of artists, designers, social innovators. At the core of this community is a steering committee and board of directors who meet on a monthly basis – who are active in pursuing opportunities for design jams and leading projects.

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Read on to meet the current leadership team.

Jared Korb,
Co-Director

Product Design, Design Thinking, Facilitation, Architectural Photography

Jared is a interdisciplinary designer and facilitator, who’s passionate about engaging local communities in collaborative problem solving. Using Design Thinking and User-Centred Design methodology, Jared works to help clients in the process of creating more desirable futures. He has experience in design roles with Vancouver- based businesses and organizations in technology, product, architecture, and social impact sectors. Growing up in the United States, and educated in Canada, he attended Trinity Western University, studying Art & Business, before earning his undergrad degree in Industrial Design at Emily Carr University.

Sarah Hay,
Co-Director

Design Research, Sustainability, Slowness, Facilitation, Education

Sarah is a designer, educator and facilitator with particular interest and experience in collaborating with folks in architecture, planning, health and environment. She holds a Bachelors of Industrial Design from Carleton University (2003) and a Masters of Applied Arts in Design from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (2008) where her thesis explored slow design. She splits her working time between projects with Slow and Steady Design (her nomadic communication design office); teaching design at Emily Carr University of Art + Design; teaching civic engagement at Simon Fraser University; and as co-director and all things with the Design Nerds.

She lives on a boat with her family in a cooperatively owned marina in Vancouver, the traditional coastal territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and T’seilwatuth People.

Jesi Carson,
Project Lead

Interaction Design, 360 Video, Facilitation, Participatory Democracy

A multi-disciplinary designer based in Vancouver, Canada, Jesi Carson is inspired by compelling stories, engaging spaces and diverse cultures. Jesi is currently a Project Lead, Steering Committee member and Design Thinking Facilitator for the Vancouver Design Nerds Society. She is also the Design and Communities Coordinator for an international political science research initiative called Participedia. Jesi is now pursuing a Master’s Degree of Design at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, using rich media, including 360 video, to document global examples of site-specific, grassroots political participation. Having practiced within themes ranging from upcycling to food security, Jesi strongly believes in the power of design as a tool for social change and capacity building.

Natalie Tillen,
Project Lead

Industrial Design, Textiles, Slow Fashion

Natalie is a product designer, with an emphasis on the future of clothing and systems of social practice. Her mission is to create conscious engagement between people and the objects we interact with, through innovative methods of collaboration, sustainable practices, collective agreement and risk-taking. She has experience with SSHRC-funded design research, facilitation and production in collaboration with CloTHING(s) as Conversation, Lululemon, Frankie Collective, Sans Soucie and LifeBooster. She holds a Bachelors of Design, with a major in Industrial Design from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, Canada.

Eesmyal Santos-Brault,
Co-Founder & Co-Director

Invention, Social Innovation, Sustainability, Technology

Eesmyal is a serial social entrepreneur with a mission to invent solutions to wicked problems through technology and social innovation. He has cofounded and continues to serve as director on three successful non-profit social enterprises that focus on creativity, sustainability and collaboration: HiVE Vancouver Society, Open Green Building Society, and Vancouver Design Nerds Society, which started in his living room in 2004. He earns a living as a green building expert and Principal of Recollective, a multi-disciplinary green building consulting firm he cofounded in 2006.

Design Nerd Alumni. We have been lucky to have had so many incredible people serve on our board and steering committee, who have shaped who we are as an organization, over the past 10+ years. And continue to be a part of the larger Design Nerd community.

Alex Grunenfelder, Co-Founder & Former BoD

Art, Design, Philosophy

Alex is a Vancouver-based entrepreneur who maintains interdisciplinary practices in art and design.

Ruben Anderson, Co-Founder

Sustainability, Dialogue, Behaviour Change, DIY

Mark Ashby, Former BoD

Architecture, Public Art, Philosophy

Ocean Dionne, Former SC

Industrial Design, Ecology, Culture, Style

Marten Sims, Former BoD

Transformation Design, Civic Engagement, Systems Thinking

Kim Cooper, Former BoD

Art, Architecture, Sculpture, Maker Culture

Kim Cooper is a multi-media artist, designer, and creative community facilitator. Kim has been involved with the Nerds since the early days and is also a Founder and Director of CoLab, a Vancouver non-profit community workshop.

Robyn Fenton, Former BoD

Architecture, Affordable Housing, Facilitation

Robyn studied at the University of Technology, Sydney and is now a Vancouver based architect and founder of ReForma Architecture.

Theunis Snyman, Former SC

Industrial Design, Upcycle, Maker Culture, DIY

Former Directors & Nerd Elders:

Ruban Anderson, Founder
Carla Weinberg, Founder and Director of Toronto Design Nerds
Mark Ashby, BoD
Marten Sims, BoD
Robyn Fenton, BoD
Naiomi Divine, BoD
Sabrina Meherally, BoD

Former Steering Committee Members:

Ocean Dionne
Tom Wynn
Mauricio Gendreau
Alicia Medina
Joshua Welsh
Samantha Welsh
Mitra Mansour
Theunis Snyman

Social Innovators in Residence

Jared Korb (Fall 2014 – Winter 2015)
Maia Rowan (Summer 2013)
Nicholas Harvey-Cheetham (Summer 2013)

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