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Kanhika is an experienced human-centred designer, passionate about early stage research, ideation, and testing. She’s well-versed in design thinking processes, ethnographic and customer research, qualitative analysis, and rapid prototyping.

Kanhika received a fellowship to study on Stanford University’s Graduate Design Program, and a scholarship for SIGM at the Stanford Business School. She’s run a mobile dating startup in California and developed pre school educational tools with Mumbai-based IL&FS Education.

Currently she's working in New Zealand with Springload. Prior to which she worked as a senior experience designer at PwC NZ on projects for ACC and the Ministry of Health.

Creativity is in Kanhika’s blood. She makes short films, and is working toward curating a show of her ceramic jewellery creations. To refuel, she’s never far from a cup of tea. Or a dram of whiskey. ❧
I'm always up for opportunities to consult, teach, collaborate creatively or simply share thoughts over tea :) I would love to hear from you!

Professional Experience

Lead | Experience Design and Research, Springload
May 2019 – Present | Wellington, New Zealand

Driving the growth and internal practice development of Human Centred Design at Springload. Leading cross-disciplinary project teams working at the intersection of Technology and HCD.

Senior Experience Designer | Design Research, Springload
May 2019 – Present | Wellington, New Zealand

Working at the intersection of Technology and Human Centred Design. AI is the future of customer experience — the problem is the future of AI looks more machine than human. At Springload, by looking at problems from a human lens, we create machine learning, natural language processing, chatbot, and computer vision solutions that are people-focussed.

Senior Experience Designer | Design Research, PwC New Zealand
May 2017 – Aug 2018 | Wellington, New Zealand

Working at the intersection of customer experience, business strategy, and digital technology — for various New Zealand government agencies. I have worked on digital transformation projects, projects to build stakeholder alignment, and design future customer states; all grounded in the human centred design process.

Principal | Design Strategy and User Research
Aug 2016 – Aug 2017 | San Francisco, United States

Using human centered design I provide strategic design consultancy to various large scale companies like Airbus, digital communication companies, and wearable tech startups in Silicon Valley. I also teach experimental research techniques to designers and facilitate design thinking workshops for executives around the world.

Lecturer, at Stanford (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design)
Aug 2016 – Sep 2016 | San Francisco Bay Area

Facilitated design thinking lectures and workshops for top Korean entrepreneurs sponsored by the National IT Industry Promotion Agency and the Korea Innovation Centre operated by the Government of South Korea.

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Stanford University
Jan 2015 – Jun 2016 | Stanford, United States

Conducted daylong bootcamps to weeklong workshops for executives from the US, France, Japan, South Korea, India, and Switzerland. Guided undergraduate students at Stanford for the 'ME 101: Visual Thinking' and the 'ME 115B: Product Design Methods' classes.

Associate Designer, IL&FS ETS
Aug 2012 – Jul 2014 | Mumbai Area, India

Developed the first of its kind tech based education platform for preschools across India, and led it to its launch. As part of the core team, my responsibilities included user research and analysis, product strategy, curriculum and content development, teacher training, and project management.

Product Design Intern, Studio ABD
Sep 2011 – Feb 2012 | Bengaluru, India

Designed sustainable food packaging that is currently being used by a retail food company. Led initial user research that helped development of one of India's first ‘on the go’ payment device.

Product Design Intern, Flip Design
Jun 2010 – Aug 2010 | Bengaluru, India

Designed and manufactured an educational toy for young children to raise awareness about endangered species.

Product Design Intern, Design Directions
May 2008 – Jun 2008 | Pune, India

Conducted field research, analysis, and documentation of Indian street vendors.

Academic Experience

Stanford University
M.F.A, Stanford Design Program (Joint Program in Art & Engineering), 2014 - 2016 

MIT Institute of Design
Bachelor of Design (Product Design), 2007 - 2012 

Stanford Graduate School of Business
Summer Institute of General Management, 2015 

University of Pune
Bachelor of Art, 2010 - 2013 

Other Leadership

CFO, Asha for Education, 2014 - 2015 

VP, Stanford Indian Association, 2015 - 2016 

Co-founder, MIT Institute of Design’s Design Store - ‘I Did’ 2008 - 2012

Honors & Awards

1st Place Award: Educational toy for deaf children
Sponsored by the National Science Foundation & Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, 2015 

Best Case Study Presentation Award
Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2015 

SIGM Scholarship
Full tuition scholarship to attend the Stanford Business School SIGM Program, 2015 

Department of Art & Art History Fellowship
Full tuition fellowship to attend the Stanford Design Program for year 2014 & 2015


Guest lecturer at the Masters Design for Social Innovation Program at Victoria University, New Zealand, March 2019.

Design Leadership, at MIT Institute of Design, March 2017.

Cultural Lenses of Design Research, at the Social Innovation Week co-presented by AIGA San FranciscoCompostmodern & Gray Area Art + Technology, November 2016.

Painting Engaging Stories, at the Stanford Arts Intensive Program, September 2016

K-Global Entrepreneurship Program, at the, Stanford University, August 2016

Kyoto Design Lab, at Kyoto Institute of Design, March 2015

I Did Idea Workshop, at MIT Institute of Design, 2010

Lectures & Workshops

Radical Ethnographies, Coulter Art Gallery, Stanford University, 2015

Personal Statements, The Design Loft, Stanford University, 2015

Grad Design Art Show, Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford University, 2015

Meet the Makers, Product Realization Lab, 2014

Illuminating Objects, Cummings Art Gallery, Stanford University, 2014

Degree Show, MIT Institute of Design, Pune, 2012

I Did, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai, 2013

I Did, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai, 2012

I Did, Quasar 5, MIT Institute of Design, Pune, 2011

I Did, The Tilting Gallery, Ishanya, Pune, 2010

I Did, Quasar 4, MIT Institute of Design, Pune, 2010

I Did, Quasar 3, MIT Institute of Design, Pune, 2009

Social Mural Collective, Celebrate Bandra, Mumbai, 2005

Group Exhibitions