10 Questions for Bohan, Aalto Startup Center’s New Designer

Bohan Sun is a new designer at Aalto Startup Center from November 2020, working in communication and marketing materials, and providing design support for startups.

To help our startups learn a bit more about Bohan, we held a brief interview with her.

Q1: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Bohan: I am from China. I came to Finland for my masters study. Before that, I have worked as a designer for around 4 years in Shenzhen and Beijing.

Q2: What is your master’s studies about? 

Bohan: I am studying in Collaborative and Industrial Design programme (CoID). It is about practising design in a multi-disciplinary team and collaborating with different stakeholders and users. There are many majors in CoID, amongst which my focus is more on user experience design (UX design) and service design.

Q3: What’s your professional background?

Bohan: I worked in an early-stage startup in Shenzhen for several years. In that period of time, I worked in product design development but I also took charge of packaging design and marketing material. When I moved to Beijing, I became a junior product manager. There my job was to plan and supervise the whole product development process right from concept generation to manufacturing and marketing. Communicating with different internal teams and external stakeholders was a big part of my work.

Q4: Why did you want to work at Aalto Startup Centre?

Bohan: I saw that here there was a community full of energetic entrepreneurs and there are many ways a designer can contribute. It is beneficial and important to take design aspect into consideration in early-stage companies. Even though it is very difficult. I would like to spread design awareness and hopefully help startups build a solid foundation with a good design strategy.

Q5: What’s your role in Aalto Startup Center?

Bohan: I will be working closely with the CoCo (communications and community) team to facilitate marketing and communication. I am working with another designer Darren to provide design support for startups. We do activities like online design training event called design cafe. Recently, we have started building a new collaborative program called ‘Designer Pool’ to helping student designers and startups find mutually beneficial work.

Q6: What is your impression of Aalto Startup Center?

Bohan:  It is a very open place with a light and friendly atmosphere. My colleagues here are quite nice and there are always new companies with amazing ideas.

Q7: What do you like about being a designer?

Bohan: I think being a designer is more about understanding and communicating. As a designer, I try to stand in varying perspectives of the different stakeholders. And use design techniques and tools to help them understand each other and ideate effectively.

Q8: What’s your work style?

Bohan: I like efficient teamwork and casual chats in the coffee break. Separating work and life makes me feel comfortable. I believe changing the environment from time to time is helpful for one’s creativity. I like working outside in summer!

Q9: How will you spend 2021? 

Bohan: I will enjoy working in Aalto Startup Center and, at the same time, I am working on my thesis, exploring some topics about sustainable consumption.

Q10: What would you like to say to our startups?

Bohan: Design can bring an advantage in a competition. If you have any questions regarding design do not hesitate and get in touch.

Aalto Startup Center’s designer