Back to Home
DSI / Social Design
About DSI

Welcome Kobla Asamoah and Mari Nakano to our faculty.

Kobla Asamoah
Teaching “Leadership and Entrepreneurship” with Karen Proctor
Kobla serves as the Program Director for HBK Incubates, Hot Bread Kitchen’s business incubator. In this role, Kobla focuses on growing the incubator program and works closely with its member businesses to provide business development resources and programming that will aid in their growth ambitions. In addition to a passion for entrepreneurship, he brings years of experience supporting a wide array of food businesses in scaling.

Prior to joining Hot Bread Kitchen, Kobla spent four years at St. Nicks Alliance, a Brooklyn-based non-profit focused on community revitalization through economic development. There, he helped small to medium size businesses in the areas of formation, marketing, accessing capital, certifications and a variety of other strategic and operational issues. Prior to his work in non-profit, Kobla spent several years working with mid to large size companies on corporate finance, investor relations and other institutional ownership related topics. He has an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship from NYU’s Stern School of Business as well as a BA in International Relations from Tufts University.

Mari Nakano
Teaching “Thesis Consultation” with Archie Lee Coates IV, Miya Osaki and Jeffrey Franklin.
Mari Nakano is the Acting Design Director for the NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity, where she leads the Service Design Studio, the first municipal service design team in the nation. She has been practicing what design can do for products, services and teams in the social impact space for over 12 years and has worked with notables such as the United Nations Population Fund, Women Deliver and PepsiCo.

Prior to joining New York City, she served for 4 years as the Design & Interaction Lead for UNICEF’s Office of Innovation where she orchestrated the production and execution of designed materials and processes across a multi-disciplinary global team of innovators focused on developing forward thinking solutions to improve the lives of children around the world.

She is the recipient of the 2015 ArtCenter Young Innovator Alumni Award and a contributor to the award-winning LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation. Mari holds an MFA in Media Design from Art Center College of Design and a BA in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

136 W 21st St,
5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 592–2205