Mai is a co-founder of Blank Plate, a creative culinary program in Hunts Point, South Bronx that uses the power of hands-on design workshops to inspire teens to transform their relationship to food while promoting issues of food justice. The program creates a positive narrative of healthy food access and equity within the local NYC food system and places it directly into the hands of the communities. What started out as a thesis pilot project in 2011 has now been operating as a proof of concept and is currently in the process of scaling to other communities.
Mai’s work focuses on frameworks that seizes the opportunity of design to help people realize their strength to tackle challenges and change behavior. Mai’s strength for unearthing insights that drive social change has led her to consult for various socially driven organizations in the education, health, government and tech sector. She explores design as a process and experience that weaves together our social fabric. She has a BS in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University and is a graduate of the MFA program in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons, where she has also taught Design-led research courses. She has also served as an advisor for the New School’s Impact Entrepreneurship Program.