This April YBCA & CCA present Future Resonance

A collaborative exhibition at YBCA consisting of six projects created by multidisciplinary teams of graduate interaction, industrial, and graphic design students from Studio Forward at California College of the Arts looking at the essential questions of our time and place, sponsored by Google.

The image is of artwork called Cymatic Seeds by Viola Sun, 2022 which features various digitally created shapes with the likeness of organic materials.

Viola Sun, Cymatic Seeds, 2022

(San Francisco, CA—March 22, 2023) Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in collaboration with Studio Forward at California College of the Arts (CCA), will present a new collaborative exhibition Future Resonance. A comprehensive show including an array of immersive works that the designers have created to communicate their visions and introduce the audience to alternate worlds, opens Saturday, April 1, 2023 and will be on view through Sunday, April 30, 2023. There will also be an opening celebration from 6 to 9pm on Friday, April 7, 2023.

For Future Resonance, 13 CCA graduate students transform YBCA’s galleries to encapsulate their vision to build a more connected, inclusive, accessible, and joyful future. Using speculative design methodologies, the students have developed projects that explore questions like: How does technology disconnect us from ourselves, from each other, from nature? How might the technology we use right now allow for more connection? How can design be used to critique or amplify that connection?

The six projects featured in the exhibition represent an array of designed objects and experiences, such as graphic artifacts, digital tools, multimedia environments, immersive installations, and personal narratives. Some of the works draw on individual stories to preserve memory and foster empathy across time and space. Others present intricate organic forms inspired by biotechnology to trace boundaries and investigate bridges between humans, machines, and the environment.

Throughout the exhibition, the students embrace sound and light as fundamental materials in their projects, bathing their work in multisensory fields to envelope and engage visitors. The works in the show explore sound’s unique ability to propel connection, transform consciousness, and carry cultural knowledge across space and time.

“This exhibition demonstrates the creative dynamism that exists within CCA, while also reflecting the institution’s commitment to social responsibility,” said Helen Maria Nugent, Dean of Design at CCA. “In Studio Forward, we use the medium of design to ask questions about what matters to our collective futures, not to generate solutions or finite endpoints. Our aim is to add a sort of friction to our viewers’ experience, one that cues reflection and discussion among them.”

“YBCA and the CCA Studio Forward class are a perfect match for this moment in time," said Martin Strickland, YBCA Director of Curatorial Projects and Public Experience. “As YBCA continues to offer itself as a public resource and a place for multidisciplinary creative collaboration, the Studio Forward class brings rigor, imagination, and a sense of hopefulness as they conceptualize what the future might look like. Our hope is to bring together artists, cultures, and communities to deepen understanding of—and engagement in—the essential questions of our time and place. By collaborating on this project, we offer one another a chance to learn, grow, and expand our collective understanding of both and each other."

In addition to the exhibition, there will be an opening celebration featuring designer-led gallery tours and a performance by legendary electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani. Known to many as the Diva of the Diode, Ciani’s lifelong path of audaciously reimagining the power of sound and redesigning the technological means to make that vision a reality, embodies the spirit of the Future Resonance exhibition and Studio Forward at CCA.

Studio Forward students will also host exhibition tours and facilitated conversations on April Thursdays, 12–1pm. All Future Resonance events are free and open to the public. For more information please visit Future Resonance.


  • Exhibition: Saturday, April 1, 2023–Sunday, April 30, 2023
  • Public Opening Celebration: Friday, April 7, 2023, 6–9pm
  • Programs:
    Opening Celebration with Performance by Suzanne Ciani
    Friday, April 7, 2023, 6–9pm
    YBCA Grand Lobby and Gallery 3
    Get tickets

    Designer-led Exhibition Tours
    Thursdays, April 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2023, 12–1pm
    YBCA Gallery 3

About the designers

Ziyan / Celia Cai is a graphic designer and interaction designer. Her skill set includes assembling images, typography, illustration, motion graphics, and responding to user experience to create new pieces of design. Her goal is to deliver innovative concepts and well-executed solutions.

Thomas Euyang is a multidisciplinary designer with a background in filmmaking. Using tools like speculative design, storytelling, and fabrication, Euyang aims to design a more habitable and imaginative future.

Jordan Fitzgerald specializes in branding, speculative theory, and design research. He connects people using sensory design as an invitation to explore their own creativity. Fitzgerald’s practice is inspired by James Baldwin because of the ways the author brought groups together to have honest conversations. He aims to achieve similar and necessary discourse through his work.

Farzad Kargaran is a multidisciplinary designer with a background in engineering and operations research. He is interested in crafting human-centered, immersive, and interactive experiences that inspire and promote wellness.

With a background in both industrial design and user experience design, Taoyu Li is passionate about problem-solving while creating opportunities for joy. She employs a deep understanding of form, function, and human behavior to create solutions that are aesthetically pleasing and generate a sense of calm and happiness.

Flora Nong is a user experience designer who strives to create a future that is sustainable and inclusive. By designing seamless experiences for customer-facing products, Nong aims to spearhead product design methods that take sustainability and social responsibility into account.

Jessie Peng is a user experience designer passionate about human-centered designs focusing on human interactions and experiences. She embraces technology and values sustainability with the intention of applying her design to real-world challenges. Her goal as a designer is to reduce negative experiences in our lives and cultivate happiness.

Ashna Shah is a multidisciplinary designer with a background in visual communication design. She believes in creating channels of communication that serve all realms of people and work. Happiness pushes her boundaries; her passion for poetry helps her fabricate; and lemons have aided her creativity.

Viola Sun is a user experience designer with a background in visual design, leveraging speculative and systems thinking to create opportunities that benefit all living species. She aspires to optimize user experiences at the intersection of design, media, and technology for a more enjoyable, inclusive, and sustainable world.

Han Ping Gabriel Tan is an industrial designer whose work focuses on inclusivity. Whether he is designing a physical or digital product, he employs user research and user experience design to ensure he understands and meets the needs of his target audiences.

Kennedi Watkins is an interaction designer and activist. She has worked on projects in the realm of sound design, spatial work, public installations, and sensory experiences. Watkins’ work brings a clear focus on physical representation of ideas, purposeful storytelling through connection, and the desire to make an impact in communities.

Yuxi Wu is a user experience designer. She is passionate about rethinking daily routines to discover opportunities for innovation. She uses intensive research, interviews, and insightful analytics to implement clear visual communication. Her past designs span multiple types of interfaces including 3D simulation and gaming, AR/VR, web/mobile applications, and digital electronics.

Zhuoran Zhu is a designer and artist with a passion for storytelling through diverse mediums. She enjoys creating visually compelling narratives through illustration, comics, graphic design, and animation. With a keen interest in humanities and social sciences she is eager to discover new ways to tell engaging and impactful stories beyond the traditional art forms.

About California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts (CCA) is a private nonprofit college offering a rich curriculum of 22 undergraduate and 10 graduate programs. CCA is noted for its interdisciplinary curricula, breadth of programs, and commitment to social responsibility. With its San Francisco campus as their home base and the entire city as their extended campus, students experience immersive, interdisciplinary exposure that emphasizes theory and practice, helping them to gain the creative confidence and entrepreneurial skills needed for contemporary creative practice.

The Design Division at CCA is a vibrant community of over 700 students and 150 faculty members. It is a sanctuary for those with radical curiosity and a welcoming educational environment where wonder and imagination are amplified through rigor and craft.


Future Resonance and Studio Forward are made possible through the generous support of Google.

YBCA is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.

About YBCA

Opened to the public in 1993, YBCA was founded as the cultural anchor of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens neighborhood. YBCA is committed to the transformative power of broad, boundary-breaking participation in art. Our work spans the realms of contemporary art, performance, film, civic engagement, and public life. Centering artists as essential to social and cultural movement, YBCA is reimagining the role an arts institution can play in the communities it serves. For more information, visit the YBCA website.

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