Hello! I’m Mary Kahle. I leverage my range of experience in human (+life) - centered design, research, entrepreneurship, creative direction, and product development to create equitable experiences and drive meaningful change-through-design, for both people and the planet. Fueled by endless curiosity, my work combines strategic research design and stakeholder collaboration to develop innovative ideas and solutions for industries spanning consumer goods, business management, and social-impact sectors. Motivating others to action, within and outside an organization, I facilitate the collaborative exploration of interconnected problems, creating space for open dialogues, and alignment towards common goals.

I recently graduated from Drexel University with an MS in Design Research (2021-2023). As a Graduate Research Assistant to Professor Nicole Koltick of the Design Futures Lab at Drexel, I collaborated with a multi-disciplinary team, contributing to the fields of speculative design futures, tangible products, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), generative AI, co-design, and public health community-based participatory research (CBPR).

In my work at Zenda as a Design Research consultant in business management and technology, I applied human-centered design to help Fortune 100 clients and global enterprises navigate complex business and regulatory events.

My current roles in Design Research and Strategy allow me to leverage my career experience, blending my unique professional background and interest in solving everyday challenges for social impact, operations, and human-centered design.

My professional design practice began 10+ years ago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel Design from the Rhode Island School of Design (2008-2012). I started my creative career as a designer and garment engineer for luxury fashion brands like Alexander McQueen, Marchesa, Wes Gordon, and Naeem Khan. I’ve also worked as a Product Designer for accessories brands, and homewares for Virginia Sin, creating delightfully hand-built ceramic home decor products. In 2014, I launched KAHLE STUDIO in Brooklyn, NY. Through the design studio, I developed wearables and experiences, prioritizing collaborative teamwork and responsible, sustainable, and local manufacturing practices. My work has been acknowledged in the New York Times, Vogue, WWD, Novembre Magazine, and other reputable international media outlets.

I’m open to collaborations locally (Boston, MA) or globally (virtually and/or in-person).

get in touch – maryakahle@gmail.com



Drexel University

MS, Design Research

Philadelphia, PA, 2021-2023

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

BFA, Apparel Design

Providence, RI, 2008-2012

Professional Experience

Zenda Consulting

Design Research Consultant,

New York, NY, 2022-2023

Design Futures Lab

Design Research Graduate Associate,

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, 2022-2023

The Impact Entrepreneurs Award, Social Impact Innovation Hub, Baiada Institute

Design Research Lead,

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, 2022-2023

PA Fabric Discovery Center (FDC), Center for Functional Fabrics

Design Research & Product Design Graduate Fellowship,

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, 2021-2022


Founder & Creative Director,

Brooklyn, NY, 2014-2021

Vogue, WWD, The New York Times

Virginia Sin

Ceramic Product Designer & Fabricator,

Brooklyn, NY, 2018-2019

Various: Alexander McQueen, Marchesa, Naeem Khan, Wes Gordon, COA, Caron Callahan

Designer, Apparel Engineer, Product Development/ Management

New York, NY, 2010-2021
London, UK, 2012

Academic Research Publications and Acknowledgements

Sound Sponges: A Speculative Approach to Tangible Urban Interaction and Urban Prosthetics for Persons with Hearing Impairment
- S.Bahrami, M. Kahle, N. Koltick
Media Arts and Design Conference, (Upcoming 2024)

Makerspace Communities and Ecosystem Strategy: Co-Creating Social and Operational Infrastructure
Design Research Master’s Thesis, September 2021- June 2023
Drexel University, Proquest.com

Dezeen Graduate Student Spotlight 2023  

How Albert Einstein’s Former Secretary Became the Face of a Buzzy Brooklyn Label, 2018

The Science of KAHLE, 2016
The New York Times Style Section (Print & Digital

© Mary Kahle, 2024