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Yiran Li

Yiran Li was born in Xi’an, China in 1994. She is a 2022 graduate from the University of Iowa with a Master of Fine Art degree in 3D Design. She found her interest in Furniture and Interior design when she was doing hands-on projects during her bachelor's study. Such interest motivates her to continue down the path. Li’s work uses geometric forms and draws inspiration from Chinese culture. She prefers to work with wood, occasionally combined with other sustainable material. Li’s work was selected for exhibition in numerous countries including the United States and Italy.



Master of Fine Arts in 3D Design

University of Iowa, 2018-2022 

Master of Arts in 3D Design

University of Iowa, 2018-2022

Bachelor of Fine Arts/3D Design with Honor and High Distinction

University of Iowa, 2015-2018     

Working Experience


Kari Whitman Interiors, February 2023 - Present

Design Assistant

RH Denver,  June 2022 - February 2023

Research Assistant

University of Iowa 3D Design Program,  August 2021 - May 2022

Teaching Assistant

University of Iowa 3D Design Program,  August 2018 - May 2021

Design Intern

Frasch LLC, June - August 2020

ICRU (Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates) Research Fellows

University of Iowa, Aug 2017 - May 2018

Graphic Design Intern

Pentacrest Museums, University of Iowa, July 2016 - December 2018

Honors and Awards

SIT Furniture Design Award 2023 Winner in Materials & Innovation 2023
Architecture & Design Collection Awards 2022 Gold Winner 2022
LIT Lighting Design Awards 2022 Winner 2022
SIT Furniture Design Award Honorable Mention 2020
Hu-Hung Shu Memorial Scholarship in 3 consecutive years 2019 - 2021
Honor and High Distinction with BFA degree, University of Iowa (Cross-listed in Education), 2018
President’s List 2017

Juried Group Exhibitions

Personal work selected to exhibit with University of Iowa 3D Design Program

SaloneSatellite | Salone del Mobile, Milan, Italy, 2022

Ventura Future, Milan, Italy, 2019, 2018

SOFA(Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design) CONNECT, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
First place winner in 2019, Second place winner in 2018

ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair), Javits Center, New York, 2019, 2018, 2017


Group Exhibitions
Personal work selected to exhibit in a group exhibit

Figge Art Museum: Seating by Design, Davenport, IA, 2021

Published Work

Website Article

YIRAN LI (BFA ‘18, MA ‘20) SHARES HOW SHE DISCOVERED HER PASSION FOR 3D DESIGN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, International Programs, March 3rd, 2021 (Active on June 25, 2022)

O’Leary, Josh: “Form+Function+Furniture”, Iowa Magazine, June 3, 2019 (Cross-listed in Catalog/ Magazine) (Active on July 25, 2022)

Figge Art Museum: Seating by Design, curated by Monica Correia, p. 35, 69
Iowa Magazine, Cover, Summer 2019
O’Leary, Josh: “Form+Function+Furniture”, Iowa Magazine, Summer 2019, p. 30-39 (Cross-listed in Website Article)

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