Elise ZiYuan Wang
Cat Whisperer
Design Thinker
Divergently Creative
Connector of Dots
Elise ZiYuan Wang
Cat Whisperer

Motion Design/Time-Based Communication, Information Design
Proudly: INFJ, first-generation immigrant
Elise is a design thinker and multidisciplinary creative based in Toronto. She's passionate about understanding things, making meaningful connections and nurturing well-being. Elise approaches design from a highly conceptual yet detail-oriented perspective, all in hopes of building a kinder and more thoughtful world.
First thing you would do after COVID is over? (If ever)
Hug my friends
2nd favourite typeface (after Papyrus)
Favourite Designer(s) and/or Design Communities
Kelli Anderson, Joyce N. Ho, Georgia Lupi, Stefan Sagmeister, Jennet Liaw
Case Studies
all the little things.
What is a life well-lived? My time at studying package design at YSDN has been marked by an embrace of the ordinary things. Due to my innate high sensitivity trait and my humble upbringing, I have learned to find creative inspiration in the mundanities of everyday life. I believe that a good life can be found in slowing down to savor and ponder all life’s wonders. This simple promotional video was created in Premiere Pro to introduce the brand and accompany the physical package. Clips from personal footage became a philosophical segment that segues in to the product reveal. To enhance the international aspect of my brand in a meaningful way, I recruited my fellow classmates to contribute short voiceover clips in their respective native languages.
With the introduction of plastic, single-use cutlery waste contributes steadily to the earth’s non-biodegradable pollution. Recently, bamboo entrepreneurs in Asia have created useable wooden cutlery and dishware, but these products have yet to enter the mass market. Thus came the question: can a humble wooden utensil gain traction as a philosophical way of life? This is how my project began. "All the little things" is an international lifestyle brand aiming to provide the conscientious citizen with elegant, reusable and convenient everyday products. The first product is an on-the-go wood cutlery set, featuring cross-cultural utensils, an innovative napkin cutlery sleeve and a versatile bamboo carrying system.
A Guide to SPS
For this Information Design project, students were asked to create a data visualization pamphlet + digital adaptation for a topic of their choice. Due to personal experience with this innate trait, I decided to research and create a beginner’s guide to Sensory-Processing Sensitivity. Sensory-processing sensitivity (SPS) is a neurobiological trait characterized by an increased sensitivity of the central nervous system and a deeper cognitive processing of physical, social and emotional stimuli. SPS is genetically-based and present in 15-20% of human populations as well as over 100 animal species. SPS adaptation strategies of empathy, awareness, calmness and self-control allows for deep integration of environmental and social information, which may enhance survival and well-being of a species. When well-adapted to society, HSPs contribute significantly to almost all areas of human civilization, leaving timeless legacies in the arts, design, film, literature, physical and social sciences, religion and world politics.
Sensory-processing sensitivity is an urgent point of research due to its high prevalence in human populations and its direct relation to various maladaptive life outcomes, as a significant factor in HSP well-being and quality of life. Despite its prevalence, SPS is still relatively unknown and misunderstood in the general public, which increases the risk of HSP ostracization, isolation and mental illness — especially in high stimulation-oriented Western societies. This is where I believe design has an opportunity to bridge gaps of public knowledge and improve HSP self-perception, by introducing new ways of understanding SPS in visual language.
VIIU: A Card Game
What does well-being look like from a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)’s perspective, during the COVID-19 pandemic? During the first half of my final year thesis, I had the chance to conduct primary research with a small group of individuals worldwide who possess Sensory-Processing Sensitivity (SPS). Through a combination of short-form surveys and long-form written interviews, I was invited in to the everyday feelings, struggles and triumphs of these thoughtful individuals. One major thematic insight in both factors of well-being and ill-being was the power of interpersonal relationships. As relationships affect the well-being of most humans, I narrowed down on this insight to create an interactive project that would be useful to both HSPs and the general public. My aim with VIIU was to create the conditions in which neurodiversity knowledge and insights can be gained interpersonally as a unique way of spreading awareness, igniting change, and strengthening relational well-being.
VIIU is an in-depth ‘relationship builder’ card game focused on deep questions and conversation prompts in the form of a deck of cards. Designed to kickstart important conversations that may not happen casually, VIIU enhances existing relationships in a gamified way. There are four official modes in which to play VIIU: Relaxed Mode, Game Mode, Token Game Mode and Solo Mode. In the first three Modes, players take turns drawing Gem cards. Gem Cards contain all the Questions that make up the heart of VIIU, divided in to three difficulty categories: Ruby (light), Sapphire (medium) and Diamond (heavy). Some Gem cards contain surprise Wild cards, which are bonus minigames and creative challenges. Players answer the question or complete the challenge for Gems. After a game, Tokens (points) collected from Gems can be exchanged for Gift coupons — creative DIY gifts and fun favors fulfilled by another Player of choice.