Hello, my name is Melissa Rivera Torres. I was born and raised in Mexico. After graduating with a degree in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design I worked as a designer in Mexico City for the National Children’s Museum, Papalote Museo del Niño, creating a variety of exhibits. In addition, I designed children’s furniture for schools, producing pieces for preschool classrooms.

In 2004 I decided to go back to RISD to get a Masters Degree in Art and Design Teaching Education. After completing my MA, I took an opportunity to move to Hawaii, and since then I have worked for several schools and institutions teaching students of all ages about design. My places of employment include: The Honolulu Academy of Arts, The Honolulu Contemporary Art Museum, Art to Go (a non-profit outreach program specifically designed to serve Hawaii’s youth at risk) and Hawaii Pacific University. Aside from teaching, I have been working on the development of Unleash Studio since 2009, creating things that I believe will make people smile while also offering them something unique and different.

I was selected to compete on national TV for HGTV’s Design Competition Show called “The White Room Challenge” which is a spinoff from their popular show “Design Star”. The show was hosted by David Bromstad from HGTV’s “Color Splash”. You can also catch me as a contestant designing and making furniture on season 2 of “Ellen’s Design Challenge” on HGTV and competing with my Lightbox Terrier toy design on ABC’s “The Toy Box”.

Currently I hold the position of Senior Environmental/Experiential Designer at Group Delphi and due to a military move, I will be moving to St. Louis, Missouri in a couple months.

During my time off from teaching and designing, I enjoy being outdoors, skating on my snakeboard, playing drums badly, biking on my BMX and listening to music. Surrounding myself with people who inspire me and spending time with those I love makes my life worthwhile.

Download my resume below.


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