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Students of Tomorrow

Rachel Byorkman and Meichi Peng

A Passion for Design—Fulfilled at Wentworth

Meichi PengMeichi Peng
Interior Design ’97:

It's been almost 20 years since Meichi Peng, Interior Design '97, left Taiwan to dive into to a new country, a new language, and a new school. But the biggest leap of all was her passionate choice to pursue a career unlike anything anyone in her family had done before.

"This wasn't what anyone expected me to do, growing up in Taiwan, nor where anyone expected me to do it. It became clear as I headed towards college age that I had a love for designing and creating things… and Wentworth's design programs seemed to offer the best opportunity to explore that."

While it was challenging to learn English simultaneously with a host of other new skills, Meichi emerged herself in classes with enthusiasm and focus, and found her own unique place within the tight-knit design community.

After earning her degree, she took a job at a local interior design firm, and immediately dazzled clients with her strong design sense and ability to create spaces that were modern, yet warm and inviting and unique.

After a few years, Meichi decided to start an interior design practice of her own. Soon she was putting her visual stamp on some of Boston's finest homes and hotels.

But she also made a more unexpected move: the launch of a line of hand-sewn handbags that were an immediate hit with fashionistas around Boston, and around the world (you can check out the full line at PengBags.com!) Her South End retail location, Peng, was the next step—and business has been booming ever since.

Peng's shop continues to be a destination for design lovers and handbag fanatics, and she's got plans in the works for a line of home accessories… and much more.

Meichi PengRachel Byorkman
Industrial Design ’14

Unlike Meichi, Rachel Byorkman, Industrial Design '14, didn't travel thousands of miles by plane to arrive at Wentworth—she's a local girl, hailing from Braintree, Mass. She made the decision to attend Wentworth after attending an overnight recruiting event, which convinced her that the campus was the right place for her to be.

She could see herself fitting in with the community and culture—but even more importantly, Wentworth was known for offering a great Industrial Design program… and that's exactly what Rachel wanted to do.

And after a year of study, Rachel says Wentworth has lived up to her expectations on both fronts: "I've made great friends here, and I've been challenged by everything I'm learning in my classes."

Now Rachel is aiming to do furniture design for her co-op—the passion that lies behind her choice of major.

"Wentworth focuses on the specific skills we'll truly need in our careers, and gives us a real feel for the industry we want to be a part of… so we know what we're getting into, and we're prepared to do a great job as soon as we graduate."