Founded in 1980, RKS utilizes design as a strategic tool advancing client’s ability to focus on people’s needs and aspirations.

Download our Fact Sheet

Meaningful Relationships:

RKS collaborates to contribute value to many different categories, including: healthcare, consumer packaged goods, appliances, housewares, sustainability solutions, entertainment, consumer electronics, transportation, lifestyle accessories, industrial products, retail, social innovation and many more.

 

We provide services that span the entire process from conception to implementation, including: research, strategy, design, engineering, brand communications and coaching. Our solutions build on business priorities while empowering and rewarding consumers, ultimately compelling them to share the joys of their experience.

Meet the Team

Inspiration and innovation become commonplace when a collective group of talented individuals are driven by an overarching vision.

Ravi Sawhney

Founder & CEO

Bringing over 30 years of business sensibilities and wisdom to every project, Ravi not only leads the team at RKS but is an distinguished lecturer, author, entrepreneur and thought leader on design and innovation. Since founding RKS, he has been recognized with 157 design awards and has helped generate nearly 200 patents on behalf RKS and its clients. As an expert blogger for Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Core77, Ravi champions design’s power to effect positive change in business. Ravi has been inducted as a Fellow in the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA), recognized with an honorary Ph.D. from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, serves as a juror/chairman at many of the world’s most prestigious product design competitions and is an advisor to many of RKS’ clients.

Lance Hussey

Creative Director & Principal

As the design guru of RKS, Lance oversees the design of virtually every project that comes in the door and ensures that the design intent is always framed in reference to his client’s business strategy. He is a consistent design innovator with broad experience gained from working with clients that make medical devices, consumer electronics, consumer packaged goods and appliances and much more.

Harnish Jani

Director of Strategy & Research

Jani passionately helps organizations innovate and transform their businesses, brands and internal cultures to offer user-empowering experience solutions, services by leveraging design as an empathetic, strategic and creative catalyst.

Amalia Sawhney

CFO

Amalia brings considerable experience and expertise to her executive role at the firm, including finance, accounting, human resources and operations. She maintains an organizational structure and staffing to effectively accomplish all goals and objectives. She also provides procedural improvement recommendations and facilitates communication and understanding of client needs. Amalia brings to RKS more than a decade of experience which she obtained while working in the auto sector managing all aspects of accounting, audit, compliance and administration. When not at work, Amalia is usually outdoors running, biking, golfing or pursuing a Psychology degree.

Kurt Botsai

Design Engineer

Having been here since 1994, Kurt is one of the veterans of RKS. As a design engineer, Kurt solves mechanical issues and executes parts into production-ready files without compromising the industrial design. Kurt’s work is responsible for multiple design awards and utility patents for our clients.

Ben Azzam

Business Development

Ben knows his way around a proposal. Whether it’s an entrepreneur looking to get a good idea off the ground, or a multi-national looking to develop product on several continents, His approach is a collaborative effort with the RKS team and the client to ensure that from the beginning we are co-creating and developing an approach for success.

Nour Malaeb

UX and Industrial Designer

After working with the Husqvarna design group, Nour came to RKS with an appetite that spans the all aspects of the design process: ID, UX, design research/strategy, and project management. Client work has included Wikipad, Line6, Sharp, Alpine, In2Audio, and Pepsi.

Greg Vanderpol

Industrial Designer

After working with the design group of Architectural Area Lighting and Western Digital (hard drives and accessories), Greg came to RKS and became instantly immersed in not only ID work, but graphic/packaging design and illustration work.

Savitri Lopez Negrete

Design Researcher & Strategist

Savitri works at the intersection of service design, social innovation and urban strategies. Prior to joining RKS, Savitri worked on the public consultation for the redevelopment of Royal Dutch Shell headquarters on London’s South Bank – engaging and co-designing with stakeholders to reconcile community benefits with commercial viability. Savitri has also worked with several non-profits designing new services.

Ross Mitchell

Design Researcher

A PhD scholar working at the intersection of technology and society, Ross is a published researcher who has worked on several grant funded studies focused on technology and innovation. At RKS, Ross brings his extensive methodological knowledge and a unique anthropological perspective to every project he works on.

Ben Hickman

Graphic Designer

Whether it’s a company website, a client’s logo, or packaging for a new product, Ben is the graphic designer that leads the charge. At RKS, Ben has worked his magic for FreshRealm, Wikipad, and FloWater. Prior to RKS, Ben worked on Nike projects while at Opolis Design in Portland Oregon.

Steve Miczak

Prototype Lab Manager

Steve has been running the prototype lab here at RKS since 1998, and is invaluable to our clients and our iterative process. His prototypes and models are essential to the creation of breakthrough products.

Where We Work


Thousand Oaks
RKS is headquartered in the heart of the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains, less than an hour away from Los Angeles, the melting pot for inspiring creativity and groundbreaking innovation in Southern California. We’re proud to provide an exceptional, stress free environment to our clients and staff, designed for boosting creativity and achieve high quality work.

Santa Monica
RKS’ satellite office is located at Cross Campus, Los Angeles’ largest and most dynamic co-working space, designed to help entrepreneurs, artists and digital nomads achieve meaningful relationships while building new businesses. We chose this high energy, collaborative environment at the center of Silicon Beach, to both learn from the young and inspiring crowd and help them implement design as a core strategy into their start-ups as early as possible.