Daren Wang ’23 is making people’s lives easier with Yoka

Daren Wang ’23, along with his teammates Matt and Isabella, was part of the Invent@SU program this summer as Team Yoka.  Wang brought his skills as an Industrial and Interaction Design student at the School of Design, at the College of Visual and Performing Arts, working with Matt, a Mechanical Engineering student at the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Isabella, a Chemical Engineer student at The Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, to design a yoke to make people’s lives easier.

Wang redesigned a traditional yoke into one that would hang around one’s shoulder and hug the body. People can hang their heavy bags of groceries or hiking necessities on the yoke to make carrying items easier. One of Wang’s priorities was to design the yoke to make it look curvy, sleek and incredibly useful.

The idea for the yoke came about during the ideation phase of the competition. Wang approached that phase of the competition by asking himself what he could do to help solve people’s everyday inconveniences.

The problem that Wang faced in designing his innovation was the variation of human anatomy. People’s body types differ and everyone has varied shoulder widths. A one-size-fits-all product was not going to work.

The team’s final product was a yoke with adjustable aluminum tubing. Comfort was a problem and how well the product fits on the body. Wang and his team fit the yoke according to the customer’s measurements. People are already testing and enjoying the prototype.

The majority of the users who participated in user testing for the product obviously preferred the Yoka compared to the heavy lifting they had to do normally.

Wang loves working with his team. He finds it interesting to collaborate with people with skills different from his own and see how they think, as well as contribute his skill sets in the team.

Next, Team Yoka is exploring a patent roadmap.

Wang is now a part of the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University Libraries, located in the Bird Library. After meeting the LaunchPad executive director at Invent@SU event, Wang joined the LaunchPad to further develop the idea.

Although Wang is from Fremont, California, he has taken a liking to the east coast. Wang has never been to the east coast before Syracuse University and wanted to venture out of the west coast.

With an interest in art and mechanical engineering, Wang has taken some classes during high school for automotive design, which introduced him into industrial design. The satisfaction of ideating on one idea and developing it into a physical product was what reeled Wang in. He also enjoys working in teams and hearing everyone’s ideas. As a designer, Wang is interested to work for companies that has good intentions with their products.

“I want to work for a place that aids to society in some way”.

When Wang isn’t working on his ideas, he is involved in quite a few organizations. IDSA is an industrial design organization that Wang is a part of. It’s usually a place where he likes to catchup with his classmates.

Wang is also a part of FYP, (first year players), where he builds set designs for musicals that the organization puts out. FYP is an organization that is comprised of students outside of theatre who are still interested in the theaters. Wang is also a part of Alpha Rho Chi, a professional fraternity of architectural and allied designs.

Outside of school, Wang is very interested in bicycles. He has built about four bikes over the years for himself.

“There’s something about bikes that I love. I would like to build my own bike instead of riding niche bike.”            

Being a creative both in and out of his academic and work life, Wang will definitely be doing more innovative things in the future.

Story by LaunchPad Global Fellow Natalie Lui ‘22; photo supplied