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Modest’s team varies project-to-project, involving a mix of global professionals and students from diverse fields including landscape architecture, product design/making, forestry and conservation. 


Christine Facella

Founder and Maker

Christine Facella is a product designer and landscape architect, founder of Modest and a part-time lecturer at Parsons School of Design  and the Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York. Christine’s research and practice considers how we can support regenerative systems through consumer-driven models and studied landscape architecture to gain a fuller picture of how natural systems work, how human activities have historically impacted them, and how we can restore them - specifically through product-design activities. Christine's geographic region of focus is Latin America which over the past decades has experienced massive deforestation. Her work has received awards from ASLA, and attention from non-profits such as FAO.


She has 15+ years of experience working with nonprofits, global artisans, a slew of ethically-minded firms including West Elm, Aveda and Origins.


Christine also runs a small ceramic studio in Brooklyn selling her Porcelain Skulls globally ( Her work has been published in  the Wall Street journal and Marie Claire, and has been featured on WNYC. 


Sabiha Haque


Sabiha Haque calls herself a transdisciplinary professional actively working in the field of Landscape Architecture, Environment, Architecture  and Urban Design. In her more than 10 yrs of professional life as landscape and architectural designer she has worked in built projects in USA and Bangladesh. Among her research works her participation with Marina Tabassum Architects at the Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2019 was prominent.

She believes in co-creation, and her respect for the ideology of Modest LLC made her a key collaborator for Nepal project in 2019.


Paige Katona

Design researcher

Paige Katona is a research based product designer currently residing in New York City. A recent graduate of Parsons School of Design, Paige is passionate about applying her skills in product design to help advance the long-term health, resilience, and sustainability of local communities. She believes a designers job is not just to design sustainable products, but to help create the processes and services that encourage sustainable behavior. 

The driving force behind her design work comes from her deep appreciation of the environment and its natural systems. In her personal life, she strives to lead a sustainable lifestyle and has brought these values into her professional life by working for startup companies that are helping to create more sustainable communities within New York City.

Paige traveled and worked with Modest in Nepal in the summer of 2019, and conducts design-research for our ongoing projects. 


August Rust

Systems researcher

August Rust is in their final year studying Interdisciplinary Science & Product Design at the New School. Their educational focus has been understanding systematic health inequalities facing LGBT+, disabled and additional marginalized communities through sustainable, inclusive design.

In their work as a researcher for the Healthy Materials Lab they design educational resources for healthier, equitable futures.


Their work around community organizing has received GLSEN & PFLAG scholarships. 

Gus traveled and worked with Modest in Nepal in the summer of 2019. 


Aria Shehas

Product designer

Ariadne Shehas is a product designer based in New York City. Her studies at Parsons School of Design facilitated behavioral exploration and material considerations. Through design, she aims to engage the user through perceptual and behavioral change. Combining her corporate experience in luxury accessories and beauty and her curiosity in human behaviors, the objects Ariadne has designed make the aspirational lifestyle, tangible. 

Aria traveled and worked with Modest in Nepal in the summer of 2019, and designs products/graphics for our ongoing projects. 

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Jin Lee

Product designer

Jin Lee is a New York City based business-orientated industrial designer who has experience in various creative industries; experiential design, graphic design, and fashion. Currently focused on jewelry, accessories, and tabletop design by combining computer-aided design programs and hand fabrication methods. He is well versed in research, ideation, and business planning. Always keeping in mind the marketing, PR, branding, management, and production aspects, he incorporates detailed thoughts into every design. 

Jin designs products/graphics for our ongoing projects. 

Projects and collaborating organizations:

Fundacion CoMunidad, Panama:

Angus McDonald Trust, Burma/UK:

Work + Shelter, Chicago/India:​

Norbulingka, India:

House with Heart, Nepal:

Gowanus Canal Conservancy, NY:

Pilot Projects, NY/Montreal:

Kokonor, India. 

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