Art Center College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Mariana Prieto

Product Design

2nd Term

Why did you choose to attend Art Center?
I first applied to Art Center while I was living in Spain. I was not accepted. I had the choice of graduating from somewhere else in a short period of time but without the skills I needed, or I could begin the journey toward becoming the strongest designer possible.

My journey was more than metaphorical—it required moving to a new country, with a different language and a different culture. For me, becoming a better designer meant leaving a school where I was comfortable and reapplying to a place that had already rejected me—but it was all for an enormous reward.

Art Center has taught me discipline, hard work and to settle for nothing except my absolute best.

In what ways has Art Center helped you grow as an artist and designer?
I find myself completely immersed in constant stimulation to explore and improve. The time I have spent on design fundamentals has been much more than I have ever experienced, and it has forced me to analyze the reasons why I love to do this, and where my passion comes from. I've always known this passion was there, but Art Center has challenged my passion to its limits and not only has it passed the test, but it continues to grow stronger.

What do you hope to accomplish through your work?
I'd like to apply design towards a meaningful cause where I can address issues of social and humanitarian importance.

I hope to find the ability to understand cultures and find tangible solutions for their basic needs. I am very grateful for the gift of education that life has given me, and I strive to find a meaningful application for it in the future.

Have you worked on any Designmatters projects?
I am currently a researcher for Designmatters. I have been very interested in Designmatters and the work they produced even before applying to the College.

I looked for ways to get involved with their projects during my first term, and I was lucky to become a part of the team. Learning more about their projects, collaborations and organizations has been a fascinating experience.

When you are not in school or studying, what do you like to do?
As many other students would probably say: Sleep. But after that, I enjoy visiting the Los Angeles Zoo, learning about wine and spending time flipping through books in the Borders bargain section.

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