Betsy Kalven (MFA 13 Media Design) Design Strategist, Continuum: I’m about to start a project redesigning the retirement home for Boomers, so rethinking what that would be like in an urban environment and in a way that keeps people engaged.
BK: Because I’ve come off a bit of travel, it’d be really fun to redesign the airport experience and make it more humane.
What's been most important to me in my career is being able to write. That's been a real surprise to me and one of my best assets as a designer.
BK: Being excited to get to work and feeling challenged. What’s become more and more important to me is doing something that solves some need or makes people’s lives better, rather than just serving a company’s bottom line.
BK: Right now, I’m really excited to use Millennial Pink. Also, typefaces — I feel like there’s a list of typefaces that are overused but I love Helvetica!
BK: What’s been most important to me in my career is being able to write. Conveying ideas clearly, succinctly and approachably becomes a precursor to what we want to design — that’s been a real surprise and one of my best assets as a designer.
BK: The New York Times.
BK: Loyal, supportive, probably a bit sensitive, creative and always ready to eat.
BK: Anything that connects me back to my body: exercising, hiking, cooking.
BK: Barbarian Days, a surfing memoir by William Finnegan, which is funny because I’m not a surfer.
Submit the Alumni Q&A questionnaire to share your story. We want to hear about your accomplishments, what you're working on and your advice for future ArtCenter students.
BK: To be present. I’m always thinking in the future so to be in the moment and enjoy it would be a superpower for me.
BK: I have these beautiful silver cuffs, one from each grandmother. They’re different styles but weirdly the same size, like Wonder Woman cuffs.
BK: Something I would do differently is really embrace the critiques. It can be so scary and personal, but it’s such rare opportunity to have a roomful of people dissecting and thinking hard about your work. If you just can sit there and take in what you want, it feels less like an intimidating act. ArtCenter really prepared me to talk about my work, defend ideas and listen. I just wish I had felt that way sooner into the process.