Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Bay Area, the backyard of all the tech giants.
Q: How did you get into design? Was it an opportunity for exploration and new experiences?
My dad is a graphic designer. He’s been running a small business in Mountain View for over 20 years, so I’ve always had his support and resources. Design has been and continues to be an opportunity to keep learning and exploring new things. That’s why it’s the best!
Q: Why did you choose to study at Art Center College of Design?
Before Art Center, I was at a state school near home taking general education requirements. It was a strange, dull, soul-searching couple of years. Art Center was the first thing that I was truly excited about and that seemed right.
Q: What was your experience at Art Center like when you started?
When I started, it was heaven in some ways and hell in others, as I’m sure is the case for most. The thing I remember being most excited about was being surrounded by talented, interesting and passionate people twenty-four hours a day.
Q: What was the most important challenge you faced? How did you overcome it?
This might sound tacky, but probably the biggest challenge for me has been trying to figure out myself. What kind of person do I want to be? What interests me? Being at Art Center definitely has pushed me to grow and change over the past few years. I love it.
Q: An important ritual at the end of each term is the final presentation for each class. Sometimes these presentations can be exhilarating. Is there any project that stands out?
Oh, finals. That word makes me shudder. I did a really fun project about a cult where everything went pretty smoothly and it ended up in the student gallery. The term after that, I did a project about motorcycles – also a really fun subject, but I was completely unfocused and struggled through all fourteen weeks. I came VERY close to failing. So during break after recuperating for a few days, I went back to school and finished up the project properly. I’m proud of both projects now, but it was more of a valuable learning experience to trip and fall rather than to sail through the term.
Q: Is there a school project that you felt particularly passionate about? Please explain why?
I get pretty emotionally invested into most, if not all, of my projects, which can be a good and a terrible thing. Having passion for a project is like being in love with a person, though it doesn’t always yield a wonderful and amazing result. Understanding your content and your voice—and having confidence in yourself—are also essential components to the relationship you have with your project. All of those things feed each other and contribute to the success of the project. And if one or some of those elements are missing, it’s harder to push yourself to excel.
Q: Pushing this idea further, how does transmedia thinking influence your creative process? Do you have an example?
Thinking about the past, present, and future in terms of the types of media and technology available to us is interesting. I hadn’t given it much thought until recently, but as designers it is our job to curate what we present and how we present it. Do I want to show this content in the most cutting edge way, loaded up with sensors and interactivity? Or do I want to carve it into stone? Every choice we make has value and meaning. What you’re saying can inform how you say it, and how you say something can change what you’re saying. Transmedia thinking is another channel, another way to create.
Q: On a personal level, what was for you the most important thing you’ve learned at Art Center?
It’s important you learn to be yourself and to trust your gut. Sometimes there will be too many cooks in the kitchen. While it’s good to value and respect input from instructors and peers, sometimes you need to just go for what you know is right. You’re the captain of your ship and that’s what makes you uniquely you. I’m still trying to learn that.
Q: What are you doing now?
I am enjoying the relative calmness of week two. I haven’t graduated yet.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
My goals for the future keep changing. I’m happy today and I want to be happy tomorrow.
Q: Anything else you want to add about your experience at Art Center College of Design?
It can be the happiest place on earth if you make it that!
An interactive visualization of crime in Los Angeles. My teammates Sean Wang, Damian Gill and I went in several circles trying to turn thousands and thousands of crime reports from the year into a visualization that would give users meaningful insights.
We hit obstacles from all angles at every point in the project – does this data set have enough usable information? How can we visually represent time in a way that makes sense? How can we show a very specific, micro view of the data, while still giving the user a sense of context and relative scale?
After several iterations, we landed on a system that gives the user multiple ways to navigate the data – by district, by crime type, or by time of the day or month of the year.
was a spiritual commune of around 150 that lived with their beloved Spiritual Father in the Hollywood Hills from the late 60’s to early 70’s. The family ran a successful health food restaurant and had an experimental psychedelic band.
I created a visual identity for the family since that was the next best thing to turning back time and living right there with them.
More about the Source Family at thesourcedoc.com.
is based on a unique calendar system. Each date yields a different result, which is then shot through water to reference the Age of Aquarius, while playing with the ideas of ephemerality and immortality.
I found this fabulous free font called Alt Retro and re-drew it based on a slightly different series of concentric circles.
With these ingredients, I created print materials, identity collateral, a functional website, a set of album covers and a color-changing wall to display the albums.