Product Design graduate Miranda Lapour attributes her deeply held values to her Midwestern heritage. Growing up in South Dakota she learned to care for her community, respect larger natural systems and work with purpose and grit. Recently, Miranda told Voyage magazine, “My background is my backbone, as I hold on to my values like treasures I’ve picked up along the way. This drives my ethics, and they drive the work I’m so happy to do.” Miranda’s passion is working towards creating a sustainable future for the planet—she has big plans to solve big problems.
Early in her ArtCenter career, as a member of EcoCouncil (now Eco+), she partnered with fellow Student Leadership Award nominee Jillian Bak and together they led the charge to rid the campus of foam core. “A small, but mighty, victory,” she recalls fondly. In addition to EcoCouncil, Miranda worked on the entirely student-produced TEDx event held at ArtCenter in 2017. Working on Youth Outreach, Miranda organized an art competition for local high school students culminating in an exhibition held in conjunction with the TEDx event. Participating in the Women of Industrial Design Forum at ArtCenter gave her the opportunity to champion the student group, Women of ID. Miranda was one of a handful of ArtCenter students chosen from what was described as a “dense field of applicants” to travel to Singapore and participate in an executive education workshop with INSEAD, where business executives and leaders learned to implement design thinking in their work. Among her other activities, she also served as a teaching assistant and mentor; was selected to participate in Core77’s Wanted Design workshop held in New York in conjunction with ICFF; traveled to Chile as part of a Designmatters collaboration with Coaniquem, using her expertise to advise a chain of charity thrift stores on sustainable practice, volunteer support and media outreach.
Additionally, Miranda was selected by Professor Sherry Hoffman to serve as a student facilitator for a DesignStorm recently convened to explore issues of diversity, equity and inclusion at ArtCenter. Citing Miranda’s maturity, sensitivity and leadership among her peers and relationships with her instructors as the reason for asking her to assist, Hoffman noted, “Miranda is easy to work with, humble, smart, great at jumping in and does it in a way that is accessible and welcoming to all.”
Miranda’s leadership is unassuming—she is smart, creative, capable and inspires others. She promotes collaboration, is quick to recognize the contributions of others and appreciates the value of her experiences. Describing her work on the DEI Designstorm, she noted, “the camaraderie and collective vision that was produced from that three-day period will stick with me forever. I was able to test my skills as a teacher, but also sharpen my empathetic ear. What a gift to me!”
We have every confidence that Miranda’s natural leadership skills will serve her well on her quest to create a better, sustainable future. And that will be a gift for all of us.