My interest in the field of industrial design began when I was four years old. I had just gotten my first ever action figure in a bag of hand me down toys, and became enraptured by a little lever on the character’s back that made his arm move up and down. Mimicking something I’d seen my dad do to a broken radio, I took a screwdriver from a drawer in the kitchen and attempted to disassemble the toy.
Once I was able to get the back off and discovered the little plastic gears inside, my mind was blown. Every toy, machine, and moving part I’d ever seen was made possible by the relationship between little internal pieces like the ones I was looking at in this toy, and there was rarely more than a plastic panel between me and them. Though I didn’t know it yet, this was the first time I’d ever appreciated design, and that moment would guide the rest of my life.
When I was old enough to start considering a future career, design was a no-brainer. It was everything I loved about art coupled with all the excitement of problem solving. Since then, my relationship with design has grown and changed, and I’ve had chances to consider much more complicated problems. These projects have included looking at the future of automated transportation, considering human factors in a world with rising sea levels, exploring tools to help small retailers survive the age of online shopping, and rebuilding our recycling system with the aid of modern technology. Through these challenges, I’ve come to see accessible and intuitive design as one of the most important factors in human progress, as well as our never ending pursuit of a better future.