My Design Vision

My path to Design started as a child, but I did not see the connection at the time. From preschool on, whenever the opportunity arose, I turned a box into something extravagant; however in school, I struggled with learning disabilities due to both ADD and dyslexia. In spite of my difficulties, I developed skills and strategies to succeed. My focus to become an architect seemed permanent until RISD’s foundation year when my predetermined path was challenged. At RISD, I expanded my view and discovered that I designed differently from others, which is no doubt derived from my dyslexia and creativity; ironically, this strength was the source of my previous academic battles. My brain readily visualizes objects and buildings in my head.

I have had opportunities to experiment with furniture design and fabrication, but my hope is that my understanding of the concept of object design will strengthen. An intriguing part of furniture design is being involved with all steps of the design and fabrication processes. At RISD, I enjoyed helping fellow students problem-solve with their projects, further developing my drive for the field. After graduating, to remain involved with my hands, I began a freelance furniture and design shop in addition to my architectural explorations.

My Teaching Philosophy

My personal teaching philosophy is directed towards having my students explore then learn by problem-solving and making. The students learn design by practicing art and design fundamentals within their projects. As students’ backgrounds and understanding levels are often different, I adapt to the students’ varying needs and push the importance of collaboration with peers. Problem solving and learning by trial and error is a place I see the most learning for an individual. I feel problem-solving is one of the best routes to learning in education. This way the students are deeply engaged in the project or lesson giving them the ability to fully comprehend the material.

In my classes, I have students take a problem and break it down into pieces and then approach each piece differently with a method of problem solving. By breaking a project down into smaller pieces, projects become easier to manage and also allow you to develop a project in different ways giving it more diversity. Often solutions arrive where never expected, the best result of problem solving and brainstorming. The beginning of a great design process, if you end up with what you expected chances are you did not find the best solution.

I approach design and art from a well rounded base of design fundamentals from scale, composition, depth, space and repetition, then graduate into advanced methods of design production, technology, digital media and digital fabrication. I bring my exploration to the next century by challenging myself and my students to look at how new forms of technology, media and fabrication techniques can influence their art and design.

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