Past Designmatters Fellows

Lauren Williams City of Los Angeles Innovation Team

Discipline:
Media Design Practices

Quote from Fellow

I’m thrilled and privileged to have been selected as a Designmatters fellow with the LA Innovation Team. I look forward to this opportunity to merge my previous experience in community development and management with the new modes of making and design that I’ve acquired in my first year of the Media Design Practices program. I’m excited to be positioned within a progressive municipal government taking creative risks to serve the city of Los Angeles. I’m grateful to Designmatters and the City of Los Angeles for the space, support and opportunity to learn in this setting.

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Isaul Berenguer City of Long Beach Innovation Team

Discipline:
Product Design

Quote from Fellow

It is a very humbling and honoring experience to be chosen as the Fellow for the City of Long Beach Innovation Team this coming term. I’m very excited to be part of a team with such noble and exciting goals. A big reason behind my switch to the Product Design department was my decision to focus more deeply in social causes, and this experience is an incredible opportunity to use my abilities and design thinking to impact the lives of many. Thank you for this opportunity, Designmatters and the City of Long Beach iTeam!

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Ajay Menon City of Los Angeles

Discipline:
Graduate Transportation Design

Quote from Fellow

It is indeed thrilling and a great honor to be part of the Los Angeles I-Team to gain an opportunity to build on my deep-rooted interest in using design and user-centered research to responsibly bring about social changes in the public sector. As a final-year Transportation Systems & Design student, I look forward to a term-long exploration of innovative technology, design thinking and cross-cultural interaction between professionals from diverse backgrounds and different skill-sets, focused on bringing sustainable urban change. I hope to support them and contribute as much as possible over the next few months. Thank you Designmatters and the City of Los Angeles for this wonderful opportunity!

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Anjuli Sethi Proximity Designs

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design Practices

Quote from Fellow

I am excited to join Proximity Designs to build on my interest in using design and technology to responsibly bring about social change. This is a wonderful opportunity to be part of a dedicated team that sees design as a core value for creating impact in an international context. I look forward to being exposed to long-term immersion projects while working alongside rural farmers in Myanmar.

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Shirley Rodriguez Dalberg Design Impact Group

Discipline:
Product Design

Quote from Fellow

As a graduating Product Design student with a focus in social responsibility it is an honor to be chosen to be a part of the Dalberg Design Impact Group. I look forward to learning to combine both design and business strategy to create positive impact that is implementable and scaleable. Thank you for this opportunity!

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RJ Sakai City of Los Angeles Innovation Team

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design Practices

Quote from Fellow

I’m excited to join the iTeam because of my belief in inclusive design practices to engage the public, and my interest in how urban infrastructure collides with social systems. With its diversity of people, culture, and geography, Los Angeles draws me in as a designer interested in exploring how innovative technology, design thinking, and cross-cultural tact can create sustainable urban change. The Angeleno in me can’t wait to get going!

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Justine Esquivel City of Long Beach Innovation Team

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design Practices

Quote from Fellow

I am thrilled to work with the Long Beach Innovation Team this summer. The fellowship is an opportunity to combine both my design knowledge and business background while learning about how design is implemented within the context of the city, which is my focus as a graduate student in the Media Design Practices program. The i-Team is doing amazing work and I hope to be able to support and contribute as much as possible over the next few months.

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Brittany Banayan City of Long Beach Innovation Team

Discipline:
Graphic Design

Quote from Fellow

It was a great privilege to learn from such highly motivated and spirited people that aim to make the City of Long Beach the best it can be. Thank you to all my colleagues at the Long Beach Innovation Team. I am so grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with a group of intelligent and passionate people with very different skill sets then my own and work within the multiple dimensions of city government.

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Karen Davison City of Long Beach Innovation Team

Discipline:
Graphic Design

Quote from Fellow

As a Designmatters Fellow with the Long Beach Innovation Team, I was given the rare opportunity to experience firsthand the inner-workings of city government. I was incredibly lucky to work alongside a diverse and talented group of people who are passionate about the City of Long Beach and committed to making meaningful improvements for all of its residents.

To my surprise, I found it incredibly stimulating to participate in discussions about the local economy because we were able to talk about it in a very real and tangible way, not just as some abstract, academic concept. It was exciting to think that what we said and did could one day make a positive impact on people’s lives. Overall it was an eye-opening experience that has given me a whole new appreciation and insight into the complexities and challenges that are unique to government and the significant contribution that designers can make in the public sector.

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Minji Gim UNICEF Innovation Unit

Discipline:
Interaction Design

Quote from Fellow

It was a truly amazing experience to work with the UNICEF Innovation Unit. I learned how to think in a context of social impact as a designer and collaborate with people in a multidisciplinary team whose work makes our world better for everyone.

I had always wondered how UX designers could contribute in international development and finally found an answer by learning a lot from people at the Innovation Unit: building a bridge between people in need and technologies that can improve their lives. I am more than grateful to ArtCenter Designmatters and UNICEF for this wonderful opportunity.

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Elaine Cheung Proximity Design

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

In the Summer of 2015 I worked at Proximity Designs in Yangon, Myanmar as a Media Team fellow. It was an amazing experience, one where I was able to go out into rural Myanmar, engage in field research and design with various emerging technologies and gain exposure to the real workings of how a design firm brings about social impact. I was really moved by how much design thinking was engrained into the inner business workings of Proximity and the creation of empathy towards the user – something I sought to capture as I redesigned their digital presence. The fellowship really captured a perspective of design used in ways to create real and meaningful design that changes lives – from a small village in Bogale to the macro scale of policy in Myanmar to bring about change in all scales. Going to a developing country within an organization aiming to change the way design and development are approached, I was immersed in many ways to new perspectives, experiences and models of impact as a designer.

Partner Statement

Elaine fit right in with our staff and made excellent contributions from the moment she arrived. She worked closely with Geoff Brewerton and our two other Fellows, forming good friendships that have been great for all. We were happy to have her as part of the team!

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Chase Airmet City of Long Beach

Discipline:
Graduate Industrial Design

Quote from Fellow

As a member of the Long Beach i-team I had the opportunity and privilege to meet and work with talented, highly motivated and passionate people all who love where they live and want to make it a better place. This enthusiasm was contagious and instilled in me a sense of civic pride. I learned to collaborate with a group of people with very different skill sets then my own and work within the confines of a government. I learned how design can improve the brand of the city and how the design process can better the way cities research, develop and ideate solutions. We found as a team how to balance the needs and wants of the city employees and its citizens while striving to be data-driven versus politically minded. I had a great experience and have grown to love the people of Long Beach.

Partner Statement

The partnership between Designmatters and the City of Long Beach has been a wonderful experience.  Our Fellow introduced a human-centered design perspective to City Hall that improves both our discovery process and the services we provide the community.  Public service and design thinking are both about serving people.  It would be wonderful to have more Desigmatters Fellows in public service and city halls across Southern California someday!

 

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Kristen Schlott Dalberg Global Development Advisors

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

The Design Impact Group (DIG) is the only design practice embedded within a strategic consultancy purely focused on social impact. Being a summer fellow there was an incredible learning experience, mostly as a result of collaborating with some of the most driven and humbling-ly bright people I’ve had the opportunity to work with (MDP excluded of course).

Over the course of 14 weeks, I assisted on a range of projects – from visual design support, to conceptual modeling and frameworks, workshops, and a trip to Nairobi – and while my role varied from project to project, expectations were always set high. And when projects direction felt uncertain or workload got intense, the studio culture of collaboration and support was one of the most gratifying parts of the whole experience.

Partner Statement

From day one Kristen jumped into the work with enthusiasm and rigor, helping us tackle complex problems across a variety of topic areas. She was a stellar collaborator and we’re thrilled to have had the chance to have her as part of our team.

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Mariana Somma Nike Foundation

Discipline:
Graduate Industrial Design

Quote from Fellow

It was wonderful to work alongside such talented and motivated individuals within the Foundation. I was blown away by the collective passion, expertise, and dedication to tackle global issues of poverty, education, and financial literacy- all through the lens of the 12-year-old girl.

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Adriana Crespo Pan American Health Organization

Discipline:
Illustration

Quote from Fellow

I couldn’t have been more excited to join the team of an international organizations whose efforts improve the lives of millions of people in the Americas. Art Center and Designmatters prepared me well in understanding and visually communicating the mission and vision of collaborative efforts that strive to have a larger and meaningful impact. It was a wonderful experience to collaborate with PAHO and contribute my design skills to further their values and goals in promoting health and well being in underserved communities.

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Margaret Frye Ronald McDonald House Charities

Discipline:
Graduate Industrial Design

Quote from Fellow

During my time at RMHC, a host of generous and dedicated people facilitated my research and aided my progress. I was invited into the local Ronald McDonald House, I toured the next level innovation center for McDonald’s and RMHC, and I visited far more restaurants in my brief time as a fellow than perhaps my entire life combined. During the Chicago Marathon, I worked alongside veteran staff to support the people who support the charity, and gained a greater appreciation of all that they do. Through Designmatters, I was offered the chance to tour some of the top design consulting firms in NYC – frog, IDEO, and Luminary Labs – and meet with talented professionals who offered valuable insights for the project. Not unlike the donation experience, many contributed in their own way to making this fellowship not just possible, but successful and enjoyable.

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Leah Horgan Ashoka

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

One of the most challenging aspects of working at Ashoka is also one of the most rewarding: it is a network of entrepreneurial innovators who all have their own methodologies and practices. As a result, there is no hierarchy to stand in the way of an original idea. However, there was also no central information hub and thus a lack of institutional knowledge regarding communications protocols. In the past, each new initiative at Ashoka created it’s own, off-platform, unique identity (with some very attractive results). With this project I wanted to utilize Ashoka’s brand recognition and strengthen it’s visibility in Africa by reversing that trend and assisting efforts Ashoka-wide for a cohesive brand across all endeavors.

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Zoe Padgett UNICEF

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

Designmatters allowed me the opportunity to work with UNICEF Innovation as their design fellow. This was an exceptional experience. I am eternally grateful for the time I spent working with the incredivble team of individuals at UNICEF. This dynamic organization focuses on developing and protyping new technologies that assist in global health and child welfare. This is a crucial faction of UNICEF that plays a pivotal role in creating “a better world for children

Partner Statement

It had been absolutely fantastic to partner with the Designmatters Fellows from Art Center over the past five years with the support of the US Fund for UNICEF.  The Fellows are always unique individuals that not only collaborate, but also lead UNICEF innovation projects, strengthening and infusing design thinking into our team’s DNA.  The Fellows contribute to and draw on the experiences of UNICEF’s global innovation team each summer, often staying involved for years after.  They always go on to do great things after graduation.

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Benjamin Weiss Aquarium of the Pacific

Discipline:
Film

Quote from Fellow

My Designmatters Fellowship at the Aquarium was a thought provoking and truly educational experience. I got to research some of the most pressing matters of our time, while being able to meet and talk to several thought leaders of conservation in the 21st Century. I was able to formulate and synthesize my ideas into a presentation and got very good feedback for both my ideas and presentation style. I was happy to see that many of my ideas found direct implementation into a similar presentation by Cortina Productions, which I was invited to on October 1st, 2014.

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Renee Kim Doctors Without Borders

Discipline:
Graphic Design

Quote from Fellow

I can honestly say that this fellowship was a turning point for me in my life and design career. I not only learned more about my own perspective on the power of design, but I found a newfound understanding of what makes me tick as a person which in turn affects me as a designer. I realized that I have the opportunity to be a voice for the issues that are important to me, but I get to exercise that voice in a way that goes beyond mere speaking. Design is now an extension of me that I get to use as a powerful tool to change society. This is something that can’t ever be replaced and I’m more than grateful for this opportunity and how much it has shown me.

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Divya Gaitonde UNICEF

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

Define your values

What values does your practice reflect?

The innovation unit has a strong set of values they stand by, and

it relects into everything they do. It made me think of the values I

wanted to define for myself.

Fail fast and move on

The importance of failing is common advice often, but failing the

right way and moving on takes practice.

Do things that scare you

Do things that scare you and see them through.

Thinking in scale

Thinking in scale changes the way at which you speak about

things. It forces you to be more thorough and systematic.

Tell a story

Everybody speaks a different language based on their

understanding of the world. As a designer and an individual of

society, it is important to reach out outside of yourself and tell a

great story.

Build relationships

Be nice.

There are many other stories, adventures and learning the summer

brought but these few stayed as a reminder on the human in

design and being in dialogue with the worlds outside of the one

you are comfortable in.

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Geoff Brewerton Proximity Designs

Discipline:
Graphic Design

Quote from Fellow

The Fellowship truly impacted my trajectory in life and kick-started my design career to be one that is rooted in and focused on social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Before moving here, I found my application essay from 4 years ago… the one I wrote to get into ArtCenter. I wrote that my goal and my dream was to work for a socially responsible company in a position where I could combine my dual background in International Relations and in Graphic Design. I can’t avoid the cliche…this position at Proximity is a dream come true! It’s the beginning of a lot of hard work ahead, but I know I’m in the right place and I want to thank you and Designmatters for

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Thomas “Sho” Rust United Nations Population Fund

Discipline:
Graphic Design

Quote from Fellow

As a Designmatters fellow at the United Nations in New York City in 2013, I created designs for the Women Deliver conference in Malaysia, one of the largest gathering of policymakers, advocates and researchers focused on women’s issues. By sharing important global facts, curated photos and though a filmed series of PSA videos, my creative triggered an emotional response from its thousands of attendees. During my time at the UN, I also developed an interactive map illustrating the future goals and initiatives at the UN now used by its many divisions. Combined, this experience showed real time how design matters in a global way that now impacts my work in all I create.”

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Kimberly Chow Rubbermaid

Discipline:
Product Design

Quote from Fellow

Receiving the Designmatters Fellowship in Business for Social Innovation has given me the unique opportunity to take a social impact project designed in class and develop it with a globally recognized company.” As a designer, it has been a huge privilege to have taken part in this work. It has been an incredible opportunity for me to work with UNICEF and key mHealth partners as they define their vision moving forward. In creating supportive visual systems and frameworks, I was able to help them, not only to communicate their strategies, but also provide tools for further discussion, refinement, and shared understanding. It has been inspiring to see how the simple visual framework that I created began to grow, mature and take on a life of its own.

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John Ryan UNICEF

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

As a designer, it has been a huge privilege to have taken part in this work. It has been an incredible opportunity for me to work with UNICEF and key mHealth partners as they define their vision moving forward. In creating supportive visual systems and frameworks, I was able to help them, not only to communicate their strategies, but also provide tools for further discussion, refinement, and shared understanding. It has been inspiring to see how the simple visual framework that I created began to grow, mature and take on a life of its own.

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J. Augustavo, J.Sandoval and O. Jegede Acacia Foundation

Discipline:
Graduate Broadcast Cinema & Undergraduate Film

Quote from Fellow

The medical, ecological and scientific contributions that the National Tropical Botanical Garden has made to the world is immeasurable and we’re excited about the opportunity to help raise awareness about these achievements.

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Daniel Young Ashoka

Discipline:
Graphic Design Interactive

Quote from Fellow

The classroom was great place for practicing your craft as a maker. But it wasn’t until the Fellowship that I began to understand how much impact I could make as a designer. During the Fellowship, I was surrounded by smart people with amazing talent who were deeply passionate about solving some of the world’s toughest challenges. And I came to see we as designers could contribute in our own unique way. We are responsible for listening to the world around us, finding and nurturing powerful ideas, and then giving them shape and making them visible

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Dee Kim UNICEF

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

While working at UNICEF, a lot of people were interested in what we designers do there. I still don’t have a definite answer for that question since my outcomes are more close to experimentation than a finished product. At least, I could say that I learned how to be the connector between people working in different disciplines for the most vulnerable populations in the world.

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Jonathan Goldman The Organization of American States

Discipline:
Advertising

Quote from Fellow

My fellowship led me on a direct path to employment – I was hired as soon as the fellowship ended. I think what most contributed to this were the tools I received through Designmatters classes: coming up with impact-driven solutions, the ability to actually execute them, and a clear knowledge of how to successful pitch and communicate my ideas in a non-corporate setting. In this tough job market, the fellowship provided an invaluable “foot in the door” and I truly have this fellowship to thank for my current career path, which is one that I really love

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Dustin York UNICEF

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

Designmatters and their relationship with the UNICEF Innovation Team both impressed upon me their earnest belief that design plays an central role in building a better society for people the world over. During my Fellowship, they placed their trust in me, and I dove right in with the creative freedom to help advance important initiatives in social innovation. I am happy to say I have since continued my relationship as a consultant for UNICEF, and also unequivocally support the tremendous efforts and opportunities provided by Designmatters.

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Jaime Lopez Pan American Health Organization

Discipline:
Graphic Design

Quote from Fellow

Its one thing to work in an all-design environment where design is the language that everyone is speaking, and it’s a very different thing to come into a company that wants to effectively communicate visually, but just doesn’t quite know what approach to take, or has other very pressing priorities that take precedence. I felt like a real ambassador. It was amazing to see the spark of design ignite in people. As so as design began to grow at PAHO, the enthusiasm was contagious.

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Dawn Kim International Rescue Committee

Discipline:
Advertising

Quote from Fellow

In hindsight, the fellowship has been one of the best experiences  I’ve had as a student. Designmatters has given me an opportunity to work with a non-profit organization, which I never thought I would do. But after being involved with the work of the IRC, I’ve come to realize that humanitarian organizations need creatives more than ever. Considering that we’re hit with thousands of ads every day,  we’re now programmed to ignore all of them- even the  significant ones. Being a fellow challenged me as a creative, but  more importantly, reminded me of what really matters at the end of the day, which I tend to forget while I’m in school.

Partner Statement

I think what Dawn produced for us is far superior to any number of treatments submitted by some of today’s top advertising agencies —including those we have paid high fees for in the past. We are a complex organization with a complicated mission and infrastructure, working in difficult contexts. [Our fellow] was able to translate these thickets of meaning into elegant, compelling, even edgy creative that still articulated the IRC’s singular voice.

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Nicole Rife Chan United Nations Development Programme

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

The reason I am pursuing my masters degree at ArtCenter College of Design is not only to continue my formal education, but also to ex¬plore design in more depth and put my values into action. The opportunity to help the Partners for Prevention campaign was an amazing experience . I felt that I made valuable contributions to the project, and was able to seize the opportunity to use design and technology to show that everyone deserves to be treated with love and respect. A campaign of this magnitude will challenge peoples views and pro-mote positive change. This is something that I believe in, and am very grateful to have been a part of.

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Luke Johnson Academy of Educational Development

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

My Designmatters Fellowship was an invaluable experience that has allowed me to rethink how I view design and my career trajectory.

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Mari Nakano UNFPA

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

Because of Designmatters, I was able to establish a close ongoing relationship with the United Nations Population Fund. I have now serviced UNFPA for 4 years and my time with them has opened up other opportunities to work with other like-minded agencies such as Women Deliver, ArtWorks Projects and UNICEF’s Innovation Unit. Designmatters set me on a path to do meaningful advocacy work and has allowed me to contribute to a larger global community.

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Jonathan Jarvis UNICEF

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

The overall experience of the Designmatters Fellowship was tremendous. It facilitated significant personal growth by placing me in a challenging environment. I had to define my own role—was I a project manager, a systems designer, interaction designer, graphic designer? I have an interest in creating a role that perhaps none of these titles communicate: Using my skills as a designer to contribute at the strategic level. This, I think, I was able to achieve at UNICEF.

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Justin Cram Doctors Without Borders

Discipline:
Graphic Design

Quote from Fellow

From photographing materials, collecting ephemera, researching, and sharing my projects with designers that I admired, I thoroughly made the most of my fellowship out of respect, honor, and discipline to  ArtCenter College of Design.

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Jackson Wang UNESCO

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

Working at UNESCO requires a certain type of designer. A designer will need to learn to to be involved in politics and business. Design alone can’t solve the world’s problems. It needs enablers and facilitators and that is UNESCO’s role in design. As a designer, working at UNESCO was demanding work which required me to move away from formalistic elements and think about design in a cultural context.

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Jana Frieling Pan American Health Organization

Discipline:
Graphic Design

Quote from Fellow

The different viewpoints from these people who often had no concept of design exposed many interesting thoughts and often, I could see how my design-perspective opened minds. I think this process of exchanged knowledge was very enriching for both sides, because the people at PAHO became more aware of their possibilities through the means of design, while I became more aware of the world beyond design. This experience is something that school in its enclosed environment cannot teach, and that I am very grateful for

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Miya Osaki UNICEF

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

My experience reaffirmed my interest in the role design plays in culture, shaping our interactions to be more accessible, engaging and meaningful. I benefited greatly from what I learned at UNICEF, and in return, I believe that I was able to share with them the significant impact design can have.

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Sebastian Bettencourt United Nations DPI

Discipline:
Graduate Media Design

Quote from Fellow

One of the most fun and challenging parts of this experience was learn¬ing about the organization and catching up with the current events that affected it’s dynamic. How does it work? Who are the people involved? What are their goals? Who to ask questions? How to communicate effec¬tively?… It was my role as designer to get integrated and be prepared to discuss ideas and solve problems. This process was invaluable as it opened up a whole new world of experience and knowledge.

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