During my time at ArtCenter, I had the privilege of meeting amazing people from different backgrounds and disciplines. One experience in particular introduced me to the world of social impact. At that time I knew I found very fulfilling the act of helping others while designing with a purpose – but it had never occurred to me to combine the two.
In the spring of 2013 I signed up for The Healing Cloud project, a Designmatters transdisciplinary studio led by Professor Guillaume Wolf, with a focus to increase awareness and support for children burn victims. We were assigned a brief to create an effective and powerful campaign targeted to a global audience specifically aiming to bring about change in six Latin American countries. In the beginning, much like with many projects, you don’t know where it is going to go or where it might lead you, but if you have the right ingredients, you simply trust the process and let it unfold. Together we created Santi the Cat, who now resides in South America and is empowering kids by helping them understand the dangers of hot objects.
Designmatters showed me the power of design. How design can reach masses, influence them and ultimately empower individuals to create a shift towards positive change.
Paola Meraz is a graphic designer based in Southern California. She graduated from ArtCenter, Spring of 2015 and is currently working as a UI Designer for BMW Designworks. When she’s not designing she enjoys traveling, cooking and working on her fitness.
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