Reflection 5: Networking Event

COMD 3503                                                                                                                  Oct 17, 2018

Prof. Marianna

Miguel Santos

National Design Week 2018 | Teen Design Fair

On October 16, I went to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Museum. The event on this day is the Teen Design Fair, I choose this event because I will learn about design from professional designers. Also, because it is an opportunity to visit free the Cooper Hewitt design museum which is beautiful. I felt grateful to said that there is an upper east design museum where teen like me can go. Once I arrive at the front of the museum, I was feeling the vibe of design, the celebration of the national design week fair.

Outside in the block of the museum, there are beautiful designs stuck to the floor. The logo is huge on the front and back side of the museum and a big white tents can be seen from the outside. All this was telling me that a design fair is going on at this place before I enter, this is great. Once I went inside, I received a passport and a black wristband. Base on the color of the wristband, I will have to sit on a table with the same color and then rotate to another table when told to meet different designers. On each table that we have to go, there is a different designer which goes from Design and Technology, Design and Material, Design and Human Experience, Design and Built Environment, and Design and Social. I learned a lot from hearing, seeing designers talk about their work and giving us advice from their own experiences.

From the Art Director at Bloomberg L.P. Linda Lu, I learn that each individual has a specialty in the Graphic Design field. Bloomberg L.P. provides financial software tools such as an analytics and equity trading platform, data services, and news to financial companies. Linda told us that this company hires many freelancers to do different jobs. The time depends on the project, I learn that a freelancer can work on a project for a long time next to the Art Director, such as three months. Linda’s strong suit is digital concept and print. Something that sticks with me was when she said: “each individual has a specialty, I’m not good at writing.” In other words, on each team in the graphic design field, we work as a team blending our specialties. Linda developed her skills in branding design, photography, typography, retouching, illustration, digital and print collateral. Therefore, she has a specialty and each individual have one too. From her, I received a notebook and a pen including a sticker with a pride backpack.

On the other hand, I also met Michael Ellsworth the Co-founder and chief creative officer of Civilization. This studio or nonprofit organization has a team of nine people. They together built identity systems, digital experiences, printed materials, environmental graphics, and exhibitions. In other words, they believe in using design as a means of social change. Michael never thought he will end up in the graphic design field. According to him, he went to school for music and end up doing flyers until he saw himself more involved in doing graphics which he later on follows and continues to do. He reaches very far without going to a design school. During this week, Built by Civilization is one the winner in the design fair in Cooper Hewitt, building the Olderbrother clothing store logo. I learn that lately, we are surrounded by graphic designers since many people know photoshop and all these creative software but we that go to school are the one the need educate others and show our design principles by being unique. From Michael, I received a pin of their logo.

Overall, I learn important lessons that can help me with my future career. First, don’t take criticism as personal. One of the challenges of designers is that we have to convince our team why our idea is working. In other words, our work represents us and if the boss doesn’t like any of our ideas and throw it away for us to start all over, it hurts our feelings. Second, design is a part of our life every day and we cannot imagine a day without it. As graphic designers we always need to be designing, brainstorming, thinking, and changing things. In other words, we cannot design when we have to. Third, I need to know my specialty and use it with passion. Events like this one eliminate teen designers’ fears.

The background from many designers is surprising. At this design fair, I noticed that a lot of designers have a bachelor degree in other areas such as architecture. I also noticed, design is everywhere, in different styles and is a living for many. Networking is extremely important. There are many colleagues from college that end up working together in the field. Attending the Cooper Hewitt Teen Design Fair still feel like a great adventure. 

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