Adapted from our Emerging Voices Interview Series
My past is a huge asset to me right now. Many people think it’s kind of weird that I was a lawyer and now I’m a designer, and that they seem like they’re two completely opposite things, but in reality, the multifaceted career that I have has helped me in an immense way. It helps me draw these connections and insights in my work that I don’t think otherwise would be possible.
My legal career brought me all over the world, and so I was able to be with communities all over the world in Africa, in South East Asia, the Caribbean. To get to meet such a diverse range of people who have such different experiences really helps me solve problems better and innovate better as a designer.
For example when I was working in Haiti I was a racial minority even though I’m white, because they’re all of color, and you’re discriminated against if you are white in Haiti. And that was an amazing experience. I mean, not a great experience, but allows for me to understand what other people go through.
I think designers have a responsibility to make sure they get out there… that they experience difference. And that’s going to make their designs that much better. If a designer gets tunnel vision by being solely in their own world, then their designs are not going to be very responsive. They’re not going to be targeting the diverse range of humanity.