VA: Degree Project, questions

1. What gives you energy?
Positive, energetic people, loose conversations with a sense of direction.

2. What roles do you take on as a designer?
Form-maker, cheerleader, advocate, idea machine, facilitator, problem solver...

3. If you had $100,000 and could not spend it on yourself, family, or friends, how would you?
I'd become the primary sponsor and operator for a non-profit garden for food deserts, like heavily populated downtown districts... I really don't know.

4. …If you could only spend it on yourself?
I'd move somewhere nice after a long consideration of multiple destinations, start up my own little firm with me & my own, and whoever else would be willing, buy a building to house the production, live above it, plant a garden on the roof—be picky about my clients, be bold about the work.

5. If you never had to work again, what would you do with yourself?
Get my pilot license and fly everywhere all the time, donate/volunteer all other time, and house home-cooked dinner parties on a particular day of the week.

6. In your mind, what are the most critical needs in the planet going unmet today?
Sustainable human industry, a voice for women and girls, a quieting of the extremes, a sense understanding and calm.

7. What are the most critical needs in this country?
A quieting of the extremes, a sense of understanding, a sense of brotherhood, a voice for the endangered and at-risk.

8. What are the most critical needs in this city?
Nutritious food, a voice for the at-risk and fallen, a sense of brotherhood and community.

9. What are the most critical needs in this neighborhood?
A sense of community and responsibility for your actions.

10. What are your most critical needs?
Love, my family, my voice, my health.

11. What’s your favorite play activity?
Driving long distances, fixing things or discovering how to carefully break them (does that make any sense?), cooking and cleaning so that I can then cook and clean again, listening to my grandmother speak, having conversations with people I don't know, limiting my luxuries, alliterating.

12. What do you enjoy reading or looking at?
Massive piles of things, grocery aisles, a brand new magazine (like Colors, the Believer, or Proximity),, A Year of Mornings, Bread & Honey, NPR (is listening a form of "reading"?), The Books. Just to name a few.

13. What visual things have held your attention for more than a year?
Andrew Lyles's paintings, information graphics like Psychoanalytical Filiation, How to Grow a Chair, photographs of my family before I existed, Andres Nilsen...

14. What kinds of places are you drawn to?
Places I've never been before, places I don't belong (abandoned buildings, parties I wasn't invited to), the house I grew up in, Lone Jack, Prairie Home or Independence (and other salty desolate Midwestern places), YJ's & the Westside, the B0ttoms, dry hot mountains, San Juan Bautista & Highway 101, airports, really fancy restaurants, really dirty dives, any place sincerely authentic.

15. What are you passionate about?
A lot of things at the moment, a few things all the time.

16. What has been your most memorable critique at KCAI so far?
The vote poster crit when I was both humiliated and humbled about the fact that I don't know anything about the Latin American demographic.

17. Which project provided your single biggest learning experience?
The crit when all the professors got together to look over my scholarship presentation.

18. How was your pre-KCAI portfolio different from the one you have now?
It was forced. Nothing came naturally and it was all done with an end goal in mind (get a scholarship, get an acceptance letter), and little thought was put into the "why".

19. Who do you want to be?
I saw once at a cafe, "The only thing more overrated than mom's apple pie is owning your own business." I think I want to understand what that means. I'm still trying to figure out the specifics beyond that, and so I guess I'm not sure I even want that. I know I want to master a meatloaf, become really good at trivia, be more up-to-date with current events, and adopt.

21. How is your design unique?
My design could exist on its own, but is always better if you can have me talk about it.

22. What design skills are you lacking?
A true understanding of users and audience, openness to revolutionize the way things work, true creativity (the kind that blurs the lines between genius and crazy), non-computer production processes (silkscreens, illustration, etc.).

23. In what area of graphic design do you still need to learn the most?
...the area I seek to learn more about: Human-centered design.

24. What kind of project will help you learn the most?
One that allows me to find the potential design has in changing the world (de•sign: the planning that exists behind an action).