Happy International Women's Day!

For International Women’s Day, I attended the Women in Industry event at General Assembly in NYC. Strong female leaders from Disney, Uber, Nike, and Dow Jones came out to represent and speak up about the importance of leading with inclusion.

Here’s a full house at General Assembly for International Women’s Day!

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It was also 2 of my classmates from Parsons’ Birthdays. So we took a Parsons Women in Design photo to celebrate the birthdays. Classmates from Colombia, Peru, India, Taiwan, and China all came out —and I was one of the few Americans.

I’m hoping to create a platform for voices of classmates at my Parsons Masters of Strategic Design program to talk about their life experiences, stories, design, and what drew them to Parsons in the new future. Look forward to my attempt to define inclusion and diversity at Parsons through new media coming soon!

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Service Design Meetup: Prototyping Workplaces

What makes a great workspace?

In a Service Design Collective Meetup recently, I worked with a team of designers, researchers, and service design experts to create what we believed would be a great workspace.

Our goal was to brainstorm - diverge in terms of creativity - and then converge to build our ideas out of pipe cleaners, balls, and stickies. Some of our best ideas were a matcha/coffee bar, green space, and phone booths to take meetings.

Here are a few images of our design process. Try to find the green space below!

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Studio Sync + Resonant Leadership

I’m currently in Week 4 of my MS Strategic Design and Management. My studio team had our design crit last week and I’ve taught an Inversion during Design Leadership class on What is Resonant Leadership.

For design crit, my studio class’s prompt was to make a map of Parsons as a whole —with the constraint that we could not use geography. My team decided to research all the faculty’s backgrounds (there are 1400 professors at Parsons listed!) —and we learned that many faculty are entrepreneurs and come from a background in Architecture. My team decided to map faculty by where they had taught previously (teaching experience) to see if there was a connection — but after crit, we have decided to take a different route to look at both where faculty are from and where alumni go.

Design Innovation and Leadership has been an exercise in self-awareness. I taught a class on Resonant Leadership with my partner Vonetta and learned about the importance of being Positive Emotional Attractor (PEA). People gravitate to positive people (14 neurons in your brain light up), and away from negative people. Also, I looked at the dichotomy between those who give feedback and mentors. Mentors and people who provide feedback can provide the same information, but present in different ways. As resonant leaders, mentors present positive feedback, in terms of growth potential and goals.

Who do you look at as a resonant leader?

Image from: https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/ruth-bader-ginsburg-notorious-rbg-cult-following/

Image from: https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/ruth-bader-ginsburg-notorious-rbg-cult-following/

SDM Semester 2: Studio + Design Leadership

After a great winter break, I’m back to school at Parsons for my MS in Strategic Design + Management. I’m doing this while working full-time and on-campus at night 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday).

This is Week 2 of the semester, so I’m definitely easing in. My classes are:

Studio (M, W):
My general review about Studio so far is that we’ve been focusing a lot on the brainstorming, creative process. Our professor is a Creative Director-type, so he is certainly an ideas person and helps facilitate our ideation. I like the free-form of the class because I believe that Studio is what you make of it and too much direction ends up making the project the professor’s project.

My teammates are Maria and Subrahi. They are from Colombia and India, with backgrounds in marketing and product design, so our diverse backgrounds will definitely complement each other. I really like my team and am excited to see what we will create.

Working in Studio with Subrahi, an Industrial Designer with her own line of artisanal ceramics from India.

Working in Studio with Subrahi, an Industrial Designer with her own line of artisanal ceramics from India.

Design Leadership (Th):
I had a great feeling after our first class because Design Leadership focuses a lot on self-reflection and awareness. We looked at leadership models in our own lives to see what characteristics we wanted to model ourselves after.

Students are expected to teach at least 2 classes, and I signed up with my classmate Vonetta to teach the next class on “Resonant Leadership and Systems Design.

What are your thoughts about leadership? What makes a good leader?

New Economies, Business Models, and Teams: First Semester Overview

I survived my first semester of my part-time MS in Strategic Design + Management at Parsons while working full-time!

My overall thoughts:
Management - Three classes is tough to manage, some which require more reading than others. However, I am very good at time management and this isn’t my first rodeo at working while going to school. I worked while I was in college and consulted part-time between two cities in law school. My grades have gotten progressively better throughout the years.

Content - I was initially very skeptical about what I would be learning, but came out of the 12 weeks with my “life changed” and very impressed. High level topics like sustainability and circular economy have been applied to my own personal life.

Classes Breakdown:

  • New Economies - I was most skeptical about this class initially because I didn’t know how I would be able to apply high level ideas to my work or life. Instead, Cody Fleishflesser (my professor) was an impressive facilitator and got the class thinking each week about different ideas through videos or readings — that we would end up teaching each other with (classmates taught classes). My biggest takeaway was thinking about design and innovation where design can help dictate strategic decisions — and how I can play a role in this as a design facilitator.

  • Sustainable Business Models - This was the wildcard class for me, because I didn’t know what to expect. When I see “sustainable”, I think “eco-friendly” —but found the content of the class far more interesting. “Sustainable” was defined broader — to see what one could do with what resources were available (not just environmental). I learned how to build quick business models through lean, social, business model, transitional, among other canvases. My personal sustainability plan affected me the greatest because I tracked my financial habits and learned how to create KPI’s and measure success for myself…and use these metrics to improve.

  • Managing Creative Teams - I worked on a client team for Citi on Campus with my classmates Morgane and Shemar. Morgane has a consulting background and Shemar was a graphic designer. We got hands-on experience designing a chatbot for Citi’s recruiting team and really enjoyed the interviews, prototyping, testing, and research we conducted with real-life undergraduate and graduate students. I really enjoyed getting to learn more about how each of my teammates worked and how we could figure out how to best utilize each others’ skills to bring together our final client presentation and playbook. This project helped me realize what my skills were as a facilitator and where I myself could grow as well.