Thursday, 29 June 2017

Adios Elisava!

I  have officially ended my exchange at Elisava School of Design and Engineering, and my experience at the school improved remarkably with this previous trimester. It was a trimester of design highs and lows --moments of utter euphoria, for example, after I designed what I thought was the PERFECT entry (of course only to be changed post-professor critique) and just reveled in the fact that I felt I had found the perfect career for myself; other moments where I cursed technology and computer programs in all of its complexity and inefficiency.

Elisava has a beautiful gallery to display students' work.

The very well-equipped workshop with extremely
 helpful instructors to help with any fabrication questions.

Kwinten brushing up on his design history
in Elisava's library.
All in all, I  loved my courses this trimester --one on portfolio development and self-branding, another on sustainable processes and products, and another studio-centered class, which was my favourite. This course was was group-structured, consisting of one product, one graphic, and one space designer. We were to design a business model and store situated in a local neighbourhood, based off of the prompt words "bread" and "chocolate". I absolutely loved this group structure because not only does it simulate real-life relationships between design streams, but I was also able to learn so much from the other members, especially the graphic design, of which I had very little previous knowledge. In the end our project was one of two chosen for keeping --our group was very pleased.

Something that I will be taking back to my studies at Kwantlen is the use of new materials and processes for final presentation production, which is something that they do very well here at Elisava. For example, the laser-cutter has always been a contraption of rocket science in my eyes, but now I realize that it is not only easy, but it saves tremendous amounts of time and results in better quality models. I will also be saying bye-bye to the rather limiting and environmentally-unfriendly foam core (believe me, this is NOT a sad good-bye).

With a little bit of extra time on my hands with my course load here at Elisava, I have been able to delve into researching areas of particular personal interest in design, especially in regards to sustainability and circular living. Rather than ending this trimester on a note of exhaustion, I am ending it in optimism as I feel like I am beginning to see where I want to take my future studies and career. The forever-elusive "purpose" seems to be taking a murky form on the horizon; however, I know that this will change before I finish my degree, or even before I return from my travels in Europe.

Amazing facilities aside, what I will miss most about Elisava is the intermingling between the facets of design. Constantly interacting with product and graphic designers, and even engineers has broadened my perspective in the world of design which not only can inspire and improve my own work, but will also aid me in knowing how to best work alongside other designers in the field. As I return to Kwantlen and the Wilson School of Design moves into its brand new building, I hope that this culture of interaction and sharing will be instilled into our classrooms. I am optimistic.

#Elisava #KPUInternational #KPUStudyAbroad #KPU #design #engineering #interiordesign #campus #Barcelona #Spain #travel