Monday, October 09, 2006

DO– Sue Nguyen: What I Did Last Summer

Sue Nguyen is a design student at RISD. She gives a short exploration into her thoughts and feelings about a summer internship.

She worked at McSweeneys. She says it was a relaxed atmosphere composed of a few odd ducks. It had only one "designer" and a few others who designed while they completed their various tasks. 15 literary interns who worked in a hot basement.

Nguyen worked on a magazine cover and made some student certificates. Doesn't sound very glorious, but she loved it.

As I said, it was brief–more of a diary entry than an essay. However, it does raise some questions for perspective designers.

Do you have a clue where you want to work? Some of my students might have a city in mind, but few know the names of any companies. They will take what they can find (so will we all).

The internship becomes important. How will you respond to a certain atmosphere? Her's, for instance, contained a designer and an intern. Sounds horrible to me. To work in a box, no equals to bounce ideas off of. On the other hand, is it any worse than cubicle hell (or perhaps heaven for some)?

Enviroment has to play into design. It influences both thought process and mood. The classroom seems to be the ultimate environment. Since everyone doesn't know everthing already, experimentation comes into play. You have 15-20 other able (hopefully) designers to bounce ideas off of. And, the projects are theoretical enough to open the door to expressive forms of communication.

How many students realize it? Soon, they will escape the place they are the most free. Do they really have an idea of what they are getting themselves into?


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