Like most designers I was born with the love of creating and solving problems. My first real design challenge came when I was in the third grade. We were given the assignment to draw something that would make our lives easier. Thrilled by this I immediately went to work…at the time I had difficulties in reading due being dyslexic, so I wanted to create a product that would make it easier for me to read and understand words. I created a pen with a built-in scanner, which would read aloud as you dragged it over words. It also had a dictionary function to give you the definition of words. Very proud of my grand invention and ready to be called inventor of the year, I turned in my master piece. A week later I was devastated when I received my assignment back and found I received a C-. My teacher wrote on the assignment, “this is improbable and would be cheating.” I was crushed, this was my first experience as a designer with the joy of creating something, and agony of it being trampled on. It was not until later that I discovered that Dyslexia was not an impairment that held me back, but a tool that helped me to view the world from a different perspective from most people. Giving me the abilities I need to be a better designer.
Luckily this experience did not get me down forever. I continued to create all throughout my childhood eventually discovering painting and engineering. I loved the ability to invent, create, and make something beautiful. This ultimately lead me to a choice, art or engineering? “But couldn’t I have both?” I took a summer painting class at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and it was there I discovered Industrial Design. It was like a flashing light saying, “This Way to Your Future.” Industrial Design has given me the opportunity to focus on the beauty and balance of a product, while equally focusing on the needs of the user.