Design in the ‘Real’ World

As the second week of school comes to a close, and we begin to get back into the routine of the school year, it seems appropriate to look back at how some of my classmates spent their summer. Students from the Sam Fox School were all around the globe, pursuing interests in art, architecture and design at the most renowned firms and academies in the world. From the studios of Florence to the runways of New York City, my peers had summers marked by invaluable experience and connections. In this post, we’ll dive into the stories of three students and how their summers unfolded.


Community-based Architecture in Hawaii

Aiken 1Ben Aiken spent this summer surfing and serving in Honolulu. As an architectural intern at the SHADE Group, an umbrella organization of people who work together to plan, design and build safer and more sustainable places in the rapidly urbanizing tropics, Ben had the opportunity to work on grassroots community development projects. At Washington University, Ben is studying architecture, environmental engineering, and education. While in Hawaii, he worked on a community-based urban planning project in the historic Chinatown of Honolulu, collaborating with design professionals and long-time residents to envision a sustainable, equitable development process for the neighborhood. Day to day activities involved meeting with residents, developing and designing a planning process, and presenting to stakeholders. Through the internship, Ben had the opportunity to synthesize his interests in architecture and sustainability, an intersection he hopes to explore further as he enters his final year at WashU.


Fashion Design at Kate Spade


Sarah Ettinger is a recent graduate of Washington University, from the class of 2015. As a student, she studied fashion design in the Sam Fox School. This summer, she started at Kate Spade in New York City, working as an assistant designer for the ready-to-wear and children’s wear departments. In describing her work, she mentions, “My day to day varies a lot depending on the cycle of the season, but my favorite parts of the job involve working with the children’s wear team to develop new styles for each month and researching trends and styles for our head designers.” She joins a strong cohort of recent graduates that move to New York City to pursue internships, careers and further studies.


Marketing and Design for a Chilean Startup Incubator

DSC_0718 DSC_0723This summer, Aiden Zucker collaborated on design work for Start-Up Chile, a startup incubator based in Santiago. Aiden is a senior studying communication design in the Sam Fox School. Start-Up Chile’s mission is to bring a culture of entrepreneurship to Chile by giving $40k equity free and a 1 year Chilean work visa to promising startups from around the world. Aiden got the opportunity to work intimately on the design team, developing a brand guidelines manual and redesigning their website. The incubator was started 5 years ago, and they accept about 90 startups every 4 months. Aiden’s summer was funded through a grant from the office of undergraduate research, which also allowed him to conduct a study on the role of design in entrepreneurship practices.