I was born and raised in a small town in the Philippines. It is a country where improvisation and scrappy resourcefulness are essential because products are expensive or not readily available. People are constantly modifying or “hacking” everyday objects to fit their needs and make life a little easier. Growing up in that environment showed me how design can enhance or diminish people’s day-to-day experiences. It is also where my creativity and imagination were nurtured. I spent my childhood making my own toys, like boats from discarded rubber flip-flops, toy guns from bamboo, and drums from tin cans and umbrella scraps.
Immigrating to Canada, I brought with me an Economics degree. And when I started at OCADU’s Industrial Design program, I already had an eight-year career in financial services. Consequently, I have always looked at design problems with an economic lens as part of my process. This means I always add financial sustainability and scalability to the list of design considerations.
OCADU has taught me how good design can transform not only everyday human experiences but also entire communities, organizations and the environment. It has also has also helped me build a diverse skillset and form my own creative process to translate abstract ideas into real products and solutions for people. Most importantly, I have developed strong critical thinking skills that helps me overcome barriers such as biases, prejudices and assumptions.
I believe that industrial design goes beyond making beautiful, functional things. It can be an important tool to drive meaningful changes in our society. With my economics background and design training, I believe that I can make a meaningful impact and help drive positive changes in people’s lives and in the larger community.