I was born and raised in a small town in the Philippines. It’s a place 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 that 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 - Boats from discarded rubber flip-flops, toy guns from bamboo, and drums from umbrella scraps and tin cans.
My educational and professional background is two-part: I have a Bachelor’s in Industrial Design from OCADU, and an Economics Degree from the Philippines. I spent eight years of my career in Canadian financial services. Consequently, I have always looked at design problems with an economic lens as part of my process. As an example, I have always added financial sustainability and scalability to the list of design considerations.
OCADU has taught me how good design can transform everyday human experiences across entire communities, organizations and the environment. It 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.