At a recent Project 366 event, our pupils from the Big Brothers Big Sisters attended a tour of N.C. State University’s College of Design led by current students in the design program. The pupils attended this tour to learn about the many opportunities in the design fields like landscaping, architecture, fashion design, graphic design, and industrial design. Prior to beginning the tour, our group had the pleasure of learning from a professional in the engineering field. Gabrielle, our engineering professional, has a Ph.D. in materials science, electrical and sound engineering and spent her time as an undergraduate to gain a Bachelor’s degree in Performance Art Technology. The combination of an art and engineering background allows Gabrielle to thrive as a product engineer as she is able to understand the science of her work, while simultaneously enjoying the design process.
Leading the tour, current students from the Multicultural Design Students Association gave our pupils the opportunity to connect the practicality of combining art with science, math, engineering and technology (STEM) fields to follow career-driven paths through the arts. Our tour guides provided our pupils with their personal experiences and answered questions about their chosen fields. At this time, a pupil asked about the design process in architecture. The pupil asked if architecture students “just get to flow with their ideas” and the tour guide replied yes. The pupil’s eyes lit up! This small moment solidified the importance of inspiring career-driven thinking in design fields at an early age.
In addition to the tour and learning session from a professional in the engineering field, another important aspect of this event is focusing on the value of “perseverance”. Project 366 focuses on emphasizing the importance of building core values and incorporating these values in the art and STEM fields. STEM and design fields are competitive, and many students find themselves in non-traditional roles as they pursue their educations. It is extremely inspiring to hear the personal accounts of the tour guides. One guide, Josh, shared his personal experience about getting into the world of industrial design. After researching careers related to his passions, Josh realized industrial design is his dream field, so he applied to N.C. State’s College of Design. After an initial rejection from the school, Josh kept working and met with the head of the industrial department to discuss his portfolio. They spoke about improvements he could make as a way to find a path to acceptance into the program. Josh was admitted into the College of Design after re-submitting his application, and his perseverance serves as an example that passion and resilience can help anyone stay on track. Ending his story on an extremely positive note, Josh encouraged the pupils to “believe in your process, believe in your work because you’ll never know what could happen.”
To view more pictures of the art event, click here!
Written by Torie Stacy
Edited by Maggie Maple