Having grown up in Lisbon with a Swiss mother and a Portuguese father that really valued creativity and artistic expression, I remember my childhood as a very colourful and creative time in my life. They decided to send my brother and me to a small primary school where art was as important as any other subject. This allowed me to develop my artistic sensitivity by experimenting with drawing, painting, creative writing, origami, sewing, knitting and even stop motion animation films. My time there really cultivated a creative mindset in me and prepared me for a career in a creative field. When I started playing with Photoshop some years after that, I knew I wanted to become a graphic designer.
As I’m writing this I’m about to graduate from the Bern University of the Arts with a BA in Visual Communication. I became interested in digital art and graphic design when I was quite young, and my first ever projects were done for high school projects or events. The more I did these, the more people started reaching out to me and that’s how I got some of my first jobs. As a result, I was able to build a portfolio which allowed me to get an internship in a design studio in Berlin, where I was able to be a part of a team that developed projects for bigger clients for the first time. After that, I moved to Bern to study, and since then I have divided my time between school assignments and freelance jobs.
I’m reluctant to impose any sort of definite descriptions of what I do because I don’t want to be restricted by them. Still, I’d say that at the moment I try to do work that juxtaposes a pragmatic and structured graphic and typographical foundation inspired by traditional Swiss design with other non-traditional contemporary or experimental elements. Having said that, while I mainly do graphic and type design, I’m always looking to expand my horizons and skillset by engaging with new forms of media and technology.
The best part for me is being able to do something I really enjoy and I’m passionate about. The whole process of conceptualising an idea and giving form to it is extremely fulfilling for me. On the flip-side though, working on projects you’re really passionate about has negatives as well, as I find myself putting a lot of pressure on myself to find the best ideas I can, and then to execute them in a way that does them justice. As a result, I oftentimes get so invested that I find myself falling asleep and waking up thinking about a particular project I’m working on. This is all worth it at the end though, as the feeling you get when you get it right is extremely cathartic.
I have just finished working on my graduation project, which consists of a theoretical and practical analysis of a chosen topic. In the theoretical part, which I titled Picture This, I wrote about the implications brought about by the development of augmented reality (AR) technologies on media consumption and manipulation. I was interested in considering a future where AR devices replace our current screen-based technology and analysing how a user’s perception of reality would be impacted as a result. My research made me want to focus on the idea of an increasingly blurred line between physical and digital realms for my practical work, which I titled Big Picture. Within the framework of this project, I developed a graphic narrative, comprising a book, an analogue and a digital AR poster.
Having done a lot of research into augmented reality for my thesis, I think we’re about to experience a groundbreaking technological wave that is set to revolutionise the way we interact with technology and how we perceive the world around us. While the technology is not quite there yet, I’ve seen multiple predictions that within the next 5 to 10 years, AR technology will ultimately replace the screen-based technology we know today. I think designers need to adapt to these changes by getting familiar with the technology and by embracing the possibilities it allows.