Featured Studio

DesignStudio

April 2018

We chat with San Francisco DesignStudio Design Director, Theresa Ma about everything from biology to Silicon Valley. Read on for an insight into Theresa's perspective on design and life and the experiences that have led her to DesignStudio.

Tell us a bit about yourself and the studio that you work for.

My name is Theresa Ma, and I started as an interaction designer before coming to DesignStudio to discover more about the world of branding. I was attracted to DesignStudio for its uninhibited, immersive approach to design.

What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened?

I was planning on graduating with a degree in biology in pursuit of a career in medicine because it's what I thought was expected of me. Partway through, I realised I wasn't on that path for myself but in order to reach others expectations of me. I transferred to art school the following semester.

What career advice would you give your 16yr old self?

This sounds cliche, and I've totally heard this advice as a 16 year old, but I don't think I listened at the time - don't make decisions based on what you think will satisfy others, no matter how much pressure they give you. Listen to yourself and do what feels right! You'll be much happier this way.

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Technological advancement is great but can sometimes lead us astray

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What is the design landscape like in your city and where do you fit in?

Design is an integral part of the Bay Area, especially in Silicon Valley. Technological advancement is great but can sometimes lead us astray, so we help balance that by going through the noise to extract and communicate what really matters.

What qualities and skills do you look for in a graduate?

We're never done learning, so the desire and love for learning is huge. Curiosity is also important. It leads us to a lot of new ways of thinking and provokes interesting questions.

Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?

Design and technology have always been intertwined. As technology continues to advance, we'll find ourselves interacting with new mediums and ways of expression. It might extend beyond the visual realm. Will it be aural? Will it be completely virtual? The possibilities are exciting! Continuing to explore with an open mind will be key.

Website: design.studio

Instagram: @designstudio

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