Featured Intern

Rohan Chaurasia

August 2018

We chat with Pentagram Design Intern and RISD student Rohan Chaurasia about making cardboard tracks for Hot Wheels cars , breaking the rules once you've mastered them, and how we could blur the lines more between print and digital.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

Hi, I'm a multicellular organism (just kidding, but not really) and designer currently based in New York, where I'm interning at Pentagram on Natasha Jen's team. I'll be returning to RISD this Fall for my fourth (and final) year in the Graphic Design department.

What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?

Some of my earliest (and most memorable) creative moments include making cardboard tracks for Hot Wheels cars at age 5, drawing a manga-style portrait of my grandma & I at age 9, and superimposing DaFont typefaces over point-and-shoot photos at age 12. In each of these cases, I’d find joy in iteration—I probably liked making (somewhat unnecessary) multiples of things because I was, and still am, very curious by nature! Beyond areas of art/design, music was a large part of my childhood. I played the violin, drums, and trumpet (an inevitable outcome of having a music teacher as a mother), and was always really intrigued by music videos. This fostered an interest in audiovisuals and motion graphics. I also grew to love lettering and architectural form. I’d attribute this to my upbringing in Bangkok, and summers spent in Kolkata (where I’d visit family), as both cities were saturated by neon/LED/hand-painted signs. I eventually decided to study graphic design, as I was interested in it’s core idea of communication. I also liked how it wasn’t necessarily tied to a specific medium, and allowed me to synthesize and apply my range of creative interests/experiences.

Who are your top five design crushes right now?

In no particular order, I’m currently really fond of:

Koichi Sato Hassan Rahim Werner Jeker Tracy Ma Daniel Swan

What advice would you give students starting out?

Only break the rules once you’ve mastered them, go offline more often, and don’t sweat the small stuff...!

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

Design could potentially become more fluid, blurring boundaries between differing mediums and creative disciplines. I think print and digital content in particular could have more of a symbiotic relationship, as there’d possibly be a growing interest in making intangible virtual spaces more tactile, and tangible physical objects more interactive. I’m not sure how this’ll manifest (VR supplemented by textiles? Books used solely for projection mapping?), but I know I’d adapt by continuing to educate myself on all the changes, without losing sight of timeless design sensibilities.

2018 for you in a sentence.

Year of living in a fun/hellish simulation that keeps glitching.

Website: rohanchau.com

Instagram: @_rchau

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