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Championing the future of design for all.

Design Spotlight
Fresh Grad 2024
Thursday, June 6 2024
6:30–8:30 pm
Upcoming Event
Thursday, June 6 2024
6:30–8:30 pm

Design Spotlight
Fresh Grad 2024

Thursday, June 6 2024
6:30–8:30 pm

Design Spotlight
Fresh Grad 2024

Join us for an unforgettable evening at the 14th Annual Fresh Grad Showcase!

This event features a vibrant selection of works from the brightest graduate students from NYC’s MFA, MA, and certificate programs. Prepare to be both impressed and inspired by the innovative designs and fresh perspectives brought to you by the next generation of creative minds.

Come celebrate education and talent with us! Whether you’re a professional in the field, an art lover, or a curious onlooker, this showcase is the perfect place to witness the future of design.

Additional support provided by New York University, SVA, Masters in Branding, and Pratt Institute.

Event Series: Design Spotlight
These events are design talks or conversations that feature designers or creative teams sharing top of mind or breakout work.

Tickets
We are committed to keeping events accessible to all participants. Your ticket and donation supports AIGA NY and costs associated with event production costs. If ticket cost is a barrier, please contact Stacey@aigany.org.

Schedule
  • 6:30 pm Doors open & check-in
  • 7:00 pm Event begins
  • 8:30 pm Event ends
Tickets
  • Non-members $20.00
  • AIGA Members $15.00
The Auditorium, Alvin Johnson / J.M. Kaplan Hall


66 West 12th Street
New York, 10003

Presenters

AJ Kushner, SVA, MA Design Research, Writing & Criticism

AJ Kushner is a writer, researcher, and spatial designer in New York with a particular fondness for historic interiors, architecture, and decorative arts. He has a BA in Art History with a minor in English Literature from Skidmore College and an MFA in Interior Design from Parsons School of Design. His practice explores queer history and material culture through new methods of storytelling that illuminate the work of LGBTQ+ designers and communities.

Project: The Wrights at Manitoga: Reverse-Queering American Modern Domesticity
My thesis examines modernist interior design and domesticity through a queer lens. This research centers on Russel and Mary Wright, prominent American industrial designers whose furniture, housewares, and bestselling Guide to Easier Living shaped the look and function of 20th-century residential interiors. I dive into their personal backgrounds and creative inspirations, the development of modernist aesthetics, and LGBTQ+ history and culture to reveal the radical origins and overlooked nuances of the classic midcentury domestic paradigm.

Beau Parent, Cooper Union, Type@Cooper

Beau Parent is a graphic designer, type designer and occasional sign painter based in Brooklyn, NY. He approaches each project through a typographic lens, focusing his design practice primarily on creating distinct brand identities and design systems. Currently at Alright Studio, he has worked with studios such as Creech, Gander, and Bondfire Inc. He completed Cooper Union’s Extended Type Design program in August 2023, and is currently serving as a TA for the 2023-2024 class.

Project: Carpenter Serif
“Carpenter Serif is a transitional text typeface designed throughout my time enrolled in the ’22-’23 Cooper Union Extended Type Design Program. Its design is inspired by the craft of woodworking — the shapes that wood forms as it is connected and constructed into furniture or objects.

With low-contrast and a high x-height, Carpenters Serif shines in longer-form text settings. Despite its sharp features, Carpenters Serif is infused with humanist forms, resulting in a warm, inviting typeface.”

Cecilia Gamo Castellanos, The City College of New York, Branding and Integrated Communications(BIC)

Cecilia Gamo Castellanos is a copywriter based in Brooklyn, NY. Born and raised in Barcelona (Spain), she has a Bachelor’s in Audiovisual Communication from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, a Master’s in Scriptwriting from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, and a Master’s in Branding and Integrated Communications from The City College of New York (CUNY).

She loves disruptive work that raises people’s eyebrows and makes them think beyond the message. With a special interest in interactive and experiential activations, she considers herself a “storymaker” rather than a “storyteller” – she loves creating stories that evolve in the hands of the audience, making them participants of that fictional universe and letting them play with the narrative to expand it further.

Project: Hispanizando by Modelo
The number of Hispanics in the U.S. who don’t speak Spanish has never been larger. Modelo wanted to create a campaign to help preserve the Spanish language, and when we dove into research we found that 80% of American-born Hispanics don’t speak the language for fear of not being accepted by other Americans.

So we thought – shouldn’t all things American welcome Spanish in the U.S.? And by all things, we mean all things – even Modelo’s competitors.

Our campaign Hispanizando reimagines Modelo’s top U.S. competitor beer brands embracing the Spanish language to showcase that everyone in the U.S. should welcome and celebrate Hispanic culture.

Clear Shen, SVA, MFA Interaction Design

Empathetic and curious, Clear is an interaction designer focused on enhancing communication and relationships through technology. Having lived on three continents, she thrives on new challenges and enjoys collaborating with diverse teams. With a BFA in Graphic Design from RISD, her career began in a New York fintech startup, working in both product and marketing design, where she developed a passion for creating accessible and inclusive platforms. Outside of work, she enjoys art galleries, reading, and making everyday life more fun.

Project: Relaxa — Care For Your Teeth With Ease
Dental care, while essential for overall health, is often a source of anxiety for many. According to a 2022 report from the National Library of Medicine, over 75% of adults in the US report feeling uneasy about dental visits, a fear often rooted in traumatic childhood experiences. How can we employ trauma-informed design practices to craft an empowering, mind-easing dental experience? Relaxa aims to create a world where dental care is not only necessary but also comforting, transforming fear into a feeling of safety and trust.

Gigie Hall, Parsons School of Design, MS Data Visualization

Gigie Hall is a Los Angeles-based graphic designer, whose practice centers on data-driven illustration, design, and storytelling to address environmental and social issues. She recently graduated from Parsons with an MS in data visualization and currently works at Dome Collective, an experience design studio. Her areas of interest include the mythologies, landscapes, and overlooked communities of the American West.

Project: Forgotten Waters: Remembering and Reimagining Water in Los Angeles
The history of Los Angeles is defined by the need to tame the flow of water and nothing epitomizes this more than the Los Angeles Aqueduct and Los Angeles River. Completed in 1913, the aqueduct is both an incredible feat of engineering and an artifact of theft, corruption, and exploitation. To this day, it conveys a third of LA’s water from over 200 miles away, ecologically draining Owens Valley in the process. Meanwhile, the perception of the Los Angeles River as a concrete eyesore conceals the many layers of ecological and cultural significance it contains. This thesis explores both the history and potential future of water in Los Angeles.

Josh Zhong, NYU, ITP

Josh Zhong is an Aotearoa-born technologist, fabricator, and designer of stupid-smart experiences. He likes playing with design and technology to feel out the limits of human connection and is a big fan of the colour yellow.

Project: Designing The Absurd: A Retrospective from Josh
“Designing The Absurd” is a class taught at ITP by Pedro Galvao Cesar de Oliveira. Focussed on the concept of Absurd Thinking, the class asks students to design outside the box in order to create un-useless objects. This presentation will go over all four of my projects from this class and how each project has impacted me for better or for worse.

Logan House, Pratt Institute, MFA Communications Design

Logan House is a multidisciplinary designer and researcher based in Brooklyn, New York. With experience and education spanning political science, fine arts, user experience, and, most recently, a Communications Design MFA from the Pratt Institute, he approaches design as an integrated process from research to creation. Logan House is a multidisciplinary designer and researcher based in Brooklyn, New York. With experience and education spanning political science, fine arts, user experience, and, most recently, a Communications Design MFA from the Pratt Institute, he approaches design as an integrated process from research to creation. Utilizing a variety of mediums across digital, print, fine arts, and writing, his work centers his passion for Human-Computer Interaction, data ethics, and empathetic design. As technology and people continue to shape each other, Logan is eager to explore the exciting possibilities of ethical technologies.

Project: Generation Loss: Identity in the Surveillance Age
“Generation Loss: Identity in the Surveillance Age” is a master’s thesis in communications design that explores how commodification and extraction of personal data affect human identity. This multimedia project includes a written thesis exploring the topic from data ethics and algorithmic justice lens while including four design experiments across audiovisual installation, sculpture, print publication, and graphic design. Approaching the subject from my experience of surviving cancer at a young age, the project focuses on pairing the real but often abstract concerns of data violations with the human stories behind the data itself. Data is often thought of as a very theoretical concept, but those images, videos, writing, and other information represent tangible pieces of a person’s life. What does it mean to quantify and commodify pieces of human experience? How does that process change our own relationship to our identity?

Raven Mo, SVA, MFA Design

Raven Mo is a designer based in New York, specializing in identity systems and multi-scriptural typography research. With a passion for exploring the intricate social relations and infrastructures woven by type, Raven’s design practice places heavy emphasis on type advocacy. These projects take forms in lettering and type design, as well as in multidisciplinary endeavors such as designed objects, event series, and entrepreneurship. All these efforts aim to evoke reflections upon typographic cultural identity and design localization.

Project: Flourish
Flourish is a specialty talent network committed to cultural fluency and typographic expertise. As a design talent collective, we advocate for cultural representation and inclusivity in design and typography. We help businesses honor and champion cultural authenticity to meet multicultural audiences wherever they are, whatever they speak.

Sarah Saroufim, Parsons School of Design, MPS Communication Design

Sarah Saroufim is a Lebanese-American visual artist and product designer based in New York. She makes the best of things.

Project: Drop
Drop is a drawing app designed to help artists warm-up, get inspired, and loosen up a little, encouraging them to benefit from the joy and therapy of drawing regularly, even if quickly or “badly.”

People can respond to a daily curated prompt by making a “Drop” (solo submission) or by diving into a “Pool” and drawing with others (shared community canvas).

Whether you are looking to refine your drawing skills or are working through a creative drought, Drop will help you find your groove and your people.

Vidan Ristovic, SVA, MPS Branding

Vidan is a Brooklyn-based, freelance art director and graphic designer. His extensive interest in visual storytelling led him to join Debbie Millman’s Masters in Branding program at SVA, where he is currently a graduate student. Provoked by deep curiosity, he looks for inspiration in phenomena as complex as particle physics, or as nonsensical as memes. Driven by his analytic nature, he strives to interpret contemporary cultural obscurities in order to create relevant and quirky brand narratives. Originally, Vidan is from Serbia and enjoys stress testing his cultural upbringing in a kaleidoscopic environment such as New York City. In his free time, he likes to practice observing the world through his lens of documentary photography, anime, and video games. Olympic archery is his platform for reclaiming competitive agency through patience.

Project: The Jellyfish Case
This documentary, 100-day-long experiment focuses on discovering hidden visual narratives behind every day cultural curiosities in contemporary New York City. Each day, a specific NYC resident is interpreted and a new setting is created for them with the help of AI. The determining factors behind these settings are many – from brand(s) that the subject is interacting with and the kind of relationship it has with the subject’s behavior, but also fashion choices and sole public behavior of the subject is often enough to provoke creative, analytic thinking.

Done as the final project on Debbie Millman’s “A Brand Called You” class at SVA’s Masters in Branding program, this experiment is inspired by a unique cultural analysis framework created by Sem Devilart and taught at the same graduate program. This metaphoric tool is used for observing and capturing cultural signals that determine the contemporary zeitgeist – a complex attitude of a specific time period that is reflected in the culture through music, art, literature and fashion among many other. In order to sense this intangible, contemporary cultural signal one’s skin must become vulnerable and sensitive – like a Jellyfish.

Sponsors

                 

Livestream Access

This event will be live-streamed! For livestream tickets click here.

The Auditorium, Alvin Johnson / J.M. Kaplan Hall


66 West 12th Street
New York, 10003