What inspires me to create is a constant need to challenge myself and also to problem solve.Being a designer or creative almost becomes like a lifestyle,because you’re constantly surrounded by challenges and beautiful things and ugly things and you just—you’re always observing the world.
I was born in Brasilia, Brazil, I lived there for, maybe like, three years of my life, very little,and then my parents and I moved to Dominican Republic to the capital Santo Domingo.That’s where I learned English and then I moved to the State where I did high school,so, that crucial time where you’re hitting your teenage years.
Being in a country with my family that doesn’t speak Spanish and my parents don’t really speak English,it was a great experience but it was very difficult.
I mean, I always knew that I had, like, a connection to the arts as a kid drawing and painting.But I never thought, “I’m going to be able to make money out of this.”
When I enrolled in Rhode Island School of Design, also known as RISD, I was first considering doing film and animation.
I ended up choosing industrial design because I wanted to have the flexibility of either doing products or services that were more gears towards people or being able to do something such as set design,which would kind of taking me back into, like, film and video.
So, right now my position is called a design strategist and my role is to basically find what is the best solution for what the client needs.I wanted to create and experience that made you reflect.
“The Walkway” became to be through the Departments of Arts and Humanities in Washington D.C. and they put out a bid that they wanted to see public art that was related to street harassment and to the public realm and how that affects pedestrian safety.
Seeing as we are architects and we’re designers,we see the public realm as a way of communicating a lot of messages through design.So, there was a lot of research at first that was, like, the phase one is what I would say, and a lot of ideation, a lot of sketching—just conceptualizing what could it entail.
And also, how do you communicate this message that is very politically charged but also has to be presented in a very safe manner because there’s families and it’s a public project, we wanted the form of it to create an impact in you.
So, “The Walkway,” first and foremost, it integrates itself with the pedestrian flow that’s already in the city.So, “The Walkway” is wider at the ends and as you walk in it narrows in.
And in conjunction with that we have stories that on the wider ends are more harmless, possibly more positive,and as you’re walking in it the stories become more—darker, more violent, more threatening.
A lot of, especially with women, when we asked them, they said, “I see myself in here.”What people were kind of mentioning or commenting about is how diverse it is.
So, that bring up the conversation as to, what is the right way to talk to each other in a public space? Should we talk to each other at all?So, people were really questioning that and that’s what public art is meant to do.
In the next five years, I see myself going to grad school.Getting either a design management degree or a business degree and then pushing myself to do even larger,more intricate projects and developing my range of skills.