Our Impossible Minds series profiles the individuals who are building new possibilities for the future across technology, design and culture. This time we talked with Kathleen Low — our Creative Project Manager & Designer in San Francisco.
What’s fascinating about your role at Impossible?
What’s fascinating about my role at Impossible is being able to explore different paths. Being a Creative Project Manager & Designer plays on my thirst for structure and creativity. Yes, it’s a long title but here’s what I get to do: I get to strategize, plan projects, work with different teams around the world, be involved in business meetings, plan events, design experiences, user research, travel, and more. Out of all of that, I’d have to say the most fascinating part about my role is that I get to build relationships and trust. I feel that my tasks can vary day to day, but the core part of my role is to be a communicator that listens, can empathize, and provide feedback to my teammates, clients, and the users I help design for.
What problem are you solving now?
I feel like this is a tough question because I am trying to solve many things at different scales. With my clients, I am trying to solve designing for users that are not easily accessible at the moment, so there are many challenges and obstacles that need to be communicated and strategized in our design process. On a personal level, I am trying to solve adapting to my current physical health limitations. I have recently undergone surgery to repair my ankle so I have been on crutches for 3 weeks and learning how to walk again. Having physical limitations challenges not only your physical state but your mental and emotional states. I have to remind myself to be patient and healing takes time. ;)
What are you currently obsessed with and why?
I am currently obsessed with supporting artists. I have been purchasing artwork to fill my home not only to decorate my space more but there are a few artists that I connect with. I resonate with their pieces because they feel like a reflection of my personal stories. It also makes me feel good to support various artists out there, whether they are writers, illustrators, designers, musicians, comedians, etc. So I’ve been trying to support them by purchasing art, going to shows, or giving some claps or hearts to those sharing their passion online.
What do you want to create next?
I get really excited about new things all the time. I have a journal of ideas and want to create and do many things that I’m learning to take more breaths and tackle one thing at a time. I can prioritize my work life quite well but when it comes to personal hobbies, it can be a struggle. Lately, I’ve been writing and feeding my brain with educational materials and have been wanting to focus my creative side with my ideas for helping those with mental health illnesses. I believe that mental wellness should have more awareness and treated for more properly. With the many social media outlets today, it’s very easy to surround yourself with toxic people, influences, and habits. As we keep feeding that negative side, we don’t realize that it is a detriment to ourselves unless we care for the root of our problems internally without seeking validation elsewhere. There are many different paths I can take in my support for mental health awareness, but it’s a subject I’m passionate about putting my efforts into.
Tell us a story (it could be anything, childhood memory, work experience, what happened 10 mins ago, etc.)
I went with my family to Japan earlier this year and it ended up being a big learning experience for me. I usually travel alone or with one other person but this time, there were 4 of us and we met up with 3 of my friends out there as well. Even though I’m a planner by nature when I’m traveling, I like having a list of places we must see, would love to see, and like to see, it’s not a big deal if we don’t. Think of it as Cold Stone’s like it, love, gotta have it cup sizes. With those lists, I don’t like setting strict itineraries because it creates more stress and I usually go with the flow. It’s a vacation, you must explore and find yourself in unknown serendipitous places. Traveling with a broken ankle, I learned that it’s okay to ask for help and not be the decision-maker all the time; to relax and don’t push my limits as I normally would. In order for beginner travelers to learn, they need to make decisions for themselves and get immersed in the unknowingness of a new country. The adrenaline rush, anxiousness, ambiguity of traveling is what makes me love it so much. At the start of our 2-week trip, my family and I went from miscommunication and frustrations to a solid enjoyable unit later on. One of my brother’s plans for moving to Japan soon, so I plan to be there more often!
Tell us something not many people know…
I’m really into rhythm video games. My brothers are avid gamers and I started playing games with them at a young age. A genre that always stuck with me are rhythm games. I love music and dancing so when I play these games, it’s so much fun for me. It’s probably the most focused I get when playing games and I’m competitive by nature so I always try to beat my highest score. I mainly play on the controller because I’m much faster with my hands than on my feet and always feel like the camera or floor pads (yes, I played with home floor dance pads in 1998) aren’t as responsive as I’d like them to be. I’m currently playing Musynx on my Nintendo Switch. I’m so used to a Playstation controller that the Switch Pro Controller has some getting used to. ;)