I’m a _______ Designer.

I will first introduce myself. I’m Rossa and have moved all around the world. I was born in New York and moved to South Korea lived there until Middle school. Then I moved Los Angeles and studied graphic design in San Francisco. I’m a purpose oriented person, foodie, adventurer, Pokémon master and animal lover (have two cute dogs)!

When I was a little kid, I was afraid of telling my birthplace to friends because I assumed that they might think I do not belong in country because of where I was born. I couldn’t go talk to anybody in my school and I was a lonely kid at first. However, I accidently experienced the unique way of interacting with people rather than conversation. In that time, I remember that I was really into drawing my family or famous cartoon characters from Korea, using my grandma’s precious collection of flyers — which made her angry all the time. I did not have a gut to show them anybody than my family, but one of my classmate saw my drawing by accident and started to talk to me afterwards. I remember she was kept saying she really liked the drawing of the dolls and wanted to take home so we can play together. Since that time, I got interested in using various mediums and finding the best one that fits in each case to interact with people or anything that involves an interaction; thus led me to learn how to express my ideas from painting to visual communication throughout my undergrads.

Picture of Cape Town, South Africa

As I matured as a designer, I sought out increasingly challenging and prominent venues through which to take a big step in my design. This led me to work in South Africa as a social worker and graphic designer which transformed my philosophy of design. Before moving to South Africa, I was expecting desolate land with famine children. It turns out that I was very biased by media and Cape Town was one of the most beautiful city in the world. However, because of that bias, 20% of the donated products are still becoming useless because people are sending items without knowing what the real needs are. I witnessed that lack of iterative research and empathy to understand people in their perspective further worsen the issues.

It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want“ — Steve Jobs

In order to interact with users and bring out solutions to surrounding issues, I found the importance of understanding what the real problems/desire within the people in different social backgrounds. Therefore, I attracted to MDes program in Carnegie Mellon University because it focuses on how design can provide innovative ground for interactive communication between individuals, between individuals and the social word, and even among different societies.

Overall, I believe that Interaction design is bringing diverse disciplines and perspectives in a dynamic and synergistic manner, to understand and address issues pertinent to diverse groups of people. As I stated in the title, any word can go in that blank. I’m now in CMU pursuing Master’s degree in Interaction design, but I will keep trying my best to fill the blank that make the world a better place.