The Be Original Americas Student Design Fellowship begins on June 11th, and two students have been selected from an outstanding pool of over 75 qualified applicants. The 7-week immersive program provides hands-on experience in making, distributing, and selling authentic design. Here’s what the 2018 fellows Defne Kansu of Virginia Tech and Janell Leung of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo are most excited about, what brought them to the fellowship, and what they are doing outside of design.
Defne Kansu & Janell Leung
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Defne Kansu: I am Defne Kansu. Originally, I am from Turkey and have wanted to study Industrial Design in the U.S. since I was in middle school. I received a bilingual IB education in high school with a second language education in German. I have always been an artistic person, but I found design to be more suitable for my interests as I enjoy being well-rounded and find Industrial Design to be a field for jack-of-all-trades designers. I love how my degree allows me to have the flexibility to jump into other fields to explore myself as a designer.
Janell Leung: My name is Janell Leung and I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I am currently in my fourth year studying Architecture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a minor in Sustainable Environments. Although I’m receiving a degree in architecture, my passion lies in smaller scale design and the potential for environmental applications. Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with this through my study abroad program in Copenhagen, as well as through my travels around Europe in between learning.
What are you excited to learn from this experience?
DK: I am excited about the opportunity of the hands-on, in-the-field work that this fellowship will provide. I am a tactile learner and this fellowship offers something much more unique than what a classroom can offer. I also love the idea of being exposed to so many amazing companies and learning insights on how a company operates, what the real industry looks like, and what clients expect due to my entrepreneurial mindset.
JL: I am excited to understand the process and thinking behind successful designs. This fellowship will introduce components and factors often overlooked in an educational setting — it’ll be realistic. In particular, I have never had any experience with marketing and am eager to learn about the business side of design.