I started my current job in international development in June—my first trip to India came only 15 days later. Most of the time I was figuring out newness: what was expected of me, where smells were coming from, why people were shaking their heads all the time (apparently in India, side-to-side head tilting is equivalent to up-down nodding in the U.S., meaning “yes” or “ok”). I didn’t have time to reflect.
It was not until that second trip that my brain noticed the disruption in my life. I was in a small, dirty taxi with a small, stinky driver taking the 4.5 hour trip from Bangalore to Mysore at 4 in the morning on the Worst Maintained Road In The World. Exhausted after a 23-hour journey from NYC and looking at a beautiful Indian countryside sunrise prompted a thought: somebody should be blogging about this. So here it is.
I am a designer. Have been for 10 years. I love design. If you trace my work experience in order, it would go: b2b marketing, consumer marketing, Flash animation, web design, graphic design, illustration, art direction, environmental design, motion graphics, branding, design innovation, design research, interaction design, design strategy, corporate communication. If I looked through a recent Fast Company blog or Wired article, I’m sure I could fit more buzzwords in there. The point is, I’ve made a bunch of things for a bunch of clients wanting to sell things to a bunch of people.
But with my new position, my background reads more like this: I’m a newbie to development. I work in a space that desperately need my skills yet has no clear system to incorporate the role. I’ve struggled through frustration and doubt. I am in uncharted territory. But I love design. I’ve enjoyed working with and helping great people so far. And everyday I become more confident that design can impact development in a huge way.