Five Hacks to Thrive in Design

In our previous post, we shared the stories of Yerslan, Yeji and Wooseong who chose design later in their bachelor study but thrived. Today, we list the advices they wanted to give to their younger selves which could be also useful for those that are tip-toeing into the design world from another major. Here we go!

Yerslan, Yeji and Wooseong | Photographed by Sieon Yang

1. Discover Your Design Niche

In the expansive realm of design, finding your niche is a key. As Yeji advocates, don’t shy away from combining design with other disciplines. Don’t be afraid to cross lines, blending design with other disciplines like engineering, business, or technology. Witness these collaborations in action, like the life-saving medical devices born in-between human centered design and engineering, or brands that become cultural icons by seamlessly combining design and business expertise.

Today’s design landscape craves versatility. Your unique combination of design expertise and skills from other fields isn’t just a bonus – it’s a superpower.

2. Experiment Fearlessly

Design mastery isn’t found only in textbooks; it thrives in the messy truth of experimentation. Step outside your comfort zone and unlock your potential. Push boundaries, try unconventional approaches, and see mistakes as stepping stones to growth, just like Yerslan’s journey towards design excellence. Plunge into projects, explore uncharted creative territories, and let your instincts be your compass.

You see, groundbreaking designs often emerge from unexpected twists and turns. So, embrace the thrill of tinkering, experiment with fearless abandon, and watch your design skills skyrocket.

3. Immerse Yourself in the Design Community

Design isn’t a solo act; it thrives on collaboration and thrives on the energy of like-minded individuals. Don’t be a lone wolf and seek out your pack! Immerse yourself in design real-life projects, dive into design seminars, and lend your skills to lab projects with fellow design enthusiasts. This isn’t just about expanding your network – it’s about opening your mind to a plethora of perspectives and riding the latest industry waves.

Remember, design thrives on collaboration, and who knows, your next big project might blossom from that insightful seminar or that passing conversation with your course project partner.

4. Craft and Curate Your Portfolio

Your portfolio isn’t just a trophy shelf for finished projects; it’s a captivating storyboard showcasing your design evolution. There’s no one-size-fits-all path to a compelling portfolio. You just have to start building it and filling it with experiences that speak to your unique journey, whether it’s through classroom projects, personal challenges, collaborations, or self-initiated explorations. Don’t shy away from the messy middle – let viewers peek behind the curtain, witness the process where you transform theory into practice.

Keep in mind, real-world projects like Yeji’s bbb Korea and Wooseong’s exchange program are your design DNA, these are central to your design identity.

5. Learn, Adapt, Repeat

Design, with its ever-changing nature, demands lifelong learning and daring leaps. Fuel your creative engine whether through blogs, workshops, seminar, and even Pinterest! Don’t fear the unfamiliar – new software, emerging tech, even bold ideas – unlock hidden doors. Be a design nomad, adaptable and agile, embracing challenges as stepping stones. Don’t let comfort zones hinder your growth – learn from every turn, every stumble, for that’s where breathtaking designs often bloom.

The design world awaits, not with guarantees, but with open arms and endless possibilities. Forget the “what ifs” and dive into the “what cans.” Design isn’t just a career; it’s a force to solve real problems, connect deeply with others, and unlock your own potential.

Are you ready?

As our previous post and this post proved, studying design may not be as scary as one might think. Yeji built bridges, Wooseong connected hearts, Yerslan found his wings. If they did it, so can you!

And hey, who says other major is easier than design? So, ditch the doubts, and embrace the messy, ever-evolving journey that comes with your interest in design.

Now, what will you design?

Workshop planned and executed by Aziza Abdyrazakova, Gail Rayla Emanuelle Parayno and Byeongkuk Kwak. Text written by Gail Rayla Emanuelle Parayno and edited by Seungho Park-Lee.