Those who know me know that I’m really not that into social media, photos, and posts. But when I received this degree, the first feeling I had was of gratitude, and for this reason, I couldn’t help but write this.
I’m thankful to God for the gift of being able to learn in this amazing university, I’m also thankful to the whole staff at LSDM for helping me complete this wonderful course.
I began my studies with the limited perspective that most people have about what design is and what a designer does. According to popular belief, a designer makes different, beautiful, and expensive stuff. Today, I can rightly say that the bigger goal of a designer is improving people’s lives, solving problems, proposing solutions that are often simple, yet efficient. I’ll never forget this one video, shown to us in one of the classes, in which a designers group assembled to help a really humble tribe where people had to walk miles and miles to get drinkable water, and on the way back they had to carry the giant containers filled with water on their shoulders. Many people would think of a little electric car, or the more obvious plumbing system to get the water to the tribe. However, neither of those options were possible, since there wasn’t enough money or support from the public entities for that to happen. Therefore, this group of designers developed a project of a wheelbarrow, something simple, affordable, quick and feasible to build, and compatible with the region’s terrain, an efficient solution indeed.
The people from the tribe still have to walk for miles to reach the water, but now they won’t have to return with a tremendous weight on their shoulders. They now push the containers with the wheelbarrow the designers built. I believe this story clearly shows the role of a designer: improving people’s daily lives, making a positive difference, even if they don’t have the optimal resources, even if they aren’t able to create the “perfect” solution, but one that’s possible to achieve and makes a difference in the life of one or many people.
In my sincere opinion, in order for you to become a great designer, it’s necessary that you try to be: observant, curious, fearless, simple, ethical, humane, approachable, empathetic, and innovative. Constantly try to gain more knowledge for you to be able to develop smart and implementable solutions.
To me, this degree isn’t just a piece of paper issued by a great university, it is the manifestation of a dream and the representation of my resilience and love for design. I will be forever grateful to LSDM and UCA for this opportunity and all the knowledge passed on to me, and even more for all the humanity, they showed towards students! I didn’t feel like just another student, I felt like I was Bruna and that’s priceless.
I would to express my gratitude and care towards my tutor Andreana Buest, who helped me, taught me, and inspired me a lot, towards Sara Petiz, who expertly and humanely managed the course, and towards the coordinators Nuno Sá Leal and Armando Vilas-Boas, who had an impact on our development through valuable feedback.
I would like to express my eternal admiration for everyone at LSDM and UCA!
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