Earlier this year, we announced the Shillington Design Safari in partnership with The School of St. Jude and Seesaw Studio. An exclusive opportunity for our graduates, the Design Safari offered a paid opportunity to intern at a top Melbourne studio for two months and then continue the important work in Arusha, Tanzania. A big design adventure!
Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Shillington New York Graduate Connie Leung landed the opportunity. She’s hit the ground running at Seesaw this week, getting up to speed on their pro bono rebranding of St Jude’s and working to bring it to life. Part one of her international Design Safari is off to an incredible start.
Read on to hear more from Connie and check out the new look for The School of St. Jude’s.
Congratulations, Connie! 2016 has been quite the year from you. You only graduated from Shillington in April, and now you’re on your way around the world for a Design Safari. How does it feel?
Thank you! It’s been overwhelming in the best way possible. The entire moving process from NYC to Melbourne has been fun and much easier than I thought. I’ve been pretty lucky so far to be supported by warm and friendly people along the way. Tanzania still seems a long way off, but I’ve heard incredible stories from people at work who’ve gone to visit the school in Arusha.
I’m really happy to be a part of the rebranding project at Seesaw, and I’m pumped for what’s to come in the next year for me.
Why did you decide apply for the Design Safari?
There is a universality and a biology to design that’s compelling to me, and I think graphic design is a visual medium that can function like an unspoken language. I was interested in the Design Safari for the challenge of “translating” and conveying St. Jude’s message to the rest of the world. While I might not know the country or the culture, to live on location for a year is a unique opportunity I couldn’t ignore.
I’m ready to immerse myself in Tanzania so I can understand St Jude’s story on a personal level which will inform my designs in a real and empathetic way.
Plus, it’s been a dream of mine since I was five to go to the Serengeti. (There were a lot of National Geographics lying around in my house growing up.)
Why are you drawn to design for The School of St. Jude?
Before the opportunity to work with St. Jude’s appeared on Shillington Design Blog, I had been reading books and blogs about global healthcare and education in relation to poverty. I’ve had many conversations with friends who are designers working in those fields so these concepts have been percolating in my brain for a while. Slowly, the concept of using design to solve deeper issues in the world became increasingly important to me. Seeing how St Jude’s quality of education provides for not just the individual students, but for entire communities across Tanzania is an amazing mission that I want to be a part of.
What are you most looking forward to at Seesaw in Melbourne?
Seesaw is a really talented branding studio that creates beautiful work. Seeing as I’m most interested in the storytelling and conceptual side of design, it’s a really good fit for me. The team is not only talented, but super friendly and welcoming so I’m excited to get to know all my co-workers. (They’ve made coffee and milo for me and I’ve only been here for two days!)
Also, design is a medium that keeps me on my feet, and I can’t wait to get better with help from all the designers here who are clearly more experienced than I am. They have a lot of insightful feedback every time I show them work in progress.
What are you most looking forward to at The School of St. Jude in Tanzania?
I’m looking forward to seeing and experiencing the story of St. Jude’s firsthand. There’s been a distance with my involvement up to now so there’s only so much that I can understand and feel on an emotional level. The team at St. Jude and I have talked on Skype—I can’t wait to meet everyone and get to work.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I tried my first real flat white and tasted Vegemite all in the first week of being in Melbourne. I really liked both!
We’ll be keeping tabs on Connie throughout her adventure from Melbourne to Tanzania. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months.