Darby T.

$1,000 Scholarships.com Design Scholarship Award Winner

"Why are these goggles so expensive?"

The disdain on my face was obvious to my swim teammates. I was fine with the cheaper goggles. Really. The familiar brittle plastic, foam padding, and single rubber band goggles wouldn’t eat half my newly earned paycheck like the iridescent competition goggles would. But at the insistence of my teammates, I relented and bought the more expensive pair. It wouldn’t take long from that moment to understand that my teammates were not being style obsessed, but were speaking from wisdom.

Our long swim workouts would normally leave me with severe pain from my goggles. But the cuts and sores my previous goggles would give me vanished. The aching pressure that accompanied a snug fit was gone, too. I realized that I hadn’t just paid for style when I purchased my new goggles. I was paying for a superior design.

The fact that products had forethought and weren’t just competing for the lowest price intrigued me. I looked up books written by designers and essays by psychologists and engineers, and came to have a gestalt understanding of the discipline. The names of my heroes changed from Andy Warhol and Manet, to Dreyfuss and Loewy. My AP portfolio went from one full of life drawings, to ones full of CAD studies and other computer-based graphics. Discovering the difference between different grades of plastic and their uses consumed my free time. I had found my calling.

From that small epiphany to attending one of the best design schools in the country, the Savannah College of Art and Design, design quickly became my life and one day, my career. As I gain the modeling and rendering skills I need to be successful, my excitement continues to grow exponentially. The professional landscape is evolving to address issues like sustainability and product life cycles, but I’ll always remain steadfast to my vision of creating a better world through design and the products we use everyday.

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