We had the good fortune of connecting with Gloria Chrisanty and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gloria, why did you pursue a creative career?
There’s a whole backstory to how I became interested in industrial design, but what I usually tell people when they ask me why this career path, I say I want help people. The responses I get every time I bring up what I’m studying are always a mixed bag, but people are especially confused as to how a “creative career” could help people. The stigma around pursuing creative careers is part of the reason I’ve become so passionate in the work I do. Industrial design (ID) is multidisciplinary; it involves art, engineering/technology, business/marketing, graphic design, and whatever science or social science you want to attach to it. ID requires a somewhat-deep understanding of the human condition so that you can create a product around that knowledge or experience. The thing that intrigues me the most about ID is that not a lot of people know about it, despite the fact that everyone interacting with anything man-made everyday of their lives is interacting with some form of design. I guess my more honest answer to the question would be that pursuing design allows me to work through my trauma in a productive way. I say trauma in a sense that every individual has experienced some type of event or realization that has shaped who they are. What people don’t usually know is that the human body holds in a certain amount of trauma from just living and existing. I think individuals who pursue an artistic or creative career understand that society’s standards of success or happiness aren’t always measured in income. Knowing that we’re able to have a career out of actively trying to understand ourselves and the world is a perfectly viable way to live. Pursuing design has dramatically altered how I view myself and the world, and I know that every artist or creative out there can say the same about their craft.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
There is a distinction between art and design. What sets them apart is entirely dependent on the individual. I am still learning that distinction for myself, but what I have found is that they overlap quite a bit for me. It might be a bit of a cliche to say I grew up wanting to be certain professions (doctor, engineer, etc.) to help people, but it was true. My love for math and eventually robotics led me to pursue activities that allowed me to explore possible professions from a young age. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I realized math and science and robotics weren’t the only parts of my identity. I had loved art since the third grade and I didn’t even realize it until I was about to graduate high school. A large portion of my identity is rooted in wanting to understand how the world worked, how people worked. Art and design is allowing me to do so. There is a lot of stigma around art and art history and there is definitely a lot of misconceptions about design, especially product design. It’s difficult to describe what industrial/product design is to people because it’s the foundation to the human condition. Everything we interact with that was not made naturally made was designed. There is no right description for who a designer is or what they do because everyone can be designers. In a way, everyone is a designer at heart. How you decorate your living/work space, the way you’ve figured out to jam a janky laundry door shut, the way you structure your file folders on your laptop are all examples design. I think deciding to study industrial design and art history has helped me grapple with aspects of the human condition, of my own personal trauma, that I couldn’t do with any other mediums. It has allowed me to explore emotions and concepts regarding all subjects of life- philosophy, history, engineering, humanitarian work, etc. We are all physically and mentally tied to the design of systems, things, and places. There’s an underrated beauty to design. It’s so expansive; it’s not limited to the classes I take in college or the profession(s) I will have post-graduation. It’s embedded in life. My hope is that I can take my skills and knowledge as a designer to help people, especially those that are excluded from important conversations that dictate the design of the world we are all a part of. I believe that everyone has a story worthy of being told and I hope that I can do that through design.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I find the most solace amongst art and nature. I would alternate days to take them to all the cool art museums/galleries and hiking in surrounding mountains. I would definitely show them Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum, maybe even the Musical Instrument Museum and then we would go hike Piestewa Peak, Camelback, and the Superstition Mountains. Since Phoenix is so vast, I think it would be really cool to also just drive around the different areas listening to music and stop at restaurants that look good. If First Fridays ever make a comeback I would also take them there since I think it’s a really unique experience that exposes you to a lot of art and culture.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I firmly believe that we are products of the people and environment we surround ourselves with. My success is reliant on everyone that helped me learn and grow throughout the years, especially teachers and mentors who helped guide and nurture my passion for art and design. That being said, it would be entirely wrong of me to not mention my loving and supportive family in Ohio and my extended family back in Indonesia. Every achievement I’ve accomplished has been for them and the hard work and sacrifices they’ve made to ensure my success. Words cannot describe how incredibly grateful I am to have been raised by incredibly resilient and loving people. So to everyone I’ve ever hugged, learned from, laughed, cried, danced, sang, road tripped, or even argued with, thank you for adding to my life. I am eternally grateful for you.
All the pictures I’ve provided are my own.