We are honored to celebrate 10 recipients for the 2019-2020 AIGA DC Design Continuum Fund Scholarship. Please meet Shoshana Rose Schultz, former Design Director at national gun safety group Giffords and a graduate student studying graphic design at Maryland Institute College of Art.
How does it feel to be selected as a scholarship recipient?
I was surprised and very honored to be selected as a recipient. This education comes at a high cost, and funding opportunities like this not only make the education possible in the short term, but relieve some of the burden of student debt upon graduation. In the long-term, this relief creates an opportunity to take a job outside the private sector, which can be a privilege.
What made you want to become a designer/creative?
I began designing when I joined my high school newspaper. I loved the chance to tell stories visually, and to communicate with readers about issues that moved them — whether funny, heartbreaking, or curious. I love being a designer because I get to interact with a huge variety of subject matter, and express and shape that through the vehicle of visual language.
Tell us a bit about the projects you have been working on while in school.
This semester I finalized a diagram for a typography class that visualizes personal data around coming out as queer. This topic was top of mind for me during the time period recorded in the diagram, during which the US Supreme Court prepared to consider whether federal law protects gay and transgender people from workplace discrimination, including in over 25 states that offer no protections. I am also working on an app prototype that uses the open source GovTrack.us data to allow voters to more easily track and take action on federal legislation related to the issues that matter to them. The upcoming semester, I’m looking forward to taking a Social Design class, where students will collaborate with a community in Baltimore throughout the design process.
What projects are you working on outside of school?
I do not have design-related projects outside of school at the moment. I am working on getting to know the city of Baltimore and spending a lot of time in the studio!
So what’s next for you? Will it include a social impact component?
Absolutely. When I graduate in 2021, I want to use my skills as a visual design support non profits, advocacy and arts organization, journalism, and social impact enterprises. I want to collaborate with organizers, activists, politicians, and community leaders to help clarify, shape, and deliver their messages and urge key audiences to act. I’d love to work as a designer on a presidential campaign. On a personal note, I’m curious about how research and design can help me explore themes of my own white socialization and my family’s history of benefiting from the history of racism and white supremacy in the US.
Interested in seeing more work from Shoshana? Visit her website.