My name is Briana and I’m a sophomore at Brown from the San Francisco Bay Area. I am interested in working at the intersection of human behavior and visual art and am pursuing a ScB in Psychology and creating my own independent concentration related to the world of visual and experience design within the context of innovation to combine my interests in human behavior, design, and art. I am passionate about my social responsibility as a designer and seek to bring context-based and human centered design decisions to everything I do! I am also an enthusiastic doodler and outdoor explorer, and can often be found backpacking with my family or raiding a local Trader Joe’s.
My introduction to design and the world of design thinking began formally in high school. I was fortunate enough to attend a school with design thinking mindset and social-emotional learning as the pillars of their mission and curriculum. Through project-based learning in classes, year-long passion projects called Quest, and being a part of design thinking consultancies and opportunities on campus, I was able to explore and dive into a number of incredible projects: from building the model for student council, redesigning bike racks for the Bay Area Caltrain system, and teaching educators the design thinking process every summer.
When it came time to apply to college, I wanted to find a place with the same values of flexible, student-driven learning and abilities to explore interdisciplinary topics. Brown originally stood out to me because of the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program, but after coming to Brown, I realized that while open curriculum allowed for flexibility in my courses, it was difficult to find a place where design methodology and mindset was put to the forefront of the curriculum. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I was lucky enough to become a part of Design@Brown, finding a group of equally excited students from diverse backgrounds but with similar mindsets and values.
My academic path has changed a variety of times since arriving on campus, and I’m now pursuing an ScB in Psychology in conjunction with an Independent Concentration in design. I’m also a member of Better World by Design, the Brown Entrepreneurship Program, and SHAG (Sexual Health Awareness Group) to as a way to engage with my other interests of design, entrepreneurship, and reproductive health.
show up to office hours
Professors are an incredible resource available to you at Brown, and often times their office hours are completely empty. Some of my favorite professors are people that I went to to talk about my IC idea and who I know go and visit just to catch up. Professors and faculty have given me book recommendations, life advice, and validation when I need it!
value your time and mental health
Your time and mental health are so precious so make sure you take care of them! It can be super easy to sign up for 20 clubs and student groups at every activity fair and overextend yourself. Make sure you prioritize your sleep and mental health before everything else! Setting aside time to do literally nothing has been my saving grace for the past year and gives me time to power down or recharge when necessary.
foster a passion on your own
Make a long term project for yourself. Whether it’s getting though a book you’ve always wanted to read, or learning to cook, or writing a blog, make time for a project that’s just for you (as opposed to for a club or class). It’s always incredibly valuable and feels amazing when you make progress.