Monday, December 28, 2009

Cory on Bringing More Character to D.C. Design

“I started working as a designer right after graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara. With time, I got tired of my boss and Santa Barbara and quit my job on September 10, 2001. That made the next day all the more tragic for me. I was in limbo for almost a year and ended up getting into the design program at the Corcoran in D.C. I packed up my truck and drove cross-country in about five days. When I got here, I was totally out of my element. It took me a good while to adjust because people have such a different mentality on the East Coast. People were so tied in to their professions and ambition here in a way that I did not experience on the West Coast. To this day, that singular focus on profession gets to me because I feel like people here are not present and can’t appreciate the little things. But, that sense of ambition is something that I absorbed and apply to my work in design. After graduating from the Corcoran, I started working at the Affinity Lab in September 2005. The lab is the perfect combination of everything I love about back home and here. 

"People always ask me, ‘You moved here from California!?’ They’re confused, but I say that I have never felt more at home anyplace else. There is a sense of history here. California is so easy and beautiful, but this 
place has edge and challenges you. I am always looking to position myself in a place where I am being pushed. You go to Philly, New York or Chicago and you know what those places taste like. D.C. tastes like poi, it’s flavorless and goes well with certain things. Being here, you are pushed to find those certain things, which makes you appreciate them so much more when you find them.

"One unfortunate thing about D.C. is that there is not much inspirational design. I always feel like D.C. maintains a support system for the mundane. I don’t get to experience a lot of visually challenging things there. There haven’t been enough people here focused on pushing the boundaries. Most people who come here have one focus: how to find fame, fortune or notoriety in politics and business. When you are going for those traditional professions and you don’t have something that supports experimentation, you don’t get really intriguing cultural elements. We need to create more what the fuck is this moments with design in D.C! Everything is too conventional. D.C. needs more character big-time. A lot of the character traditionally comes from the historical communities in cities. Sadly, many of those communities have been pushed out or are under-appreciated by those who come with a singular focus. Through my design, I am trying to bring more of that here."

See Cory's work

1 comment:

Allyson Kapin said...

Great post Cory!