Hey there, I'm Coco!

Innovation and creativity has constantly surrounded me as I have grown up. With my father as an interior designer, my house is filled with eclectic items such as Baccarat pieces that we acquired from our travels. As a result, Design and Art, in the many forms that it comes, has become an integral part of my life. Being coaxed to flea markets was a given on any holiday which, overtime, allowed me to become intrigued by the appearance of products, their function and their purpose. 

During the pandemic, confined to the house, I found myself backed into a corner where I felt stifled. I decided to invest in several design books that exposed me to different approaches within Design. From design movements, to sketching books and various tips from authors who studied design, it allowed me to gain further knowledge of the subject area. One of the books that stood out to me was Ernst Haeckel's "Art forms in nature" which showed that patterns and designs are found within the smallest organisms and places. The prints merged science with art to depict patterns that were able to influence other artists, illustrating that design is constantly changing and swaying people. Listening to podcasts such as 'Design Better' also exposed me to various design opinions and ideas that could help me justify my own design choices. One key takeaway being that elements of design can be found in almost every profession, playing a fundamental part in creating platforms and products that entice an audience. Studying Product Design changed my perspective on buildings and everyday objects. Afternoon walks became a study of Architecture and Materials. 

Growing up in the Middle East allowed me to visit cultural places, opening my mind to Islamic customs and designs. Travelling around the world to countries like Italy demonstrated the importance of historical and modern design. From the Duomo di Siena and the intricate details within the towers to the Bosco Verticale in Milan and its environmentally conscious design choices, all aiding my appreciation for global designs. Psychology and Geography have given me insight into how products can connect with people on a cognitive level as well as aiding my understanding in the importance of sustainable design. In choosing to study Product Design, I was able to bring to life product ideas as well as carry out their production, a process I very much enjoy. The hands-on process in combination with my thought processes behind certain choices really cemented my desire to study the subject. 

Other than being influenced by design for a large portion of my life, horse riding has also played a large part. What started as a hobby soon turned into a passion that allowed me to participate and win recognised jumping competitions in Bahrain. My liking for sports also included playing Netball for 4 years and competing in the Intergulf Netball Championships in Dubai and British Schools in the Middle East games. By being exposed to the sports world, I can appreciate various designs within sports such as shoe models or athleisure wear. I valued the design of certain courts or tracks that allow athletes to perform at their best. It was also a priority to work on my Sketchup and Fusion 360 skills to help bring to life Product Design ideas I had in school and at home. 

I enrolled in a summer camp where I worked with children and adults with varying degrees of physical and mental disabilities to help them paint, cook or work with clay. This allowed me to showcase my creative side as well as work with and encourage these individuals to display their creativity. Working alongside them helped solidify the concept that design can unify people to bring joy to ourselves and others. 

By studying Design at undergraduate level, It would be rewarding and a life experience to remember. I hope to deepen my knowledge and interest towards the design world at university.
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