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Matthew GlibberySenior Service Designer, SAP Labs

Alumni Interview

"The EDI program provides so many opportunities for exposure to new ideas, skills, and tools. Take advantage of those to constantly inform and challenge your vision for your future." 
When you started EDI, did you know what industry you wanted to work in or were you still exploring?

I may not have known it at the time, but I was definitely still exploring. I entered the EDI program with serious misconceptions about design, what I wanted to do, and what I would be good at. As a mechanical engineer, I assumed a rather linear progression into product design but had no idea how much I'd enjoy other areas of design. With each new studio class, I thought "I want to be a hybrid product-interaction- service designer!"

Tell us about an EDI course that made an impact on you.

Designing Product Interactions with Craig Sampson sticks out to me as being particularly impactful. It explored in depth what it means to think holistically about a person's interaction with something. Craig brought in expert guests from fields like psychology and sound design to emphasize the importance of multi-modal interactions across all of the senses.

Is there anyone you worked with during EDI that you consider a mentor?

Amy O'Keefe, Kim Hoffman, and Ed Colgate had a lot of patience with me as my interests bounced around throughout the program, I'm very thankful for them. I'd also like to highlight the incredible support network that my classmates provided as we each grew together, learned from, and supported one another.

How did you decide on your EDI thesis project?

I didn't have any formal system for generating or evaluating thesis ideas. I picked one for the deadline, but before I'd done any work on it I switched to an idea the grew out of something I was passionate about. I can remember some of the most successful thesis projects were from classmates who first put a lot of thought into the skills and experiences they wanted to get out of (or showcase with) their thesis, so they had a tangible framework to evaluate ideas against.

What advice do you have for an EDI student interested in working in your industry?

Be curious. The EDI program provides so many opportunities for exposure to new ideas, skills, and tools. Take advantage of those to constantly inform and challenge your vision for your future. Visual and communication design skills are important for everyone. Don't discount the importance of developing (and showcasing!) synergetic skills in photography, video, and motion design. For a prospective Interaction Designer in particular, there's an ever-growing ecosystem of tools available that you should have some perspective on. Oh, and take advantage of student licenses.

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