Our new ‘Sidelines’ series features our talented team and the endeavors they are loving outside of our shared trade. We are in an industry where we continually create and recreate – needless to say, it’s creative! Still, we value and recognize the importance of the pause, the mastery, the fieriness, and the incredible outcomes of our team’s personal pursuits. That energy and spirit inspires us and keeps the heat up in the studio.
What better way to start a new series than with the newest addition to our team – co-op, Lauren Beich. Lauren is a Senior Product Design major that has found and embraced her curiosity for design, its experience, and its social impact. This month, we talk with Lauren about her approach, how her time studying abroad in Barcelona shapes her design philosophy today, and the captivating photography she took while there.
Lauren believes that design influences everything. She seeks to understand that influence by exposing herself to as many design disciplines as possible. A Product Design major, interning with the Branding studio, assisting the Interiors group, and planning to graduate with minors – yes, that’s plural – in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, and Art History.
Last fall, Lauren had the opportunity to study abroad at the Elisava School of Engineering and Design in Barcelona, Spain. Working with international students at a school with focus areas ranging from Interior Design to Food Design – Lauren’s curiosity regarding the influence of design on culture and tradition was born. She credits this time in Spain for her cross-disciplinary approach to design.
Quite the livewire, Lauren also pours her passions into her personal crafts. Her time abroad gave her the opportunity and time to focus on an art she truly loves – photography. Below, we feature some of the photography that Lauren captured in Barcelona and learn more about her love for the camera.
D2: How did you get into photography?
Lauren: My interest in photography started as a family interest in capturing memories. After countless hiking trips asking to borrow my mom’s camera, I invested in my own point and shoot and eventually a Nikon. Before coming to Philadelphia, my subject matter included the various plants, animals and landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. It was frustrating to transition so abruptly to rectilinear forms and cityscapes, but I grew to love the new narratives I could capture in street photography and portraiture.
For me my design work always feels like it needs to be precise and well considered.
D2: How does it improve your design work?
Lauren: I think learning to read the stories and visual elements of a composition in my own photography has helped me think about what I’m trying to communicate in design. Often, I find myself with a valuable idea that is useless unless I can communicate its value quickly in an appealing way. I also love going back through my photos – essentially memories – to reference or draw upon a characteristic or feeling that I want to mimic in other projects.
D2: What do you gain personally?
Lauren: For me my design work always feels like it needs to be precise and well considered. Sometimes that perfectionism makes the work more tedious. When I’m taking photos, the results feel refreshingly out of my control. They are reflective – something to go back to after capturing the moment in an instant. Making quick decisions and moving fast to take photos makes the process feel exciting and meditative. In those fast decisions behind the lens I feel like I look more carefully at my surroundings and notice things I wouldn’t have noticed before. In the back of my mind I’m looking for the hero shot and interest in everything, which I think results in much greater interest, a deeper appreciation for the subject and…a lot of photos.
D2: Why do you love it?
Lauren: Noticing this change in mindset, I’ve continued to carry a camera along with me on travels and adventures as a way of perceiving those experiences in more depth and to appreciate them more in reflection. As I move and grow up, I love that it’s a relatively easy hobby to bring with me that feels so therapeutic and offers such a different perspective.