Ashley Stevens // PSU Grad 2006

Posted on Dec 1st, 2008 by Command Save

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Ashely Stevens is studying at SVA. SVA faculty: Milton Glaser, Jan Wilker, and Stefan Sagmeister

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Grad school project: rethinking the pooper scooper

When did you graduate?
I graduated in December of 2006

What graduate schools did you apply to?
I applied to SVA, CalArts and Royal College of Art, and was accepted to SVA and CalArts. It was a difficult decision for me, but I eventually chose SVA for it's location in New York City, the faculty, and the emphasis on the authorship of ideas, which is the core of SVA's program.

Do you advise students to go directly to graduate school?
I would advise waiting. I think it is smart to wait at least a year before pursuing additional education for several reasons. One, you will attack your studies with more vigor and dedication. Most students coming straight from undergrad seem to get burnt out more easily. I think working for a year or traveling allows you to bring another perspective to your work besides the one of an academic. Overall though, graduate school seems to be richer and more enjoyable for the students that have pursued other interests after completing their undergraduate.

What type of projects are you working on?
I am currently working on a project dealing with prosthetic arms and the problems surrounding the life of an amputee for my Design in 3-D class with Allan Chochinov of Core77.com, and we recently finished a project dealing with pooper scoopers. I am also working on a music video for Nancy Sinatra's "These Books Are Made for Walkin'" using only type animation. This is quite challenging, as I'm using AfterEffects for the first time!

Any SVA graduate work you can share with us?
We're doing a lot of smaller projects right now, but some of the students may find it beneficial to look at the SVA MFA Design site and their crit blog.  The design site is a new site, and one in which students, past and present, are encouraged to upload work, so PSU students could see more of a variety of graduate work there.


What have you been learning/experiencing at SVA and in NYC?
So much of design is about human behavior. In order to create good, effective design you must try to understand people's perceptions, biases, and habits. NYC has been a wonderful education in itself with experiencing so many different types of people on a constant basis.

Who/what are your favorite teachers/classes?
Milton Glaser's class, Design and Intentions has been so insightful every week. I would say that I've learned from him the necessity for understanding people in order to create effective design. Allan Chochinov's approach to his class is very inspiring because he pushes each student to his limit, but stresses that it's still okay to fail