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    • Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 1:10pm

Announcing the 2018 CUP Fellow for Change in Design

Announcing the 2018 CUP Fellow for Change in Design

CUP is thrilled to announce the selection of Aska Mukuti as our 2018 CUP Fellow for Change in Design! This is the second year of our initiative to support the development of a pipeline of talented individuals from historically under-represented communities into the design field. The Fellowship is a paid opportunity to work with CUP for one year, gaining valuable experience in the field as well as access to mentorships from leading designers.

With the help of our three jury members, designers Juliette Cezzar, Edel Rodriguez, and Forest Young, we narrowed the pool to six finalists. Each of our six finalists displayed a truly inspiring and impressive depth of talent, making the final decision incredibly difficult. (You can read more about them here.) We came away from this experience reaffirmed in the abundance of amazing talent from designers from historically under-represented communities, and hopeful for the future of design.

And we're so excited to welcome Aska to the team! Aska is a graphic designer from the Bay Area whose design interests are largely informed by her mixed-race background and the various cities she has studied and worked in. She graduated from Boston University with a BFA in Graphic Design, and has since worked for various nonprofits both as an educator and communications designer.

"My earliest memory of design goes back to my very first trip to Japan at the age of six, when my family and I went to visit my mother’s relatives. At the time I was all-too familiar with the ill-designed snack wrappers that were difficult for kids my age to open. It came as a complete surprise when I discovered how simple it was to open a chocolate box my uncle had given me, despite my initial inability to read any Japanese.

The box’s user-friendly design and straightforward visual language made it so easy to access the strawberry flavored chocolates inside, that I kept the box out of admiration for its considerate solutions to the problems my classmates and I had with most food packaging. To this day I still have that old, faded box – and I probably always will – since it represents my early affinity for design and visual arts."

As we welcome Aska to the team, we want to give a warm farewell to Nick Johnson, our inaugural 2017 Change in Design Fellow. Best of luck and happy trails, Nick!

Our sincerest thanks to all who applied, and especially to our six finalists. It was a pleasure and honor for us to get to know and showcase so many talented emerging designers!

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