Fatema Boxwala: Reflection Post-Residency
Fatema relocated to Cincinnati in September 2014 to join the People's Liberty team as a design resident. After a whirlwind three months on the job, Fatema returned to Detroit where she's now putting her skills to use. We asked Fatema to reflect on her PL experience. Here's what she said:
What did you accomplish during your residency that you're most proud of?
F: I had the opportunity to work with program director Megan Deal to brand the residency experience. This went well beyond developing the visual look and feel for the Society of Mad Philanthropists. Over the course of a few weeks, we engaged in a thorough process that involved collecting inspiration, developing language and brand voice and sketching and refining visual marks. I really had to, first and foremost understand the goals of the residency program. The concept of the Society of Mad Philanthropists grew out of this process. We brought the Society to life in a number of pieces from a website (this one) to a toolkit to help new residents get acquainted with the program.
What skills did you sharpen during your time at People's Liberty?
F: During my residency I further developed my skills in typography for print projects, including an event toolkit, and web work like website banners, blog entries and social media posts. I was also tasked with photographing People's Liberty's events and the renovation of the Globe Building on a bi-weekly basis. The sheer number of photographs I took definitely helped me improve this skill. Moreover, I learned a great deal about philanthropy and urban transformation during my residency.
Did you make any connections during your term that you plan to carry forward?
F: The People's Liberty team is made up of exceptionally talented, well-networked and thoughtful people, who all made a sincere and successful effort to involve me in their lives inside and outside of work, and to help acclimate me to Cincinnati. Upon returning to Detroit, I was able to connect with a number of individuals through direct introductions made by the PL team. I continue to follow People's Liberty's awesome work and the team has stayed in touch with me too.
In five years, I hope to...
F: I hope to better embody the Society of Mad Philanthropists five principles: to risk freely, try again (and again), share openly, see differently and care deeply. I want to improve my skills in designing and doing while engaging in meaningful communication. Although I'm not sure exactly what I'll be doing in five years, I plan to be passionate about and invested in that work just as I was at People's Liberty.