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Classmate designertypes
(and what you can learn from them)

(click to enlarge)

Look around the studio. Who do you see? Let's examine the classic classmate designertypes shown above, starting from the left:

"The Chosen One"

Surely you recognize your token class overachiever. Well, he's actually hard working and super talented and you just call him an overachiever because it's nearly unbearable how freakin' flawless he is. His concepts, drawing skills, models, and presentations are top drawer without fail, and besides academics, he's impeccably dressed, has the coolest new music you haven't heard yet blasting on his iPod, and of course, the fashion chicks love him. Yes, it's easy to hate on someone who makes life look so easy, but remember that you are who you hang out with and you might be able to learn a thing or two from Mr. Perfect.

"The Lady"

She's smart and she knows it. She's got mad skills and awesome ideas but always points her concepts to a female audience. If the assignment was to design a new urinal, she'd find a way to gear it toward the girls. Pretty sexist huh? Not so fast. This lady is ahead of many who don't understand who their user is or even why it's an important thing to comprehend. Sure, she gets a little extreme at times, but she designs for a defined user, which is an important step in the design process that can help immensely in creating effective solutions.

"The Dude"

Duuuuude. According to this guy, innovation means coming up with the gnarliest tricks on his skateboard...and if designing new-fangled decks, trucks, and other skate gear supports the stoke, he'll put his pen to paper and/or mouse to Solidworks. The whole class rolls its collective eye when it's his turn to present, but honestly--how many students feel as passionate about what they design? Make sure to hang out with his royal radness during late nights at the studio because motivation and enthusiasm are contagious.

"The Cyborg"

She wishes she was from the future. Her dream boy is Geordi La Forge. She's all about nanotechnology. Can she tell you exactly what it is and how it can be applied? Well, just give her a second to look it up on Wikipedia. If it's not nanotech, it's infrared. If it's not infrared, it's bluetooth. If it's not bluetooth, you can bet she's got something up her techno-sleeve. Your class gadget dork doesn't always know exactly how her tech flavor of the week will be implemented, but she'll spit enough jargon to convince you it works. She'll produce a mean-looking, but non-working prototype and a long winded explanation for finals. Try not to fall asleep though. Part of being a great designer means keeping abreast of the latest technologies that can enhance your already awesome concepts. So sit up straight and pay attention. It's rude to yawn and nod off during someone else's presentation anyway.

"The Space Cadet"

Yeah, everyone knows he should switch majors. Maybe something like...glassblowing? He's always hungry, looks perpetually sleepy, and laughs a lot, even before you tell a joke. He's always late (given he makes it to class) and makes many a professor furious. But somehow, he always manages to slip on through with passing grades. He's talented and creative but perhaps a bit too laid back. This particular course of action isn't recommended, but his ultra chill attitude does come in handy during stressful times like right before finals or when he's being publicly humiliated, yet again, for tardiness. Calmness is a virtue. Take a "breather" with him around 2 a.m. if you plan on working all night 'til class starts.

Special thanks to "models" Bryan Haggerty and Jessica de Oliveira
Photos: Jeannie Choe