Today we’d like to introduce you to Miranda Lapour.
Miranda, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was raised in a small town in South Dakota. My first and fondest memories are spending time at my grandparent’s farm, exploring and getting into trouble. I was always a curious and stubborn kid, traits that would surprisingly lead to my career as a designer. The charms of small-town life quickly wore off, as I yearned to be a part of something bigger. This led me to study in Minneapolis as an Aesthetician and the feeling persisted until I made my way out to sunny California. Although I had a busy career in skincare, I took as many art and design courses at community college as I could fit into my schedule. There still remained a curiosity that only creative practices could liberate. I met my mentor at PCC and he challenged me to think in ways I never had. My stubbornness and curiosity made a perfect cocktail for design and I was quickly accepted at ArtCenter College of Design in the Product Design program. Here, I’ve found my tool to tackle big problems through creative strategy. I emphasize social and environmental impacts in the work I do, hoping to see a design revolution solve some of the challenges we face as a modern society. My background is my backbone, as I hold on to my values like treasures I’ve picked up along the way. This drives my ethics, and they drive the work I’m so happy to do.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’m using design to look at the bigger picture. My perspective is broad, so I can see the systems at work and all the ‘cogs in the machine.’ This means that sometimes instead of designing a thing, I design the way that thing is made or the way it makes someone feel. Sustainability- socially, environmentally, and economically – is my guiding principle. I make considerations about the impacts that design can have on the world around us. Design can be used to create litter, but I choose to use it to shift paradigms that will change the trajectory of our future. I’ve created systems that empower volunteers in Chile to reach their potential, but also train companies to recognize the needs of the individual. I’ve helped many people build frameworks to turn their experience into tangible solutions like: robotics engineers at JPL working on grant proposals, business professionals in Singapore understanding design thinking, and college faculty and students at ArtCenter trailblazing new initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion. I’ve developed solutions for food and material waste for single-person households all the way up to new circular business plans for major corporations. I’m challenging the limits of what design can do, bringing creative thinking to the conception of an idea. It’s an exciting time to be in this role when there is no shortage of big issues to take on!
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
It’s a fantastic time to be an artist, but I encourage all of us to think critically about the messages we promote. After all, art and design are the signatures of culture. They tell the stories that generations look back to. We cannot take what we do lightly. I don’t particularly advocate for things being ‘easy’, but I think it needs to be accessible! For starters, we need to recognize the diversity and equity of the voices heard. Collaboration is at the heart of solution making, so we better make sure everyone is accounted for or we’re doing a huge disservice. I see my field heading that way, but I think the more pressure artists and designers put on the status quo, the better. Also, education is power! We can’t fail our future by devaluing the importance of education by making it absolutely crippling financially, if available at all. Speaking of BIG problems, there’s a doozy for you!
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I would greatly encourage people to visit ArtCenter’s Grad Show on Friday, December 20th (2019) from 12 noon to 5. I will have my own exhibition there among an insanely talented cohort of fellow designers. The 14 of us in the Product Design department are showing one of the most diverse displays of work and critical thinking that the department has seen in a while. Not to mention, all the other majors will also be exhibiting their work as well. It’s not to be missed! We will be filling up the entire Pasadena Convention Center, so come check us out!
To see my projects in full, check out my website: mirandalapour.com
- Website: mirandalapour.com
Yixuan Liu, Alexander Heying