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Jacob Jayakaran

University of Cinncinati
Design Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient

In his own words:
In grade school, my classmates and I were asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. While many of the other children emphatically shouted out “fireman,” “astronaut,” “doctor,” I sat befuddled by the question. For a moment I tried to make a mental list of what jobs existed and, out of those, which one I would like to do. After the moment had passed, I realized I just couldn’t decide. I had no idea what I wanted to do, and worse still, how could I narrow down all the options to one? My response to the question was a simple “I don’t know.”

As the days went on, I continued to ponder the question, until we learned about Leonardo Da Vinci….This is when I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. Maybe it was partly due to childish indecision, or partly because I was attracted to the idea of combining different skills but mostly because I was drawn to pure creation. When I shared this with others however I was told that “he was genius,” “that was a different time period,” “it’s not realistic.” So I put that thought away for a while and continued searching for an answer. That was until I found out about industrial design.

…I was and still am enamored by how much variety and opportunity there is in the field. This is why the illustration of the “T-shaped Designer” resonates with me deeply….This model is so important to me because it further opened my eyes to all the different combinations of skills I could have and how I could use them to make a significant difference both in design and in the world as a whole. I feel that design allows me to be, as Bruce Lee said, like water; fluid and dynamic, using design as the base of many Ts creating an impact in many areas by using creation itself.

Selected Projects
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