Published: April 19, 2023

Ainsley WatkinsWhat year are you? 

Where are you from?
Saint Louis, Missouri

What inspired your decision to come to Environmental Design at CU Boulder?
My woodworking education throughout high school led me to seek out a program in which my desire to make things with my hands would be met and challenged.

Did you know right away that you wanted to major in product design? How/when did you know?
I felt pretty certain that I was drawn to product design within my first few weeks at ENVD but I didn’t know for sure until I had to make the choice to specialize in EPOD my sophomore year. I knew it was the right choice for me when it came down to what sort of work I wanted to be doing during my time in the program. Hands-on problem solving and material studies appealed to me and solidified that choice.

What has the program taught you about yourself as you’ve taken on your educational career?
ENVD has taught me so much about the ways I work best. Pen to paper sketching and tangible, hands-on prototyping hugely outweigh digital means of illustration and development. I have also been asked to do a lot of reflection around my identity and values as a designer which translates so heavily into the lifelong practice of being a human.

What would you like to do upon graduating from Environmental Design?
Smile, share some hugs and kisses, maybe move back to that mountain in New Mexico.

What tips or advice would you give to future design students?
You are not your best ideas nor are you your worst ones, your identity lies in your values and passions and how you choose to answer them