Bio

I’m an academic.

I started my college experience at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. I majored in Web Design & New Media with an emphasis in user experience design. I learned a lot in my three years there, but ultimately decided to transfer.

Currently, I’m a senior at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My major is Communication Design, my minor is Ethics, and I have a concentration in Psychology. It's interesting to see how these fields compliment each other, and my work has definitely seen improvement at all levels in unexpected ways through the study of each of the three.

If you’re ever in the mood for a conversation about the philosophy or research of any of my fields of study, then I'm always up for it. Or, if you just want me to explain the underpinnings of something I say or do, then please ask away.

I’m applying to grad schools right now, and plan to begin this next part of my formal scholarship in autumn. My long-term academic goal is to earn a Ph.D in Design.

One day, after my hair starts to gray, I’d like to return to academia as a professor. Perhaps I’ll keep whatever job I have when that day comes. I've got a while to figure that one out.

I’m a professional.

Design work usually needs to be done on a tight schedule, but it’s also one of those things that is always worth taking the time to get right. I understand this balance, so I promise all my clients my full attention, highest quality work, honest progress updates, and on-time delivery.

I only take one client at a time during the school year, but once you’re a client, you’ll always be given time when needed.

These are some of my clients:

  • Howard-Sneed Architecture
  • Varaya Photoceuticals
  • Team APEX
  • ALLIES
  • CMU Humanist League
  • Integrated Resource Recovery, Inc.

After I finish my schooling, I’d like to have a full-time career in the design industry. This might mean at an established techie company, a disruptive start-up, or a design firm. Because of my grad school ambitions, that's a while away though. For now though, I'm looking for full-time summer work to get more insight into the non-freelance, non-academic side of the design world. (But rest assured, I'll keep taking care of my clients.)

I like to play.

If I only did one thing – even design – then life would be boring. A healthy work-life balance is a good thing for everybody.

Archery is one of my big life passions. I was on my regional junior olympic team as a kid, was the archery instructor for four summers at Montecito Sequoia Lodge (tell them “Apache” sent you), and started the Archery Club at Carnegie Mellon University.

I also love swimming. As a kid, I used to like racing other people in the pool (even if they didn’t know it). College has given me the opportunity to swim in an organized program, and it’s been great.

Video games are pretty fun too. I don’t play them as much as I did when I was younger, but every once in a while, a strategy or mech-pilot game will come out and take some of my money. And sure, I'll admit that part of my enjoyment comes from mercilessly nitpicking reimagining the user interface design.

Movies are one of my favorite ways to unwind, either with friends or by myself. Some of my favorites are Yojimbo, Star Wars (the original trilogy), Casablanca, Ocean’s Eleven, and Ip Man.

© James A. Laslavic, 2007–2013.