INspiring Design Thinkers & Makers: Introducing Eva
Our mission at DesignX is to develop and offer programs where every child’s creative voice is heard and expressed. While we use Fashion and Toys as a means to an end we are fortunate to often meet students that walk away with so much more, feeling inspired to pursue design beyond DesignX. Meet one such student, Eva D’Antonio. She is currently a sixth grader and has participated in our programs since she was in Kindergarten (first through DezignKidz and now through DesignX)
We sat down with Eva and her mom, Kim, to talk to them about her creative journey participating in everyone of our programs all the way through elementary school and who has in the process developed a passion for the design fields.
What made you choose DesignX for your child?
Kim: I was so impressed with how the camp was run and how Eva made high quality items in a matter of a week. I remember thinking, “No way, how are they going to do this?” and I remember being so surprised and proud when I saw what she had created
Of all the camps we’ve tried, and there have been many, this is by far the best value in the Bay Area. (Thank You Kim - we are honored).
What do you think kids gained most from participating in DesignX programs. Have you noticed a difference in the way they express their creativity and problem solving ability?
Kim: Eva has said to me that she loved all of the skills she learned in terms of techniques while designing and that she was never told that she had to make an item a specific way. Her creativity was embraced and there was so much room for creative expression.
I also loved that she was taught practical skills like how to sew and how to create items that she could apply to everyday life. In other design programs, students have to build on a skill for years before they can actually start producing products. Eva would come home from the program and immediately start making accessories for her family and friends. There were so many things she could do with the skills that she learned in just one week.
The best thing about DesignX is that there is room to be creative and then implement those ideas all in one week. For young kids to be able to create something that they can actually wear or use is so impressive.
Because of the programs, Eva now has the confidence to be bold and try new designs. It is so nice that she gained this foundation from DesignX.
Eva, you are so young and you already seem to know what you want to do in college. What inspired you to want to pursue Design as a possible path in college and beyond?
Eva: Design has always been a fun way for me to express myself. I wanted an outlet where I could be creative and have a fun at the same time.
What are your three most favorite parts about the DesignX programs?
Eva: My favorites parts would have to be (1) I really enjoyed making a collage (mood board) in the beginning of the program to find out what our sense of style is. (2) I love how they teach the students that if we mess up, it’s not a mistake, we can create something new out of it. (3) In the beginning of one of the programs, we would make a prototype of an item and then over the course of the week, we would design a larger model. It was cool to see something that was once so small, be used for everyday life.
We say the "X" in our name refers to the unique design voice that each one of our budding designer-maker brings to class, what do you think is your designer voice?
Eva: I love crazy and bright colors as well as soft more neutral colors. I also really like items that are comfortable. There are so many times in the fashion industry where I have looked at a product and said out loud, “Well that can’t be comfortable.”
I love the idea of feeling like I am floating on a cloud.
Have you worked on projects beyond the summer program?
Eva: Yes! I started off making tiny little bags that I would make for family members. Then my grandma encouraged me to push myself so I started making dresses for dolls. My favorite doll design dress was a ball gown I created for my American Girl Doll.
I have also made pencil case bags and decor that I can hang in my room. For my last birthday, my grandma bought me a sewing machine which has been really fun to use.
Have you designed and made clothing for others? If yes, what were some of the most challenging parts?
Eva: I have, mostly for my family and a few of my friends. I make pencil bags, clothing and I have also made earrings. The most challenging part is that I don’t know if things are going to fit or if it will look good on them.
At DesignX, we pride ourselves on allowing our students to be creative while teaching them the practical skills they need to put their ideas into action. It is truly wonderful to see students take what they have learned in our program and apply it outside of DesignX.
We can’t wait to see what Eva has in store for the fashion industry and wish her luck as she continues her creative journey in Junior High and beyond!