Young Sun Compton

Young Sun lives in Brooklyn, New york where he works as an interaction designer at a museum. At the time of applying to school, he was living in Jersey City, NJ working as a junior designer “doing mostly web stuff”.

I was born in the middle of the summer in the middle of New York City. The middle child of a lower middle-class family whose earliest memories are of dog days spent outdoors—exploring and wondering. At a young age I became enamored by the natural world and would collect field guides on plants, animals and geology. In school I would read what I had to while copying the illustrations and diagrams that accompanied those texts. I learned early on how text and image in tandem helped me better understand the world around me. My parents labeled me a curious child and now grown I find myself interested in many things, of which design sits comfortably at the peak. I try to link my interests by design. Literature and philosophy. Science and art. Reason and myth. All aspects of humanity and thought shadowed by design as means for their translation and dissemination.

What influences me the most within and outside of design are writings, works and artifacts that deal with interdisciplinary at their core. I am drawn to the work and sensibilities of the Winterhouse Studio and Institute; Kenya Hara and his philosophy of emptiness; the texts of poet-typographer Robert Bringhurst; Ellen Lupton and Abbot Miller and Design Writing Research and its concern with theory, media and history of Graphic Design; Stuart Bailey and his self reflexive publication Dot Dot Dot; the literary, critical and academic works of Italo Calvino; those grand ideas and integrities of R. Buckminster Fuller; and the lively story telling and films of Wes Anderson. It is through their works of that I find the greatest potential and promise in design. I find that design is not typically seen as a practice with focus on reflection. Instead methods of thinking-by-doing dominate the field, resulting in a struggle to meet the current/future needs of graphic design.

Like in my youth, the time I spent earning my undergraduate degree was one of research and exploration. I made sure my chosen projects would require more than an eye for design but also compelled research and understanding of a new topic. I used elective credits to take courses in geology and earth science to pursue my childhood interests and natural curiosities. I have taken this time following my graduation to gauge the field in a more real way. Real in the sense of how to do business and how to deal with clients; how to not merely abide by a clients rationale but to engage and partake in the process of creating a brand, website or promotional piece by design thinking instead.

My reasons for applying to the Maryland Institute College of Art are selfish ones I must admit mainly because of what I know about the school and its educators as purveyors of extraordinary competence and quality. My aim is to take what I have learned, as a child, young adult, undergraduate student and professional and work to focus my intentions and methodology. I am not through exploring, examining and questioning the field of design and its greater implications; economically, politically, socially and environmentally.