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From Where in This World? Born and raised in the city of Brasov, in post-communist Romania, I can definitely say that I am from a unique moment in history. I was born shortly after the Revolution, when Romania, as we know her today, was born. We grew up together, Romania and I, in the 90s. This was a time of rapid exodus, when many in search of a better life left their homes and all their belongings behind. My vivid imagination would cook up wild stories for all these abandoned things. I felt like an explorer with everything they could ever want at their fingertips. I am glad I had such a strong imagination; it played an indispensable role in my adaptability, without which I would never have been capable of arriving where I am in life. I went to three different high schools and three different colleges as a result of a transient life. This constant moving from place to place, which dramatically broadened my worldview, also required me to adapt to new social and cultural environments. Over the years, I learned four foreign languages out of my love for communication and human connection. And, to really test the limits of my ability to adapt, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps. All these vastly different and challenging parts of my life fostered my innate curiosity and creativity, while simultaneously affording me the opportunity to put those traits to good use. Given this eclectic toolbox, that I call my background, I am more confident than ever that the only place where I can apply all my skills are in the boundless world of design. I am eager to incorporate literary ideas that speak to human behavior and environment. These ideas can be seen another way of understanding user experience. I only started understanding literary texts in this manner after studying German Literature and Culture at Columbia. I was fascinated by the concept of alienation and importance of interior as analyzed by Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt. How could I bring these literary ideas to life? With the aid of a master’s program and guidance from professors, I believe I can develop these ideas into design. I would like to couple them with my logistics and supply chain experience from the Marine Corps because design also represents the well-thought process, much like the workflow in a supply chain. Overall, I am excited to become a designer that started her journey in a desire to connect with others and help create a better living environment through my work.


Table of Contents From Where in This World?: Personal Statement


I Am Here: Series of Portraits


Handmade Jewelry


Give Me: Series of Street Art


Function Over Form: Poems


Water: Series of Landscapes


Form First: A Crooked Shelf


Halloween Props: A Costume Hat


Light Series


Where the Sun Wakes Up: Children’s Book


Rainfall: Children’s Book



I am here—is what I told everyone before I took the picture. I asked people to pose according to what that sentence means to them. My choice of who to photograph was based on the story I thought was behind the image. I then selected the photographs that embodied what I saw behind the image combined with the pose that each person struck. The combination of those two elements resulted in this portrait series.



I love my community in Astoria. My jewelry making process is the result of my friendship with Jewels Buddha shop owners. I struck a conversation, then we had tea on a regular basis, and then I ended up being their apprentice. I learned wire wrapping techniques for setting stones as well as basic bracelet making.



This series of street art informs the viewers what the creators would want to see instead. I found these urban landscapes inspiring as they added color, beauty, and motion to what otherwise would be perceived simple as walls, or overlooked altogether.





a o     I  thought  I  saw  you  once  in  the  lagoon,  or  w hat  looked  like  your  body.     The  steam  rising  in  glorifying  dance  worshipped  the  g ods     illars  o f water  perturbed  my  alabaster  face  seeking  yours     Freya  said  not  today,  so  I  sink  deeper  in  warm  blue  ripples     Just  two  days  later  I  thought  of  diving  straight  down  into  a  volcano     To  find  the  s ecrets  of  its  dormant  love  that  now  for  decades  rest  in  stone.     It  said  that  l ove  was  always  there  for  me  to  grab  onto.     ike  the  e tra  step  that  horses  h ere  do  take,       ike  lakes  too  cold,  that  only  i n  three  minutes  take  your  breath     Yet  deeper  than  ages  of  hardened  sugary  rock  gates  of  a heart     Is  your  own  self  for  now  trapped  in  white  silky  labyrinths     Screaming  your  name  in  pink  and  p urple     But  you  confuse  it  with  the  night’s  dwarves,  and  let  that  voice     Sail  further  north  than  you  could  ever  chase  it  u ntil  it’s  lost  in  translucent  icebergs     Take  brown  ships  then,  because  y ou’ll  need  to  float  on  all  the  tears  you  shed     In  colorless,   uiet,  void,  naked  days     Back  to  the  voice,  that  inner  self,  that  only  instinct  will  provide  insight.       That  day  you’ll  l earn  what  hearts  in  deep  volcanoes  hide     That  day  you’ll  uncover,  the  secrets  of  all  things,  a nd  life     Fly  on  your  love  bones  into  the  abyss.          

Chivas Brothers       Fine,   She’s  a  fine  one  lad.   You  might  be  a  wee  chap   But  that  lassie  over  there  is  a  bonnie.   I  saw  her  golden  locks  breaking  the  fog   Yesterday,  hiking  the  highlands  near  that  loch.   Today  walking  the  royal  mile  on  cobbled  paths   Tomorrow  sure  enough  in  Aberdeen   Buy  her  a  beer,  pastry  and  soup   Take  her  left  hand  wherever   You  would  desire,  lad   Just  take  it  now   Before  night’s   Fog  will   Fall.                                                              



otato o     I  closed  my  eyes  and  fall  on  my  back  in  a  warm  blue  pool   That  reminded  me  that     everything     is     simply   one.   I  closed  my  eyes,  and  felt.  I  felt  it  all  in  me  again.     I  cried  in  love,  of  beauty  that  was  left     everywhere     for     me     to     use.   verwhelmed  by  such  generosity,  I  stumbled  in  my  words   ouldn’t  let  out  what  I  had  found  in  me.     I  cried  that  day  in   purple  butterflies  and  screamed  in   green  birds.   n  lines  of   gold  I  drifted  to  you.  A  voice  I’ve  never  heard,  spoke   In  sweet  silver,  of  something  I  didn’t  know.  But  left  me  smiling   All  wounds  welded  together  with  titanium.     I  learned  that  day,  lying  on  waters  all  the  way  to  my  ears,  sometimes  my  belly   That  all  I  need,  I  had  but  was  too  much  for  me.   Some  day  I’ll  unpack  my  suitcase,  and     wear     that    gown     for    a     walt .  


My Dream __________

Ironworking a dissonant world where some instruments should not sing in a certain register she knew it would be the same as a Journeyman. she knew technique. that’s like having class you can’t buy that shit

the wall had skid marks… I took a white soft rectangle and left my marks on the wall over the scars a Poet doesn’t have to leave anything behind

The Journeyman leads a group of people………………………………………………………….. each with their different tools. Having worked on LOFTY projects……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… she knows what is to solve………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… most importantly how: {the how confusinG} X is X { what? [ SETS (scaffolding, stage, sun, skill)

People]- apart} =

the how is confusing and that is what sets people apart All put aside the how prowls. It is quietly smelling its environment its space. Being one of the locals takes ears and eyes and time… And that takes time… It takes time!… And that takes patience… laced with tact of the borrowed Sweet Orange Peel Voice: this is the recipe of success i hear at least that is what I can make out of the situation. they say having a tall glass of humbleness would help one get far in life. i drink my cheap beer to irrigate my thirst for cold

Cultural Dialog translation provided by the American Academy, you know, the one like L’Académie Française Valeria: B:

I don’t like it. like what? in simple, clear language what is happening to me

Valeria: But… still,


horrible me I can’t

they’re just things that happened to you. It makes sad to think about you like that, because love you, and I stand the you in pain.

these things happened

Valeria: You’ve no sensibility. B:

i’m bothered you can’t respect the existence of all events that happened “to me”. what you call “sensitivity” suffocates black all existence around you porous convictions of things “good” or “bad” >as if you are a 2D stick figure not < a 3D human being. First things’ existences are. Then you add the color of what you see in water. this is what you call your opinion that you throw up all over everyone. Your opinion

is as invisible “to me” as everything that happened. Insensitive my ass you crude bitch.


Iceland is one of my favorite places in the world because of all the natural activity. They use geothermal heating due to all the underground hot springs. This series of landscapes captures my fascination with all the forms through which we encounter water, from incredibly hot springs, to clouds, a glacier and waterfalls.





During my woodworking apprenticeship, I wanted to build a shelf that is functionally sound but looks crooked. I learned at DeSantis Designs that you can easily add curves and create a delicate yet powerful design.


Michele Clapton is one of my favorite costume designers because she materializes soft skills and traits of her characters into the costumes she creates. This series shows my attempt to create a Finn hat. Finn is a cartoon character who always wears this hat. The top left corner picture show my first attempt at cutting the material and making the hat. As soon as I cut the material I realized it was too small to fit a head. I made changes and learned from each step how to adjust until on the fifth try, I finally made a hat.






“When children think up stories, they are like theater directors who refuse to submit to censoring by ‘sense.’” –Walter Benjamin, A Glimpse into the World of Children’s Books

I made these children’s books in order to engage their senses as well as boost their creativity. By including collages, felt and various paper I wanted to engage my four-year-old niece’s senses in the story. Then I played with space to create an open atmosphere and encourage her to imagine what else could be in the space in between. I also noticed she gets very frustrated when she cannot color within the lines or be consistent in writing letters. This book aims to show her that imperfections are welcomed. I hope that this way she will be more encouraged to draw and do arts and crafts herself as well as simply letting her imagination run wild.




“In short, pure color is the medium of fantasy, a home among clouds for the playful child, not the strict canon of the constructive artist.” –Walter Benjamin, A Glimpse into the World of Children’s Books

Fairy tales were a big part of my childhood. I imagined being the protagonist travelling to fantastic lands even when I was simply swinging on a swing. This book aimed to engage my two-year-old nephew by introducing his favorite household objects and a short story full of color.




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