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About

ABOUT

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👋Hi, I'm Azucena (Ah-Sue-Seh-Nah). I’m a product and experience designer, artist, researcher, educator, something or other-er with 10 years of visual design experience. Currently, I’m seeking new opportunities to responsibly solve for complex problems.

🔍My UX practice emphasizes a human-centered process with a socio-technical lens. Layering an MFA in Interaction Design with undergrad studies in graphic design and sociology, I appreciate the complexity of problems and strive to design comprehensive solutions that fulfill user needs, while also considering the wider systems and cultural contexts in which the problem exists and where potential solutions will live. I enjoy a collaborative work environment and participating in all parts of the design process from working with users to understand their needs, to ideating, designing, and bringing visual excellence and a little magic to physical and digital products, services, and narrative-driven, immersive experiences.

🤓I love learning. I love sharing. I’ve earned four degrees, have benefitted immeasurably from mentors, and have had the pleasure of teaching Design Narrative at my alma-matter Loyola University New Orleans. I’ve also enjoyed giving talks to undergrads at UNT on developing their artistic voices.

☠️I’ve spent the past two years designing for end-of-life experiences. I earned an MFA in Interaction Design from the School of Visual Arts in New York where my thesis project explored planning for End-of-Life. I’ve successfully launched and funded a Kickstarter project call Recuerdos: Momento Mori; an enamel pin project creating a visible marker and conversation starter to connect people who've experienced loss. I’ve also created and facilitated workshops to help empower people in imagining their preferred futures for end-of-life care.

I’m a mascot for exploring the imagination. I like speculative design, sci-fi, LatinxFuturism and AfroFuturism and enjoy exploring where physical design and digital media meet. These interests have bled into some experimental work like imagining a treeless future and investigating blockchain in religious contexts.

👾I’m an avid volunteer-er and enjoy supporting causes in the civic, arts, and educational realms. It all started with service club in elementary school and then led to my pledging Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity in college and continues today. I’ve had the pleasure of setting up and running a Children’s Defense Fund summer camp, teaching ESL classes, flipping seats with Tech For Campaigns, serving on the AIGA New Orleans executive board and more. Currently, I’m part of the IxDA Interaction Design Awards committee, where I help elevate and share work that demonstrates how interaction design impacts lives around the globe.

🐜Random Bits. I co-founded a design collective called Vapor Ants (Formerly know as Picnic). I enjoy salsa dancing and am striving towards a dizzy-less spin. I was once a guinea pig for NASA.

🔗Links. I’ve got some. Email | Twitter | Are.na | LinkedIn | Résumé

✂️TL;DR; I like hands-on problem-solving and am pretty good at critical thinking, listening to users, conceptual ideation, storytelling, making things aesthetically pleasing, learning, and taking a holistic view of complex problems. Hire me.


ARTIST STATEMENT

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Azucena Romá, a Latin American visual artist, creates site specific work with dyed sawdust, flowers and found materials. Romá reinterprets traditional folk art techniques, specifically the Alfombras de Aserrín associated with Mayan culture in her parents' native country of Guatemala, using typography and pattern making. The richly colored ephemeral works, most often displayed in public and community spaces, are subject to the impact of the environment. The work is temporal and fleeting, revived through personal memory and effaced by time. The long and meticulous process of creating patterns in public spaces, juxtaposed by the impermanence of sawdust as an art medium, contextualizes notions of change, transience, eventual decay and death.  

Further subtleties within Romá’s work can be traced back to her personal narrative, one directly influenced by cultural heritage and nationality. Through both process and medium, Romá is examining deeper questions of personal identity and sense of place, reflecting upon the relationship of a first generation immigrant to that of their ancestral origins. Romá’s proclivity to fold traditional methods of making Alfombras into her contemporary art practice is a creative hybridity that ensures a future for familial traditions that would otherwise appear lost. By consciously morphing and weaving traditions of bequeathed folk culture into her practice, Romá reveals a new story; one that is identifiable as her own.


C.V.

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Education —
+ MFA Interaction Design, School of Visual Arts, New York
+ BA Graphic Design, Loyola New Orleans
+ BA Sociology, University of New Orleans
+ BA Film, Theatre, Communication Arts, University of New Orleans

Teaching —

+ Print and Design Narrative, Loyola New Orleans, 2014-2016, 2019
+ Typography for Web, StartUp Institute, 2017

Community Futuring Workshops —
+ Designing Your Funeral Ritual, Future Project, 2018
+ Designing Your Funeral Ritual, Re:Imagine Week NYC, 2018
+ Designing Your Funeral Ritual, Design Dream Lab, 2018

Lectures —
+ Finding Your Creative Voice, University of North Texas, 2018

Select Press —
+
Vice News, Wired, Bloomberg, Forbes, Complex

Awards & Honors —
+ Consensys Ethereal Arts Grant, New York, NY, 2018
+ Alumni Society Scholarship, School of Visual Arts, 2018
+ MFA Interaction Design Departmental Teaching Assistantship, School of Visual Arts 2016 - 2018
+ MFA Interaction Design Departmental Scholarship, School of Visual Arts 2016 - 2018
+ AIGA (Re)Design Awards: Student 1st Place Social Responsibility, 2011
+ AIGA New Orleans Entertainment Web Design: Student 1st Place, 2009

Volunteer Work —
+ Committee Member, IxDA Interaction Design Awards, 2018 - Present
+ Social Engagement Director, AIGA New Orleans Executive Board, 2012-2014
+ Social Media, Primer19 Futures For All Conference, The Design Futures Initiative, 2019
+ Visual Designer, Tech For Campaigns, 2018
+ Social Media, IxDA Interaction Design Conference 2016 - 2018

Select Exhibitions —
+ DevCon4 Ethereum Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, 2018
+ Ethereal Arts Summit, Knockdown Center, New York, NY, 2018
+ Murmurs From The Planet Earth, SVA Chelsea Gallery, New York, NY, 2017
+ SCOPE Art Fair, Miami, FL, 2014
+ Prospect 3+ The Nature of Now, , New Orleans, LA, 2015 
+ Femme Fest, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Gallery, New Orleans, LA, 2013
+ Folk Art Tent, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, New Orleans, LA, 2012 
+ Nola Now Part II: Landscape, Seascape, CityscapeI Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA , 2012
+ Swatch & Kern, Collins C. Diboll Gallery, New Orleans, LA, 2011