“I love that we can explore different classes that extend beyond design, exposing me to other research techniques related to ethnography, sociology and psychology.”
Federica Caso, USA
- Program studied
Creatively engaging with the world around us
Federica is in her final year of the Bachelor in Design. Looking back on her decision to attend IE University, she notes the broad and diverse course offering as well as its close connections with the business sphere. This combination offered great insight into the business world—something that is unusual for an arts-based program.
Federica got her first taste of architecture visiting her grandfather’s house, who himself was an architect. She was fascinated by the transformation from a floor plan to a constructed building, and loved poring over the finer details. Back in Venezuela, she always engaged in a variety of extracurriculars. Federica played tennis and volleyball, while always exploring her interest in art. When she moved to Miami, art became an escape of sorts as she transitioned to the new environment.
When she graduated high school, Federica wanted to travel to Italy to dive deeper into what is, for her, the pinnacle of design—Italian design. She studied interior design for one year, while immersing herself in the historical and artistic environment of Florence. Working in Florence and studying design was like living in a museum, where the whole city was a gallery full of beautiful paintings and sculptures.
The experience was hugely enriching, and led her to decide to expand her understanding of design in Segovia at IE University. Making the transition from Florence to Segovia wasn’t without its difficulties, yet Federica felt right at home in the close-knit Segovia community, with its like-minded yet diverse students from around the world.
In her final two years, she made the move to the bustling Madrid campus. Immersing herself in the city, she visited the famous museums and attended a variety of networking events. During her second semester on campus, Federica began an internship where she helped organize various campus events. After two months working as an intern and studying in parallel, COVID-19 hit. There was a quick transition to Liquid Learning and connecting online, where she and her classmates had to adapt to the new way of working. This was a challenging process, and put in relief a lot of the things she took for granted before the pandemic hit, offering a period of reflection and growth.
One of the aspects Federica enjoys most about the Bachelor in Design is the opportunity to explore a range of classes that extend beyond the design world. In addition, she has been exposed to different research technique classes related to ethnography, sociology and psychology. This holistic approach has enabled her to better understand customers and their needs, enriching the design process and enabling her to create products and services that add value to society. In addition, Federica took part in the Culture Lab, where she and her teammates worked together to develop a business plan to facilitate an archaeological site. This allowed her to dive deeper into history and culture, where she could combine design thinking with customer needs. She was able to learn from the past and the present while creating valuable services for the future.
This experience led Federica to her final master’s project, where she is working on the concept of nomadism and its evolution. While nomadism conjures images of primitive communities, people nowadays are nomads in their own way through technology. Nomads of the past were transient in their search for food and shelter, whereas today’s nomads are searching for different needs. Looking at this concept through the lens of design, Federica has been exploring whether people will continue to travel physically, or become digital nomads. Her own constant curiosity for the world around her has fed her drive to explore this cutting-edge topic.
Federica’s advice to other students is to explore all fields and take every opportunity on offer, even those that aren’t directly related to your particular program. Indeed, going beyond the design world has enriched her own projects, as she is able to apply design thinking to an array of initiatives, problems or ventures.
This 360-degree approach has equipped Federica with a global mindset for pursuing her professional goals outside of IE University. She hopes to join a company or studio that would enable her to develop her skills and apply the design thinking methodologies she has acquired during her bachelor’s to different sectors. In the long term, she aspires to open her own studio in her home country or elsewhere in South America, where she believes design could bring a lot of value to people and companies alike.