Claudia Aguilera Guardado: 2013 Innovative Use of Technology in a Thesis or Dissertation Winner

May 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

On April 29, 2014 UNCG held its Honors Convocation award ceremony.  One of the awards was UNCG’s Innovative Use of Technology in a Thesis or Dissertation, which fellow IArc [grad] student, Claudia Aguilera Guardado, won for her thesis (description below).  In order to participate, one has to be nominated by their Department.  She became aware of the competition a few months before her thesis was due and spoke to Stoel Burrowes – her thesis chair – about it and was very supportive of the idea.  After graduating in December of last year with an M.F.A in Interior Architecture, Claudia left to her home country, El Salvador.  In March of this year, she received an email from  Dean Associates of the Graduate School, Laura Chesack PhD, letting her know she had been nominated and won!

When asked of her feelings for winning, she said:

I feel HAPPY! I feel proud of my professors, because they knew how to guide me in the whole process of my thesis, thanks to their help and support I got the award. I am glad they also believed in me and in my project. Also, I feel lucky, not only for having the opportunity to compete, but for having the best education while I was in the United States. I think this award was like the cherry on top of my vanilla ice cream! I feel very motivated to continue my research and see where it takes me.”

And at an attempt to summarize her thesis in a paragraph:

My thesis is about the development of a system of design that is a tool to communicate identity to products. The system of design was expressed through a Graphic Matrix that combining both, old and new, manufacturing technologies decomposes craft examples from El Salvador to create new products. The hierarchy of information helped to organize and visualize efficiently all the phases of decomposition. The craft examples from El Salvador go through all the phases in order to extract characteristics to be incorporated in the new product. The products created to test this Graphic Matrix were vessels and light fixtures using digital fabrication technology.”

Claudia has participated in several competitions, such as 2012 IDEC South Regional Conference at Richmond, VA, Center for Visual Artists Gallery and Phillips Collection Competition, and 2013 IDEC South Regional Conference at Peachtree, GA.  She received an honorable mention at Skewed Design 2012 – 7th Annual Chair Competition at Appalachian State University.  She has also won 1st Place in the Creative Arts Category at UNCG’s 2012 Graduate Research and Creative Expo.  As for her plans, Claudia is currently teaching for her home University “Dr. José Matías Delgado”, where she has to teach for 2 years as part of her Fulbright Scholarship award. She is also helping and getting involved with a non-profit organization “FABLAB EL SALVADOR” which is a new initiative that promotes digital fabrication and the Maker Movement in El Salvador. Claudia plans to continue her research and study a postgraduate degree on design thinking for business. As for being back in her country, “Being back feels good! I am back with my family and friends after almost 3 years of being away from home. Some days are hard because I got used to being in the USA, so I miss my time at UNCG a lot. I try to keep myself busy, it is helping smoothly with the transition. I never thought I was going to have a cultural shock but I am adapting back to my culture and that feels good!”

We want to congratulate her on her success and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Claudia Aguilera Guardado with her award

Claudia with her award

Contributed by Linda Melendez [2nd] year

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