Summer Design Academy: A Student Perspective

Today’s featured post comes courtesy of Brian LaManna, one of the attendees of our Summer Design Academy at Nike.  Brian is a high school student who traveled all the way from the Chicago area to join us at the academy and was kind of enough to spend some time sharing his experience on our blog.  Nice job Brian.  I look forward to seeing you again down the road and am excited to see where your career takes you…keep chasing your dreams!

I decided to attend the Nike Creative Design Academy because I saw it as a once in a lifetime experience. Nike is one of the most influential companies in the world and the opportunity to learn from them was too much to pass up. I plan to study marketing in college, but I’ve always had a huge recreational interest in shoes. Travelling from Chicago to Oregon I understood wouldn’t be easy, but I knew I would have no regrets attending. I was right.

The Nike campus felt like a vacation spot. The scenery was beautiful, the buildings were state of the art, and the employees were incredibly friendly people. The culture at Nike is something only one attending can fully understand. The designers we met inspired us with their self-made success stories of how they ended up at Nike Inc.

The Design Academy did a tremendous job reviewing many of their previous created shoes, and the steps it took in putting them on the shelf. We learned that shoes are so much more than just looks as they are all designed with inspiration to tell a story in one way or another. With the creation of the shoes, we learned that there are two different main jobs in the creation. The sketch artist draws the shoe in pencil, and the color graphic designer comes up with not only the color scheme, but he or she makes sure the manufacturer turns the piece of paper into the top selling shoe they envision. After we were done hearing from designers and touring the campus, we sketched our own shoes with something that inspired us on our trip and later we presented to the group.

My once in a lifetime experience to Nike Headquarters will be one that is never forgotten. I was inspired along my trip to be open to ideas and always do something in life that you love and are passionate about. The importance of networking was reinforced as well, and my first step in following that advice will to keep in contact with the designers and Chris Lindauer at Sports Career Consulting, who I thank so much for making this opportunity possible.

Brian's sketch from the design workshop at the academy