Fernanda, Class of 2016
Fernanda Flores | Design Strategist
Fernanda Flores is a Design Strategist with a background across a variety of design fields, including architecture and industrial design. She works at Verdes, an innovation and design consultancy where she helps address client objectives by applying design and human-centric approach to problem solving. She enjoys being able to become an “expert” in many different industries through her work as design strategist. It is this deep understanding—plus an outsider’s perspective—that she believes makes design strategists great at developing solutions that successfully address the real problems addressed within briefs. Fernanda has worked on a wide range of strategy, design, and innovation projects across industries that include retail, healthcare, apparel, entertainment, and food and beverage. She recently became Part-Time Faculty in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons where she enjoy pushing the boundaries of student’s projects.
What does Strategic Design mean to you?
It’s the application of the design process into many different, non-design industries. It means to create a plan that will best help us achieve a goal, and always thinking beyond the end user to consider systems, community, politics, and any other factors that impact or can be impacted by our solution.
How have you applied what you learned in the MS SDM program to your post-graduation career?
I apply the general process of developing a project. Also just presenting—with all the reviews and presentations we had to do at Parsons, it helped me build the confidence to present to clients today.
What is your favorite memory from your time in the MS SDM program, and/or in NYC?
Mostly meeting the people who are now my close friends. I met super talented people at the program that challenged me to do better and think differently, and we’ve remained friends after graduation.
What three things do you feel makes the MS SDM program special?
- It’s a program where many different practices come together, which makes collaboration super interesting.
- Parsons is in NY, a place that challenges you to be at the top of your game;
- The professors are really good, and bring their professional experience to the classroom.
Has your MS SDM cohort been a valuable part of your professional network since graduation?
I love to see what some of my parsons friends are doing, it’s always very inspiring. They are a valuable part of my life, because they are great people and I value their friendships.
Tell us about a time when an MS SDM professor inspired you:
Mark Kroeckel was always very inspiring. His feedback is super on-point and it forces you to push and push the boundaries of a project. It’s also a very realistic experience as to what its like to develop a real-world project.
Which projects helped you build your desired expertise and what sectors, companies, or clients you have worked with since graduation?
The research class helped build experience in something that I use everyday at my current position. Since graduation I’ve worked, along with a team of very talented people, in projects with clients like Puma, Spotify, Ebay, Target, Humana, and Twitter amongst many others.