M.F.A. in Visual Communication Design
Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
I have a bachelor in Industrial Design from Tehran University of Art. My bachelor studies improved my technical skills such as sketching, 3D modeling, and product design. I have learned how to make variations for a new product; however, I still need to learn more about how and why those variations should be designed for a specific purpose. Visual Communication Design emphasizes user-centered design. It mainly represents how to interact with and learn from users and what they expect from a product or a service. Visual Communication Design introduces design thinking processes and provides me with the tools to conduct a scientifically well-defined design research.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
For years, I have been an advocate for animal rights and this dimension of my personality shaped numerous design projects during my bachelor studies. I intended to maximize environmental benefits of animal-human interaction. Being a graduate student gave me the opportunity to participate in different projects with IU Health North, Regenstrief Institute, and NCAA. Through those projects, I had the chance to learn skills I need to link unrelated issues to find a solution for a problem. This opportunity directed me to find out how to work on a complex subject such as human and animal interaction. It is the central focus of my master thesis, which makes a considerable contribution to the field.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
I have played musical instruments since I was 9 and have improved my vocal skill since I was 13; however, as singing for women in Iran is forbidden and illegal, I never had an opportunity to release albums, song and videos of my own. The situation is even worse if a woman would like to be the voice of the voiceless and sing about socio-political problems. Although I miss my friends, my memories, and every single corner of my hometown, Tehran, having freedom of speech here is a blessing that makes me feel attached to American society. Living here in the United States gave me the courage to claim my own self as I am.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
Radio Javan is the most prestigious Persian media world-wide. Since I came to the United States, I could freely release my tracks and music videos on Radio Javan. I am a rock singer and I play Setaar (one of the Persian traditional musical instruments), drums and piano. My singing career mainly focuses on socio-political issues, the subjects we all should pay attention to in a world full of inhumanity, wars, inequity, and torture. I have recently planned to record English songs along with Persian songs as I would like to communicate with international audiences.
For more information on Vesta's music interests, see Inside IUPUI's Student Using Music To Urge Social Change In Iran »