Q&A with Design Continuum Scholarship Recipient: Kariyma Murphy

We are thrilled to have Kariyma Murphy  join our community as one of the two 2016/2017 Design Continuum Fund Scholarship recipients. Kariyma is a senior in graphic design at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and her existing work is not only strong, but also brimming with promise of greater things to come. Take a moment to learn more about this passionate change agent.

Congratulations on being selected! How does it feel?
Thank you! It feels amazing to be recognized by AIGA DC, and I’m really excited to get to know the growing community of designers in the DC area.

What made you want to become a designer?
I grew up watching a lot of Cartoon Network, I really loved animation and the designs of really graphic characters like Samurai Jack. When I was in elementary school, my Dad was doing grad school at ArtCenter College of Design in Los Angeles. He as a graphic designer and I used to watch him make work, go with him to some of his classes, and explore the work in his department. I remember watching him make a motion graphic about black American history to Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” and that really piqued my interest in graphic design. I explored graphic design more in high school and had a really encouraging teacher who suggested I go to art school. I applied for the Maryland Institute College of Art intending to be a graphic design major and now it’s my last year of college.


Tell us a bit about the projects you have been working on while attending MICA and those that relate outside of MICA.
I’m really thankful that I’ve gotten to explore the breadth of graphic design like motion graphics, UX design, and (right now) digital fabrication. One of the best experiences from my time at MICA was participating in the MICA Social Design practice-based studio. The task for the semester was to create a design intervention with middle-school students about the dangers of youth drinking. Exploring possible solutions together with the students allowed for valuable insights and the students revealed that the best intervention was letting them critique drinking culture to their peers. By researching and involving the students in the process, we created an intervention that supported their voices. One project I created outside of MICA was a motion graphics project dedicated to the song Mash by J Dilla. It is really enjoyable and I really hope to do more motion-graphics work similar to that project really soon.

So what’s next after school? Will it include a social impact component?
I’m not sure yet, but I’m making a list. I have a better idea of what I kind of environment I would like to work in and I’m exploring different options. Ideally, I would like to enter a firm that emphasizes human-centered design and stay in the D.C. area (hey, IDEO!), but I’m also interested in experiencing a more intimate studio space. I would love to stay in Baltimore for a few more years. I think the art scene here is vibrating, there’s a lot of amazing programing going on surrounding art and social justice. But I’m still figuring it out.


The Design Continuum Fund is an annual merit-based scholarship program that supports local design-minded students by offering them financial assistance to pursue their design education. Through the sustained support of Continuum Circle members and friends, AIGA DC seeks to build an endowment for the Design Continuum Fund, the future investments of which will provide ongoing support to the program.

By aiga
Published September 19, 2016