Fulbright U.S. Student
Paying Homage to Design Traditions and Unlocking Student Voices
Synthesizing the Old with the New: Discovering Design Traditions in Japanby Louie Rigano, 2010-2011, Japan
During my Fulbright grant, I have been studying traditional Japanese aesthetics and the potential roles they can play in modern design. I have been analyzing deeply rooted cultural concepts such as transience and impermanence, imperfection, rich textures and austere beauty, and applying these notions to objects designed for contemporary use. It is my belief that these concepts, applied effectively and eloquently to commercial design, can offer alternative approaches to those used in creating poorly designed mass-produced objects that litter contemporary material culture.
My research has involved spending time in the rural workshops and studios of traditional craftsmen, as well as in the offices of modern design firms. I have met and worked with many incredible craftsmen. Last fall, I worked in a pottery studio operated by a father and son team in Hida Takayama, where I was graciously provided with my very own pottery wheel and workspace. During breaks, we talked over green tea about the current state of craft in Japan, perceptions of Japanese simplicity and famous examples of Japanese pottery. Who would have known that one of the most treasured tea bowls in Japan was originally a rice bowl that belonged to a poor Korean farmer? This proactive and immersive approach has not only been about learning skills from these artisans and designers; it has also been about achieving a holistic understanding of the conceptualization behind material objects and their designs. With this knowledge, I have been designing my own functional objects that pay homage to Japan’s history, merging it together with modern needs, practices and concepts. Through this process, I hope to ensure that Japan’s rich design heritage will not be lost and will be fully embraced and appropriately integrated into today’s ever-changing, high-tech society. The aim of this synthesis of old and new processes, technologies and materials, is to inject new values and meaning into distinctly modern objects.
To comment on and interact with other Fulbrighters about Louie Rigano's article on the Fulbright Community on State Alumni, please click here.
Unlocking Student Voices: Engaging in Public Speaking in Montenegroby Dustin L. Gee, 2010-2011, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Montenegro
As one of the first Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) to serve in Montenegro, I taught fourth-year students at the University of Montenegro in the Department of English Language and Literature. Following my arrival in August 2010, it became clear that I was going to be doing much more than just assistant teaching in an English language classroom; I was going to teach multiple sections of two college level courses.
I am delighted to share my
experiences with the Fulbright community; one
experience in particular, had a significant impact
on me and my students in unanticipated ways.
this reason, I felt it was necessary to help my
students cultivate their public speaking
skills. However, I was not satisfied with
this being the only learning outcome for my
students. I wanted them to engage in a
powerful professional development opportunity.
This student's voice had been
unlocked. Likewise, many of my other
students experienced similar reactions to giving
their speeches. They finally understood the
value and benefits of the assignment. They
now saw public speaking as a way to motivate
others, to make a difference for the common good,
and to ensure human rights are respected,
protected, and fulfilled.
To comment on and interact with other Fulbrighters about Dustin Gee's article on the Fulbright Community on State Alumni, please click here.
Connect and Share Your Experiences with Fellow Fulbrighters on State Alumni and Facebook
If you are not already familiar with State Alumni, it is a social network sponsored by the U.S. Department of State exclusively for all current and past participants of State Department-sponsored exchange programs, including the Fulbright Program. To register for State Alumni and gain access to the Fulbright Community, go to https://alumni.state.gov.
The Fulbright Library
The Fulbright Library on State Alumni is a new way to share, connect and collaborate with other current and former Fulbrighters. It offers a platform, categorized by subject area, for you to share your articles, blogs, classroom materials and other media related to your areas of interest and research, particularly work related to your Fulbright grant.
If you are already a member of State Alumni, you may access the Fulbright Library at https://alumni.state.gov/fulbright/library.
Share your photos with the Fulbright Community!
The Fulbright Program now has an official Facebook presence where you can join discussions, comment on wall posts and learn more about the program's many facets. We encourage you to visit the Fulbright Program's Facebook page regularly to read about Fulbrighters in the news, ask questions, and engage with fellow Fulbrighters from around the world.
A Call for Short Videos
Have you made a short video about your Fulbright experience? Submit it to the newsletter!
We are looking for informative interviews about your Fulbright experiences overseas. The video should run no longer than 10 minutes and highlight the positive impact the Fulbright U.S. Student Program has had on you, your host affiliation or campus (if applicable) and local community. Please request publication permission from anyone featured in your video.
Acceptable formats include: electronic files such as wmv, Quicktime, DV, mini tapes, DVDs, etc. All videos will be edited and screened for their relevance and appropriate content.
The footage can show you:
A Call for Articles with Photos
We welcome articles with accompanying photos for future issues of the Fulbright U.S. Student Grantee Newsletter. Articles should ideally be about your experience of being abroad as a Fulbright grantee (and cultural ambassador), and discuss your research, classroom or teaching experiences, as well as any personal examples about how you’ve achieved the goal of the Fulbright program: to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
The length of the article should be no more than 500 words and not require much editing in order to be published. If the nature of your Fulbright project is very technical, please describe it using language that a layperson can understand. The accompanying photos (preferably high resolution, 300 dpi or above) should show you engaged in program activities, be illustrative of your article's content and include captions. Publication permission should also be requested from anyone included in your photos.
Please submit your articles with photos within two weeks of the release of this newsletter. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to receiving your articles!