Abby Emerson: Designing with Optimism

Profiles Nov 17, 2020

Normally on these profiles, we really highlight up and coming people or those individuals using design thinking to impact the world in a new and unique way. Well, this is no different, as Jasmine was kind enough to give us some of her unique staff members to interview. So thank you again Jasmine for your kindness and support.

Meet Abby Emerson. She is an undergraduate student at Georgia Tech, working for Wish for Wash as a designer. Abby was born orginally born in China, but was adopted when she was 21 months old so she considers herself a native ATLien and loves both knitting and dad jokes.

She was introduced to Wish for Wash by her friend Anya, who also works there, and just got involved with the organization in the spring right after Covid happened. "It's been a little more difficult to make connections since we had to do more break out rooms, than in person," Abby says. And with that work, especially when it comes to design, she misses that one on one time with people.

Some of the biggest things that excite her about Wish for Wash are seeing others and the passion they have for their causes. She loves to see teammates going at it and working on their work with enthuaism and vigor and loves the direction Wish for Wash is heading. The organization is looking at diving more into design thinking and in the long run they hope to have design thinking kits which people and organizations can use to apply to their work. The organization is already working with groups like Webber and the Girl Scouts. " I think the young kids have fantastic ideas and I like to give feedback on their ideas or implement them into what we do," she says.

In the future she wants to be a design researcher or consultant so she can talk to people one on one, because she enjoys the empathy part of the design thinking process and loves to understand and connect with people. With that one on one time, she aims to put the feedback they give her into action on the products that could help improve their lives.

The way she met Jasmine proves that Atlanta is indeed a small city with tall buildings. Jasmine her family attend the same country club that Abby's dad is a member of and one day their dads ended up meeting. She had heard so much about Jasmine and all the great work she had done that when Anya finally introduced them, Abby figured out that it was the same Jasmine she had heard about and might have fan girled out a little bit.

Abby is passionate, really passionate about people understanding one another. "Most problems can be solves, if you start and have a conversation with others," she says. Now is the time she thinks we can all grow and learn to practice more empathy especially with the world as it is today. She wants everyone to keep their heads up and stay encouraged and grow towards more understanding in the future.

We'll be watching you as you grow Abby, we know you'll do great things.


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