From intern to MA: Sofia Wang.

Everyone’s journey is different in the design industry. To explore these pathways, we’re sharing stories of DixonBaxi Intern Academy alumni. This is the story of Sofia Wang, from motion design intern to master’s student.

For Sofia, the ability to inform perspective and bridge communities through design inspired her journey into the creative world. “I’m still quite early on in my career, but I guess I’d say it started when I chose to study art and design at uni,” she explains.

Sofia gravitated toward 3D animation, and it wasn’t long before she discovered her love of motion. She describes it as a meeting of interests, saying, “motion is like playing with 2D and 3D, which is really cool.”

Doug Hey, senior motion designer at DixonBaxi, discovered Sofia’s work at the UAL graduate show. “She had a great sense of tactility and conceptuality in her work,” he recalls. “But, for me, what set her apart was her inquisitive passion for animation. She was keen to experiment with different techniques and that fearlessness to push her creative range was the ideal trait for an intern at DB.”

Three months after graduating, that’s exactly where Sofia was. She hit the ground running in more ways than one by gaining hands-on experience by joining live projects and starting an Information Experience Design MA at the Royal College of Art around the same time.

“It’s our job to create opportunities for people to have a voice. And to create new ways of designing things.”

As a student, Sofia focused on speculative design. As an intern, she delivered real work for real clients. Experiencing both at the same time helped her develop her professional process and her artistic practice simultaneously.

Working with the DixonBaxi team across different project stages gave Sofia fast track in delivering professional work. “I remember it was my second or third week that I joined the Samsung team and was asked to create new animations as part of a newly created design system,” she says, remembering her time on Samsung TV Plus.

The rebrand reimagines free TV as a truly effortless experience for Samsung TV Plus. Its identity reflects the breadth and depth of the global streaming service through a range of assets like app openers, promo openers and closers, transitions, lower thirds, endboards, and messaging kit. Sofia brought a fresh perspective that allowed her to turn existing assets into something really magical. “It was something I never thought I’d be able to do. Seeing that whole project airing and going live was a really cool experience,” she adds.

Getting involved and observing how people worked kept Sofia curious, which she learned was the best way to move forward in a creative space. “If you’re in a studio with access to a bunch of crazy-talented people,” she notes, “just being able to ask questions will save you 10 years of time.”

In her own work, Sofia wants to decolonize design by honoring the context of different cultures, connecting them with written and visual language. “The core of my practice is culture,” she says. “I’ve lived in so many different cultures and environments, and I see a lack of bridges between people around the world. And that comes from a lack of communication, a lack of understanding between clans.”

Decolonizing design is a goal as important as it is difficult, but Sofia keeps it front-of-mind in everything she does, including her role at DixonBaxi. “I’m able to think in a more critical way now,” she explains, “Rather than being idealistic about it all. It’s our job to create opportunities for people to have a voice. And to create new ways of designing things.”

After DixonBaxi, Sofia aims to complete her MA course and plan the next step in her design career. She has a few ideas of what this career could look like, from working with physical installations to considering a PhD; “Being a professor would be cool.” A momentary thought, but with her love for conceptual and theoretical design thinking, it might not be momentary at all.