Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies

Collaborations: MFA CD Blog

Student Feature: Katie Mays

Katie speaking with someone at Sisters of the Road. Image by Laura DeVito MFA ’13

Katie Mays is originally a Midwesterner—raised in Quincy, Illinois, but lived in Chicago for six years prior to moving to Portland. Her thesis centered on the idea of Design Volunteerism— enabling design students to gain real world experience working on social change projects that wouldn’t normally fall within the scope of traditional design practices. After graduating, she filled a variety of roles including working as a junior designer at a commercial architecture firm, and as a personal assistant to an entrepreneur.

Katie Mays
An example of Katie’s former work, designing low-income housing. Image taken from her website.

She moved to Portland last year to work as a Jesuit Volunteer at Sisters Of The Road, a nonprofit cafe in Old Town that serves meals to folks experiencing homelessness. Katie seeks to honestly evaluate her role in the world, and find a way to work towards a future that is just—her intention is to find the intersection where design meets social justice. She believes the way to accomplish this is through collaboration: the relentless, open-minded exploration of every idea among diverse ways of thinking, by incredibly intelligent people.

Image by Laura DeVito

Katie enjoys cold-brew iced coffee, mountains, fractals, Venn diagrams, trips to Seattle, Skype dates with her sister, and cooking dinner for other people.

Katie hard at work in the beginning stages of studio renovation last semester. Photo by Laura DeVito.

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