Allison Kissell

Allison abruptly switched majors in undergrad from business to poetry after reading a Pablo Neruda poem, Modestamente, in the aisles of Louise Erdrich’s bookstore in Minneapolis. “The juice of a lemon with the arrival of the peaceful fish.” Several years later she would study massage therapy after a section in Douglas Coupland’s book, Microserfs. The female character relates the language and memory storage of computers to the stored language and memory within our bodies and how the character uses shiatsu to explore and understand that. Massage therapy became a way, then, for Allison to locate (and dislocate) trauma and language and memory within her own body.

The challenge to find meaning and create positive change led to a break from a long career in the service industry. A need arose for unstructured time to think about investment and identity, balance and self valuation, but ultimately where to align her values with her work ethic and interests. The Austin Center for Design program is an exciting opportunity to merge the creative, analytical and problem-solving aspects that were most enjoyable in her various leadership roles. Allison is eager for the new landscape of interaction design and the opportunity the program will afford to formalize her interests in consumer behavior, building culture within companies, and crafting long-game solutions in addressing social needs.

Recent blog posts

Work in Progress or Progress through Work.

I kept hearing the word ‘intense’ as I met with former alum and looked into the program. Trying to wrap my head around what to expect I asked, what does intense mean?? How does it look? How will it manifest? How can I prepare to manage intensity? There are certain knowable factors that I could…

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