May - August 2016 | Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
summer internship
funded through Wellesley’s Global Citizenship Program

Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Mumbai is a think tank that addresses development issues that impact Mumbai and the state of Maharashtra. They publish reports and proposals in many topics, covering education, health care, urban planning, international relations, sanitation, and more. These are sent to relevant governing bodies for review and implementation.

My initial role started as General Intern, working on supplementing researcher’s work and the organization as needed. Once my co-workers discovered my graphic design skills, however, I was immediately assigned a graphic designer role; I was their first staff memer assigned to handle visual communications, which had previously been outsourced or distributed to researchers who already had full workloads.

Banner for an event inviting university students in fields like urban planning, architecture and engineering to hear from experts about the details of the Development Plan for 2034, and submit proposals for developing solutions.

Publication Cover

A particularly memorable experience was working at the Ji Xianlin Center for India China Studies at Mumbai University - co-founded by ORF Mumbai and Reliance Foundation in collaboration with the Chinese consulate. As a Chinese American and Hindi student familiar with Indian culture, it was really interesting to work in a cross-cultural and multi-lingual environment with different stakeholders as they balanced their visions for an institution made for cultural heritage exchange and study. Taking requests from team members, I drafted logos for the center that incorporated the Hindi word for India (Bharat) and the Chinese word for China (Hua) in a symbol echoing a Chinese stamp. I also designed the partition screen in the lobby space that incorporated shapes of a peacock, as well as a lotus and the tree of wisdom - shared cultural symbols.

logo evolution after different requests
unpainted partition screen