Aileen Tu Chats About Her Getty Museum Design Studio Placement

work by Aileen Tu in an internship with the Getty Museum Design Studio

work by Aileen Tu in her Getty Museum Design Studio placement


What’s it like to have a studio placement at the Getty Museum Design Studio? UCLA Extension DCA certificate students have the unique privilege of being able to apply for this opportunity on a quarterly basis. Check out what winter 2013 appointee Aileen Tu had to say about her experience:

What projects did you work on during your placement? What did you find rewarding about them?

I wasn’t sure what to expect in the beginning, but I was pleased to find I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, from creating a postcard for the Education Department to a poster for the annual College Night event (above) to creating illustrations from items in the museum  collection for store products (below). I found it rewarding to work on real projects and appreciated that my work was contributing toward a larger purpose.

What was it like being in a real design studio after being in the classroom for your DCA training?

It was great! I feel like it’s something that every student should experience, and sooner rather than later. Doing work for a class is not the same as doing work for a studio.

One of the things I learned was to be more flexible in my design process. A studio is a faster pace than in the classroom, and it forced me to work differently. I usually like to do a lot of sketches and only go to the computer towards the end of my process, but for this internship, it was quicker and more efficient to work directly in the computer. It threw me out of my comfort zone and enabled me to acquire another way of working, something I probably would not have discovered if I hadn’t done an internship like this.

What will you take away from this experience that will serve you in your future design career?

When I started the DCA program, I was so excited by the various areas of design that I couldn’t narrow down my focus. But in being able to experience different projects at the Getty, I found what I really loved most was working on the illustrations, and that I was excited by the idea of designing products. Up until recently, I had been unsure of what career path to take, but the internship helped to confirm that going down a path along the lines of designer-maker is something that is in my future.

Congrats, Aileen! For more information on applying to the Getty Museum Design Studio placement, email Kate at

work by Aileen Tu in her Getty Museum Design Studio placement

work by Aileen Tu in her Getty Museum Design Studio placement



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