Multidisciplinary designer My Ly talks design philosophy and why creative placemaking is so meaningful for D.C.’s communities.
We spoke with 15 innovative creators around D.C. to learn more about their work. Check out the full roundup here.
My Ly, founder and principal of My Ly Design, draws from her multidisciplinary expertise to create innovative urban designs that reflect and celebrate the uniqueness of D.C.’s communities. Read on to learn more about her creative work as a designer and an entrepreneur.
District Fray: As a public artist and urban designer, what is the overarching philosophy that drives your approach and connects your projects?
A collective, inspiring message is in each space and piece of art I create. My art often reflects the culture of the users and its built environment. Wherever possible, I also look to integrate innovative technology into my designs to communicate that a piece designed today is for tomorrow. My designs conceptualize how a space can be used in the future while acknowledging the richness of the past.
How do you navigate the opportunities and risks that come with running My Ly Design?
I’ve had to learn the most technical aspects of running a business, from management to construction. Go big, take that risk, leverage your strengths and brand yourself where you want to be instead of where you are. It takes passion and believing in your hard work to succeed.
Why is placemaking in communities an important focus area for you in D.C.?
Placemaking activates my love for urban design. When planning a city, you need to consider spaces for community gatherings, parks, streetscapes and pedestrian walks. Fusing placemaking with scalable art results in a design that can be experienced by all. People now enjoy social rather than individual spaces. D.C. has prioritized the activations of these open spaces and enjoys a community richness that leads other major cities.
What makes D.C. a worthwhile place to continue building your career?
D.C. is a catalyst for young entrepreneurship and is an engine that is always changing. There is so much movement in this city – new people and events happening all the time. Opportunity arises out of this fluidity. I would love to continue contributing to the creative landscape by shaping a vision that reflects D.C.’s unique character.
Stay tuned for two of My Ly’s new public art sculptures, one in Chinatown in November and one for the Penn Ave Pocket Park in December. Learn more about her’s designs at mylydesign.com and follow her on Instagram @mylydesign.
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