Make My Case Design Competition Winner: Shannon Li
Meet Shannon Li: Make My Case Winner
Shannon Li is one of the winners of the Make My Case design competition. She’s currently a rising sophomore at the University of Michigan. Beyond technology, she’s deeply rooted activist, fighting for equity, justice, and equality for marginalized communities, particularly for the LGBTQ+, women, and people of color.
Learn more about her design background, her involvement with BUILT BY GIRLS, and aspirations for the future.
Please tell us more about your design process.
The process and meaning behind my design is focused on simplicity, but with a very powerful message. It is very important to remind women that it is valuable to not only fight for your seat at the table, but to be bold, brave, and resilient, and to build your own table. I wanted just the words with minimal design so the strong message can shine through. It stands alone with power and it should not be pushed away or hidden from the crowd.
How did you discover your interest in design?
I discovered my interest in design when I was younger. Everything from the simple act of drawing to front-end designing websites, I love the ability to create products —from scratch— that didn’t exist before, explore every part of my imagination, and allow everyone to find beauty in everyday things. Design allows me to bring together the combination of computer science, art, and a deeper understanding of human cognition.
How does it feel to have your design sold nationwide in a major retailer?
I am still in complete shock that my design will be sold at Verizon stores nationwide. I never thought my design would hit such a large audience. The feeling of excitement and wonder remains, and I couldn’t be more excited to see the phone case in stores. I am incredibly honored and privileged to have this opportunity to showcase my design to the world, allow others to “wear” my design on their phone cases, and most importantly, share a powerful message that will reverberate for millions of individuals, particularly young women in the world, who are in need of inspiration, to remind them that they are more than strong, brave, and confident enough to forge their own path.
What is one message do you want someone who is purchasing your phone case to take away?
Use your voice to speak on behalf of those who do not have the opportunity to do so. it’s important to recognize our privilege and remember that the opportunities and voice we have is not something everyone is lucky to have. When you build your own table, remember to take your leadership, values, and experiences with you and to leave behind a legacy wherever you go. Building a community that thrives begins with you!
Why did you get involved with BUILT BY GIRLS and how has it impacted you and your career?
I got involved with BUILT BY GIRLS, first, through their WAVE program, and continued to further get myself involved in the community through the ambassador program and even moderating an event at The Orchard.
BUILT BY GIRLS has significantly impacted me and my career pursuit in a positive, meaningful, and best possible way. This organization has given me the platform to amplify my story and has profoundly shaped my character. Because of them, I continued my pursuit with technology and strive to be a role model for other women of the community.
What do you hope to pursue after graduating from college?
After graduating from college, while I am not entirely sure what my future unfolds, I hope to continue learning and growing within the intersection between the tech space and social impact. I hope to work as either a UX Designer, Product/Visual Designer, Creative Technologist, Product Manager, or Software Engineer. Before entering industry, I plan on pursuing a Masters in Human Computer Interaction, exploring a more interdisciplinary perspective of technology that brings together the technical computer science principles with a liberal arts education focusing understanding human cognition, art, and social justice.
Look out for the Make My Case winning designs on Speck phone cases in Verizon store Fall 2019!