Industrial Design graduate is 2022-2023 Chapeau, les filles laureate

Industrial Design graduate Aneta Chirowski (Class of 2023) is one of 67 young women in Quebec to be honoured with a Chapeau, les filles award for the 2022-2023 academic year. She was recognized in the Creativity category.

Winning this award is incredibly meaningful to Aneta, the first person in her family to receive a post-secondary education. “I am grateful for the opportunity that was presented to me, and the support received from faculty member Kim Webb,” she said in an interview with the Communications Office. “I feel seen and validated because the award supports women in male dominated industries.”

Deciding to study at Dawson was a courageous step for Aneta. She is very proud of that first year. “That is the year of me coming back to school as an older student while in covid lockdown, which looking back was a cloud of unknown,” she said. “I got a professional attitude award and was placed on the Dean’s list of honours. As the semester went by, I gained confidence to try out new things.”

Highlight at Dawson

A highlight of her Dawson studies was in her third year when she won an award for best presentation to the jury during the Odyssee de l’objet competition. With her three teammates, they created ‘’BROYO’’, a closed composting system that is installed right under the kitchen sink to catch minced food scraps. “Our product was a solution to the sink garbage disposal already installed throughout Canada,” she said, “because tonnes of food ends up in the sewage system and applies pressure to treatment plants.”

The training that Aneta received at Dawson taught her to think about design as a way to solve problems and helped her develop empathy “because you are not always the end user of what you create,” she said.

Aneta says her years at Dawson have made her a better listener. “I try to create something everyone will enjoy, and also that is accessible to everyone. The universal design principles (designing with accessibility in mind regardless of age, sex, disabilities and other) are something that I try to integrate in most of my designs.

“I polished up my work etiquette and design flow through practice and mistakes. I am able to build good design with clear and concise communication and active observation. I am becoming quicker in achieving the next steps. I know that I am doing something right when I get instant inspiration and solutions just by walking through the city,” she said.

Combination of business, science and art

Aneta is enthusiastic about the field of industrial design: “I like what I do because it is a combination of business subjects with hands-on application and science mixed with art. I don’t need to compromise because I get a bit of everything. I can specialize in the area that I most enjoy further along my career.

“There are many emerging markets and companies that open doors to multiple opportunities and fields, that can branch off into anything such as prototyping, surfacing, conceptualizing and ergonomics.”

Industrial design remains a male dominated field. Aneta’s advice to other students: “I am convinced that you don’t have to be the smartest, just the most prepared. Don’t underestimate yourself and things you are naturally good at. It is often with these strengths that you can make an impact.”

Online shop experience

The new graduate is pursuing work in her field and continuing her personal business. During her last year at Dawson, Aneta opened an online shop and worked hard to promote it and grow her reach. “I make my own Lino prints and original artwork stickers. It is an enriching experience to research about business, to develop a style I am comfortable with, and to submit paperwork with respect to deadlines.

“I enjoy it so far because I am trying something new, learning to not be afraid of failure. I am putting myself out there and am laboriously reframing my thoughts. It is not always about the money or about how many people have seen your posts or how many sales you brought in. As an artist, I am allowing myself to embrace being weird, to accept the chance that something you make will flop, to join new trends, to seize your value as an artist. I am a woman entrepreneur and proud to say autonomous and resourceful.”

Aneta shared a saying that she likes: “slow is steady, steady is smooth and smooth is fast.” She says it emphasizes the importance of maintaining a steady and consistent pace in order to achieve success efficiently.

Last Modified: August 30, 2023