Sabrina Dorsainvil - "Follow your ethos compass."

 Sabrina Dorsainvil - Photo by Sylvia Stagg-Giuliano

Sabrina Dorsainvil - Photo by Sylvia Stagg-Giuliano

Sabrina is fascinated by people: the way they move, speak, touch, interact and experience objects, environments and each other. She brings this lens to her work as a designer and illustrator; from playful drawings to projects centered around the experience of being human, Sabrina’s work aims to improve the practice of everyday life by working to addressing complex issues we face daily within areas like housing and healthcare or social and emotional well-being. She has worked with international and local community-based organizations, non-profits, large institutions and startups on issues regarding social, spatial and environmental justice. Sabrina currently works for City of Boston as a Civic Designer with the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. She holds a BFA in Industrial Design from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and an MS in Design and Urban Ecologies from Parsons the New School.

What are the words you live by?
Compassion, curiosity, reflection, and resilience.

What wisdom do you want to pass on to others?
Follow your ethos compass--- it's a little redundant of a statement but my point is to follow what you believe in and let it guide you to the next big or little step in your life. Learning to be your own advocate is hard but necessary and when you're living with self-doubt. It can be even harder to see past your shortcomings. Following what you believe in, what you're passionate about can give you the space to be present and ultimately be you for you.

I feel most powerful when...
I'm able to support and lift up others around me.

The person who knows me the best is...
I'm not even sure I know myself too well but I'm always learning and growing. I've seen versions of myself be shared with family, friends, colleagues and my partner. The gaze of others will always portray me in different lights. My partner knows me, my colleagues know me, my friends know me and my family knows me. Best is subjective.

I'm proud of my city when...
When we say hello to a stranger. When we admit our faults and rally around social justice. When we prioritize those who have been designed out of spaces and when we’re the ones to stand up for each other when the odds are stacked against us.

If there was one thing I could change about my neighborhood it would be...
I’m still getting to know my neighborhood. I’m more curious about how where I’m living might change me. On a practical level, I watch a path be forged by pedestrians but not by design — it might be nice to see design respond to the human touch.

If I could change anything about the world it would be...
I’d change the stubbornness of hate and the inability of some to see the value in humanity. I’d want to understand why the things we cannot change about ourselves are the things we are persecuted for and if the answer is fear — I'd like to free us of it.

Something you'd never guess about me is...
Some people who know me might not be surprised by this but when I was younger I spent a long time wishing I could have musical montages in my everyday life. Pause. Jump up on a picnic table or dance into an elevator singing a song that represents the true feeling being felt in the moment. Then go back to what I was doing. Naturally, everyone around me would join in song and dance. I still kind of wish for that.

I'm drawn to art that makes me feel...
A little more whole. Art that makes me reflect on the human condition, art that provokes me to ask a new set of questions about my own work but also art that makes me smile. art that makes me feel full — full of joy, energy, inspiration, and excitement.

I am interested in stories about...
Us. More specifically I’m interested in everyday life and the struggles of self-care and self-love. I’m interested in stories that remind us to find the good in each day but acknowledge that the bad can help you find it faster. I am intrigued by stories that even if simple, ask the viewer to slow down, relax and listen. I am interested in stories that ask us to follow the threads of answering a new set of questions to old problems. I am interested in stories that are relatable and still manage to sneak up on you with their wittiness. I’m interested in stories that empower all of us but particularly excited to see stories that lift up communities of color. Sometimes I want to see a reflection of myself in the world. I don’t mean a mirror reflection but rather a story that shows me that we’re all in this together — not limited by but embracing our queerness, our heritage, our truths as we define them. The stories of struggle and pain are necessary but hearing about passion and perseverance are necessary for me. The struggle is real but so are our moments of strength, confidence, and resilience. I am interested in stories that don’t let us get off with adhering to the constructs of the status quo — especially if that status quo voids our love for ourselves, each other and our communities — how ever we create them.