Alum Elaine Chow Pursued Sustainable Design After Realizing Mobile Apps Won't Solve Environmental Crisis

Thursday, August 01, 2019

SUSTAINABLE BRANDS -- “I went to San Francisco State University join the ‘tech rush,’ intending on pursuing an illustrious career as a UX/UI (i.e. user interface) designer for the next Silicon Valley Unicorn (i.e. a breakthrough startup),” Chow recalled during a recent interview. “But once I got into industrial design, I knew I had to make a pivot. I accepted that there would be no mobile app that could solve our environmental crisis. The reality is, there are physical, ‘material’ — pun intended — problems that are worth solving. That was when a professor introduced me to Blackbird Guitar, a company that was doing something quite radical.”

Instead of further contributing to the decimation of exotic rainforest woods, Blackbird uses Ekoa — a carbon-negative flax fiber and bio-based resin composite — to build exceptional guitars and ukuleles.