Personal Statement Sample: London School of Economics

Personal Statement Sample: London School of Economics

Dear LSE,

There is no doubt that the proposed “City Design and Social Studies” program is one of the most innovative projects in the sphere of the modern education. Information Technology plays an important role in the civilizational growth of humanity as a driver of change in the context of urban living. It becomes possible for a city designer to use the latest achievements in the communication and web technologies to extrapolate the Internet of Things idea on the process of urban planning. Accordingly, the popularization of terms such as Smart Cities and Internet of Things is already framing the public discourse in this direction for the coming years.

At the same time, technologies move beyond the realm of consciousness and become increasingly sensory. It becomes easier to integrate IT solutions deeper into the physical structures. This change leads to the novel spatiotemporal configurations that defy the human-scale of perception. Therefore, I am applying for MSc City Design and Social Science because my ambition is to join the ranks of the world’s leading urban experts and help the wide audience to navigate this new era of urban and socio-political development. I suggest that the future of humanity is inevitably connected with the interconnection between technologies and urban planning. I am very motivated to be among the first specialists in this sphere to open new horizons and make my life full of discoveries.

MY BACKGROUND

There is no doubt that the current experience is very important for the participation in the City Design and Social Studies program. I am confident that I have enough skills to cope with the project’s tasks. My academic background is connected with the studies of Information Management. Thus, in Copenhagen Business School, I focused on incorporating latest approaches from user experience and user interface design into a broader business perspective.

I have succeeded in the theoretic and practical research in the sphere of IT. My bachelor project traces back the roots of human-centered design and proposes a more inclusive approach to designing systems based on principles of information design. The full title of the paper is: ‘Going Beyond HCI: Information design for knowledge-sharing platforms and information-seeking behavior support in the context of travel’ and is available online.

Professionally, I have five years of experience with design, development and information architecture projects. I developed my communication skills due to the fact that I interacted with the people both as an independent contractor and as an agency employee. I have learned to extract valuable insight from complex structures and present it through comprehensible information products. Information in digital representation will be a major component of the future city. Therefore, the knowledge gained from my professional experience is essential for pursuing my ambitions on an urban scale. I also hope to compliment my LSE peers with my technical skills as part of the studio workshop.

My design philosophy is influenced by Victor Papanek, Buckminster Fuller, Henry Dreyfuss, and Donald Norman. In regards to thinking about urbanism and space I build on ideas of Henri Lefebvre, Paul Virilio, and Michel Foucault; from a more practical and sensory perspective, I draw from the work of Jane Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, and Mike Davis.

In the process of consolidating my thoughts and preparing material for this letter, I have created an open-source project citymanifesto.org to present my ideas for the city design and invite the public to participate in co-creating a set of universally applicable principles for future urban development. I am motivated to extend this project with the help of the knowledge gained during the City Design and Social Studies program.

PROFESSIONAL ASPIRATIONS

I see myself as a mediator between designers, planners, policy-makers, private companies and the public. It means that my job is mostly based on the principles of the cybernetic approach. On an organizational level I will strive for a reconstruction of spatial code – bringing together ‘micro’ (architects) and ‘macro’ (urbanists, politicians, and planners) which are currently isolated by existing spatial practice and by ideologies. On a personal level, my goal is edification of public and the creation of a critical and attentive audience that leads to an increase in the social capital of the city.

I want to demonstrate that by challenging the narrow techno centric approaches to city planning and promoting new forms of the emancipatory technology, it is possible to improve citizens’ understanding and participation in the process of shaping their urban landscape. Humanity needs to improve the inclusive models for a city design and develop new instruments of continual, gradual, complex and gentler change, rather than cataclysmic, one-size-fits-all disruptive solutions.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

I suppose that the project will play a big role in my theoretic education. Academically, I am interested in the ongoing convergence of architecture and information space. My aim is to develop a more thorough understanding of the relationships between the political, social, psychological and sensory aspects of city design. Stemming from a phenomenological approach, I focus on the human experience of the world, rather than objectifying and isolating reality. The object of study is not the information itself, but rather the role information plays in a wider framework of work, study, and life. The results of research should yield methods for strengthening the public’s environmental image of their urban surroundings in the context of a global meta-city.

On a pragmatic level, I am interested in researching how to draw inspiration from bionics, indigenous designs, and vernacular structures and how to reframe them, so they are suitable for the scale of a modern city while retaining their innate qualities, such as rhythm, harmony, and proportion that are sensory satisfying.

WHY LSE

London represents a pinnacle of the interconnected, globalized world making it a prime location for studying the issues of city design and urban planning for the future. LSE offers an opportunity to connect with some of the brightest minds from a wide range of fields. Moreover, it provides a stimulating environment for collaboration with an international community of future leaders. In regards to my research and professional aims, I am interested in the Urban Futures and Urban Revolutions courses.

INSPIRATION

I have already been living in Copenhagen for 4 years. This city inspires me to notice all the changes of architectural and design mentality. I have found that some organizations, in fact, become invisible worldwide coordinators; dominating the landscape of billions of people and creating a globally interconnected metropolis – a virtual meta-city. This rapidly evolving urban framework of living will be dominant during the next several decades. With a growing number of countries joining the post-industrial bandwagon there is an urgent need for a new type of an urban expert that will help the public adapt to this new world we are co-creating. My ambition is to become one of such experts and attending your program will help me fulfill them.

I hope this letter has convinced you of my qualities and you will find me to be a suitable candidate for the program.

Sincerely,

Name Surname

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