Nassim attends the University of California, Davis, where she is double majoring in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering. While her areas of study may be rigid, Nassim is not afraid to color outside the lines and push the creative envelope when it comes to design. Learn what drove Nassim to create a steampunk- inspired motorcycle using Autodesk® Inventor® software.
What inspired you to study mechanical and aerospace engineering?
Growing up, I always wanted to do something that made a difference. I wanted to create something tangible that could improve people’s day-to-day lives, something incredible to help pull us into the 21st century. I grew up reading science-fiction novels full of technology both ahead of our time and outside our realm of reality. My choice of major was my attempt to breach that gap, to bring me as close as I could get to my science-fiction novels, and give me a chance to help shape our nation’s technological future.
Describe your project. Why did you create this? What do you want other students to know about the project?
My project is a blend of past and future, a mix of modern styles deriving elements from the industrial revolution: a style best described as steampunk. I started out with the body of a simple motorcycle, incorporating sharp-angled scrap metal and gears and contrasting it with semimodern technology, such as fingerprint readers and bulletproof glass. I chose a clock to serve as the overall motif of my piece, using oversized clock hands to give the piece a sense of dimension and various moving gears to enhance the sense of movement.
When I sketch, instead of drawing what I see, what can be deemed possible in reality, I draw what I feel. With this piece, I took something ordinary and pulled it into the realms of science fiction and fantasy in order to give it a story and depth that logic alone could not have achieved.
Finish this sentence: “I never stop…”
I never stop dreaming. I believe that by choosing to limit oneself to the confines of reality, a person can become lost. Restricting yourself from the depths of your imagination could even be considered a disadvantage: some of the best ideas are derived from our dreams and imagination. Gilbert K. Chesterton said, “There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.”
When I start sketching, painting, designing, or doing anything creative, I never restrict myself to what would be considered realistic. I merely put pen to paper and allow myself to daydream, allow my own thoughts and emotions to create the image before me rather than following the strict paint-by-numbers mindset that has been drilled into me from birth. I grew up with my head in fantasy novels, fighting villains and having adventures along with the heroes and heroines I admired. When I create a piece, this is my way of attaching a little piece of home to it―a little piece of myself.
When you’re not working on changing the world, what are your hobbies and interests beyond design?
Dancing (hip-hop, popping, break dancing); painting; drawing; getting into digital art; 3D modeling; cooking; Aerobrick: Airplane Design Team; writing short stories and song lyrics; coffee shops…mmmmmm, running; reading (sci-fi/fantasy nerd); macramé; hiking, Korean/Japanese dramas; making jewelry; sleeping.