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First Year Academy of Art University Student Dazzles at 2007 Spring Show

When Paul Galang began his first year at Academy of Art University, he couldn’t have foreseen the incredible experiences the art school would bring him. Within his first three semesters, Paul has already participated in the highly competitive Academy of Art University Spring Show and won a scholarship.



After two and a half years of studying computer science at San Francisco State University, Paul transferred to Academy of Art University. After discovering the Industrial Design program, he realized his lifelong interest in gadgets could actually become a successful career.

“It fit my personality,” he said. “When I look at a gadget, I look at it differently than other people.”

As a class project, he was assigned to build a safety item for somebody stranded on a desert island. The assignment, in conjunction with the French Rabbit competition, had to incorporate the winemaker’s eco-friendly packaging.

With the demands of extracurricular activities and other classes, he wasn’t able to find time to start the project. Just 24 hours before the project was due, he came up with something simple that could be completed quickly. After much deliberation, however, he decided to make something more ambitious: an umbrella.

For the cover, he meticulously assembled panels consisting of ten pieces of packaging, forming a seamless orange target. He chose this pattern because if somebody were to fly over the island, they would spot the umbrella immediately.

Paul finished his design in the nick of time and brought it to class. His instructor was blown away by the detailed, flawless work and immediately picked his umbrella to represent the School of Industrial Design in the 2007 Spring Show.

The opportunity to present his project to industry recruiters, including the French Rabbit president, was huge.

“I knew this was something that would really help my career,” he said.

After an exciting day of presentations at the Spring Show, Paul still hadn’t seen the French Rabbit representatives. At last, after most students had already gone home, Jean Charles Boisset, the President of Boisset America (the parent company of French Rabbit) and the French Rabbit competition jury approached Paul. He was the only student who had the chance to present.


Paul with Jean Charles Boisset

“I literally felt like I was at the right place at the right time,” he recalled.

The French Rabbit jury was so impressed that they bestowed Paul with a scholarship. It was a moment Paul would never forget and before coming to Academy of Art University, could have never fathomed.

“The Academy has really helped me realize my dream. I never knew I could do anything like this.”

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