Humans of Waseda - Sofia Cababa Wood

Name: Sofia Cababa Wood

Department: School of International Liberal Studies 

Major: Art and Design

Home School: University of Washington

 

Q1. What is “design” to you?

“Design is an open and creative field, so much so that its definition differs depending on what designer you ask! Ultimately, design is about problem-solving with human behavior in mind, no matter the size of the issue; from small matters- what logo best communicates the character of a certain company? - to big ones- how can we design a hospital experience that provides the most safety and comfort for patients? Design as a tool can be applied to any field, making a powerful, important, and fun field to be a part of.

 

Q2. What is your inspiration? 

Those around me who I care about the most: friends and family. They encourage me to strive to be open-minded, generous, thoughtful, and adventurous. Without these people (you know who you are!) I would be a sad sack having no fun at all.

Special shout-out to my mama! She is the boss lady and the one showed me through examples how to be a confident woman who is not afraid of speaking her mind.”

Sofia with her siblings

 

Q3. What is your favorite place in the world? 

“As a third-culture kid (Filipino-American who grew up in the Netherlands) this question is way too hard - I’m sure all international Waseda kids can relate.

The places I’ve lived have both amazing aspects that I miss and those that irritate me, making it hard to choose a favorite! On top of that, feeling associated with different places is a privilege that leaves you feeling like no one physical spot is home. However, it is with my family that I feel most comfortable, loved, and at home - so wherever the Cababa Woods are, that’s the spot to be.”

 

Q4. What was the biggest culture shock in Japan? 

Japan has the most trusting society I’ve ever seen. I see people leaving their bikes unlocked 24/7, leaving wallets hanging out of back pockets, or placing their laptops on tables to reserve their spots when they use the bathroom. It’s nuts, and it means that when everyone trusts everyone else to follow the rules, systems (public and private) can work more smoothly and cleaner, to the benefit of all.”

 

Q5. Where do you see yourself in 5 Years?

“I can’t say I’m sure where I’ll be - maybe working as a designer in the States, or pursuing a masters in the Netherlands after a few years of working? Who knows, maybe I’ll be back in Tokyo; I might just miss it that much when I go back to the US!”

Thank you, Sofia, for sharing your inspiring stories!

Learn more about the “Humans of Waseda” campaign here.