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Student Stories

Fresh Encounters: Hana Morrison

Cohort 5's Hana Morrison blends her background in architecture with her unique designs. When she's not designing, she loves to express herself and bring people together through cooking...

Tell me a little bit about your journey to the Academy? 

I was actually in the Architecture Program at USC last year and transferred to the Academy this Fall. I heard about the Academy from some friends, and they all said, “It’s the program that every architecture student wishes they knew about before applying.” I felt pretty creatively stifled in architecture, since the educational system is so dated, and knew that I’d be more free to be myself in the Academy. I also knew that learning about business and technology, and furthering my design background, would help me become more well rounded and prepared for the world after school. I took the leap of faith and never looked back!

Describe a passion project you’re currently working? 

I don’t have a passion project yet, but I want to find ways to integrate design into the food industry. Food is a huge part of who I am. I cook to share love, bring people together, and express myself. Combining my love for food with my love for design would be the absolute dream. You’ll have to check back in a while for an update.

What inspired the project?

My mom also has a passion for food and instilled it into my entire family. We grew up learning how to cook, and have carried the skill with us wherever we go.

Is there a leader or mentor who inspires you? 


My dad is a constant inspiration to me. He’s an architect, but didn’t get to his job the traditional way. He went to college for a while but decided it wasn’t for him, so he got a job at a firm and worked his way up the positions until he became a full-fledged architect. His residential designs are beautiful and brilliant, and inspired me to go into a creative field. Even though I’m not pursuing architecture anymore, I still find his story so moving, and it makes me believe that I am capable of doing anything, just like he did. I’m glad I inherited his creativity and determination, and hope to someday be a similar inspiration to my own kids.

Is there an inspirational quote you live by?

“Don’t look back, you’re not going there.”

What are three goals you have this year?

  1. Discover more about myself and my passions
  2. Cook one new recipe per week
  3. Make new friends with different backgrounds and talents

Describe one thing most people don’t know about you?

I’m a classically trained singer!

What is one thing your parents taught you that you’d like to share?

My parents taught me to pursue happiness.

Fun Facts

What are the essential things you always keep in your backpack?
Laptop, notebook, lip balm, headphones

Favorite app or website?

Favorite class at USC and why?
My GESM was “Types and Stereotypes in Western Film”, and the entire class was basically just watching a Western film per week. I didn’t think I’d be very into the class, because it seemed irrelevant to the rest of my education, but I learned that I actually love Western films, and the class was a great decompressor for the stresses of freshman year.


Favorite way to de-stress:
Go to the pool or beach with my friends

Guilty Pleasure?

Cooking videos on YouTube. I can waste a disgusting amount of time watching those videos!

More information about Hana's artwork and projects can be found on her website.

Thank you, Hana!