A late update, but worth mentioning. I am in New York City for an internship with NOOKA. Being here for almost two months now has gotten me to rethink a lot of things in my day to day life and design. As complicated and dense this city is, it has inspired me to take my design style in a completely opposite way. Graphically and physically I have taken a much more minimal approach to the designs that I am working on and future work to come. There are so many layers to this city my eyes were not prepared to compute at once.
The reason I am able to enjoy the my longest time away from California, is because I am designing for NOOKA. I have known and admired their watches for a long time that I decided to design a watch for a school project inspired by their STRIP belt. NOOKA ZIP is a watch with a closing mechanism similar to the STRIP that follows the design philosophy. When I sent this design to the jobs email at NOOKA, I didn't expect anything from it, just did it out of impulse. Two months later I get an offer to go to New York and intern for the semester.
Being up close to every product that they have produced and not produced, it has been a big influence to simplify and keep everything minimal. Its been a great experience and a nice beginning to my design career.