Volunteer of the Month for October 2021

The RGD thanks Mel Sutjiadi RGD, Founder and Creative Director at ArtOverMatter Creative Inc., for their contributions to the RGD community.


"Mel has put an amazing effort into ensuring that RGD's volunteer projects not only get completed but that they are done with care and great design. Mel has been amazing to work with and their energy and insight is such a great addition to the work that we're doing together. I am grateful for the effort and hardwork they have been contributing to the RGD."
   - Jennifer Taback RGD, VP & Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
How long have you been volunteering with the RGD and in what capacity?
I have been volunteering with the RGD since December 2019 and I am loving it. My journey began by being a Member of the Ethics Committee, then the next thing I knew, I was given the opportunity to design the RGD 2021 Certification Sticker, helped with portfolio reviews, started mentoring, led a couple of roundtables at DesignThinkers 2020, joined the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and am now co-leading the BIPOC Designers Virtual Community with some amazing folks!
What contribution are you most proud of?
We’re still new, but being able to start and co-lead the BIPOC Virtual Community is definitely one of my highlights. I believe having a safe space for BIPOC Members to connect and support each other is important. It takes time to build a community, but even the limited interactions we’ve had so far have made an impact.
Also, being able to put together the RGD #OpenDialogue campaign with Jennifer Taback RGD and Reesa Del Duca RGD was pretty rad!
What is the most surprising/unexpected thing to come out of volunteering with the RGD?
All the amazing humans I’ve met and interacted with thus far. Without the RGD, I don’t know if our paths would have crossed, so I’m thankful for the chance to be able to meet and continuously learn from everyone.
What have you learned about the industry since volunteering for the RGD?
I learned that the industry is full of visionaries working on similar projects, on typical mediums, but each chooses to take a distinct approach and inject their own zest and personality into them — such that together we’ll make the world a more beautiful, functional and accessible place for everyone.
Based on your experience volunteering with the RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry?
I think the organization holds a crucial role in the industry. The RGD brings us together, gives us space and opportunity to support and inspire each other and in doing so, nurtures us into being better and stronger designers. 
What have you gained from being an RGD volunteer, and why would you recommend it to other Members?
Friendships. Mentorships. Opportunities to give back and make a difference in the industry. If you have some time to spare, just take the plunge – get involved. Try something different, meet new friends, show up, contribute your thoughts and ideas and get ready to be inspired by others along the way.
Do you have thoughts on what you might like to do as a volunteer with the RGD in the future?
I’d love to continue to help in any capacity that I can, when I can. I think there is still lots to be done with my current roles, so I’m looking forward to continue helping with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, the #OpenDialogue campaign and the BIPOC Virtual Community – then we’ll see what the future holds.


Mel Sutjiadi RGD  is a QTPOC multi-disciplinary creative director, designer, illustrator, developer and educator who believes in using their creative power for social good. They founded ArtOverMatter Creative in 2007 and Ripple of Change Magazine in 2020. Mel specializes in projects with a focus on equity, accessibility, social justice and social impact. Outside of AOM, you might find Mel as a guest speaker sharing about their immigrant entrepreneurship journey, or talking about designing for diversity, accessibility and inclusion.