On Monday 1st December our year 12 IB Design students and Mr Seedhouse travelled to the Institute for Education at the University of London for a day of lectures and workshops from practicing Product Designers. These included: Sebastian Bergne, Emily Campbell, Tom Gottelier, Bobby Petersen and Edward Thomas, and Wayne Hemmingway.
Here is what our students had to say about the day…
“I learnt so much about what design really is. It’s far broader than I could have imagined. I think learning about each different designer’s approach was so interesting to see the process of how it all works. Especially the designer of the Boris bike helmet. Tom Gottelier, Bobby Petersen and Edward Thomas had such a clear process that they showed us. It really is all about trying something out, seeing if it works the way you want it to and if it doesn’t start again. I think they showed me just how many times it really takes to make something that performs its purpose. I learnt to make the most from every opportunity you are given. I learnt to always say yes to everything, because the more experience you get the better designer you’ll become. Emily Campbell taught me that in order to be the best designer you can, you have to follow some steps. Structure, Pattern, Meaning, Performance, Human interaction and Fabrication. I think I was most inspired by Wayne Hemingway because I felt as if everything he has ever designed would be something I would love to do as well. Every project he has worked on is an inspiration to me because of how his career in design began. He said to us to start designing now, to put yourself out there to become better than the rest. I would really like to start thinking about how I can do this. My main goal would be to interior design or some kind of architecture.”
“I am feeling inspired about career paths I can explore. Whether I decide to go down the design route or not; I have learnt that whatever I want to do should be something I enjoy and I should ensure that I constantly make an effort to improve and work at a specific craft. Make the most of opportunities – you will regret not making the most of openings and opportunities provided later on; whether they prove to be successful or not they would have given you valuable experience that allow you to develop and progress. You do not need to be a good drawer to be a good designer. Although practise helps with perfecting your drawing skills, success in an idea it is ultimately down to the idea itself. (This does not mean the presentation of a design is not important, it just means that your drawing skills need not be a decisive factor.) I learnt that being unique in your design and creating something innovative is important. Sebastian Bergne was the designer of many pioneering products, some of which have been very successful. Be different and create a product or develop an idea that nobody else has seen before. Take risks in your design – without taking risks you will never see what you are truly capable of.”
“Wayne Hemmingway’s motivational talk – He encourages us take advantage all opportunities we come across. He also emphasised the need to make something out of your passions; as teenagers this is the best time for us to build our skills, therefore, I shouldn’t be afraid to take risks and I should start taking steps towards achieving my life goals. We also learnt that design is “trying to improve anything we don’t like about our society”. This helped us realise that we shouldn’t just criticise the faults in our surroundings but also attempt to improve and eradicate those issues, through design.”
“Emily Campbell taught me the 6 ‘rules’ of Design that should be applied when designing a product. She explained that these rules are like guidelines to make the best and most effective product for people and for problems that they could be experiencing. Even though rules can be limiting for what you want to design, they do not reduce your creativity. Each rule has its own rule as well. For example, in the structure of a product you must “take care of the joins.” The joining of objects are vital as they can give and sleek finesse to an object or make it look very chunky and unfinished. With meaning you must be careful that you don’t create objects that look like other objects as you are not providing any more positive influence that the other product is already providing. For the performance of an object, without human interaction, it cannot go very far as you would not know how to improve or change a product. She also taught that products should be “easy and pleasant” (Steve Jobs) for human interaction. Finally, a product might have to be influenced by a previous product in order to see how creative we can be for the fabrication of an object.
Wayne Hemingway of Hemingway Design taught that immersing yourself in your passion will take you far in life, despite the fact that it may be stressful and not rewarding in the beginning. Furthermore, he said that taking risks is extremely important to excel in your desired areas as it could benefit you positively either in the short or long run. Even though taking risks can be scary it is better to take them rather than waiting when it’s too late and regretting that you did not just do it. If it does not turn out how you expected or wanted it to you can learn from them and improve anyway.”