Since graduating with a first class degree in Product Design from Teesside University in 2012, Ben Russi has gone from strength to strength. After completing a Master’s degree in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation and a 6-month internship, Ben snapped up an opportunity to work as part of the design engineering team at Dyson. He returned to Teesside on Friday 15th January to inspire our product design students, offering an insight into the world of work for a graduate product designer.
‘Working at Dyson offers a lot of creative freedom. Within the first few weeks, I learnt a lot and the expectations of me where high. Very little time was wasted and quite rapidly, I was contributing to projects’
Each year Dyson gives them an Engineering challenge. You can see last year’s challenge by clicking the image below and read more about it on twitter @ #ChallengeDyson:
Click the image above to see the Dyson Challenge
Communication and cooperation form the basis of any business, but at Dyson, it is brought to the forefront.
Ben had some wise words for students about what he learned while studying his Bachelors and Masters degrees:
‘The Best way to learn about problems and possible solutions is to get out of the studio speak to people and research the problem. Always test your concepts and learn from each one. Inspiration is rarely found sitting at a drawing board.’
With the beginning of the third year’s major project, Ben had one final piece of advice for our final year students.
“Organise your time from day one, and put in as much time as early as you can. Any time you miss now will have to be made up further down the line.”
Whether delving into a design career or continuing with further study, determination and perseverance are key.
You can read more about Bens’ early experiences at Dyson here.
Each year, the third year product design students at Teesside inherit the New Designers society. This group of students is primarily a means to organise fundraising activity for the New Designers stands at the end of the academic year. Three students this year have taken on key roles within the Society.
Tim Hargreaves, Lawrie Ward and Ffion Crowhurst have each taken the positions of Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, respectively. Their task this year is to organise events and manage the society as we being to raise funds for our stand at New Designers 2016, next summer. With the new construction and developments around the University – Not least of all the Curve – Campus Heart is a hive of activity. This gives us an excellent position to organise fundraising activities for the New Designer’s fund.
So far, the society has held a number of small events – bake stalls, cake stands and the like. On the evening of Halloween, a group of us also partook in a sponsored hike. Many attended in fitting Halloween attire, to the bafflement of every other hiker we passed along the way. The trip began at the foot of Highcliff Nab, one of the cliffs overlooking Teesside and the surrounding area. The trek then began through the moorlands, and on to to Captain Cook Monument above Great Ayton. The weather was unseasonably pleasant, and by the fourth hour we reached the base of Roseberry topping. The hill itself is one of the tallest in Northern Yorkshire, with a magnificent view for miles around.
Though the trip was almost non-stop, we managed the reach the topping – and in doing so, raised a considerable sum towards our New Designers stand. As Christmas is approaching, we’ve taken some time to brainstorm new ideas for more events up to and after the New Year. Some of our members have taken the time to begin crafting Christmas gifts, and touch up their model making skills while doing so!
The New Designers exhibition is one of the most important annual events for Design students, and a chance for students from across the nation to meet with industry figures and employers. Held in the diverse London district of Islington at the Business Design Centre, the show offers students a chance to showcase their work and canvas ideas to a variety of Designers, buyers, trend predictors and members of the public. The atmosphere and venue encourage curiosity and invite viewers to a whole range of different Design and Crafts related displays.
As of 2016, New Designers will have been going for 31 years – an established, and well recognized show to be sure. The exhibition is supported by many Event and Media partners. These renowned establishments, such as The Design Trust, The Design Museum, Design Nation and Icon, are among many expected to be attending the coming show.
Held each year, usually in late June and early July, the exhibition is a regular spot for third year design students at Teesside University. For some, this is a springboard opportunity to help launch their new careers, or begin to develop a contact network – invaluable in the field of Design. Employers also look to find fresh talent among graduates, and many former Teesside students have been offered work placements and internships while displaying their work at the exhibition. The exhibition also caters for younger students, with regular campaigns aimed at high school, A-level and college academics. For younger students considering university level study, this is an excellent opportunity to meet tutors and graduates in person.
Click the image above to see more Class of 2015 work at New Designers.
Here, we can see the previous third year’s finished stand at New Designers. The location is prime, and although the show is supported by sponsors and partners, the price of our stand requires some fundraising and more than a little creative thinking.
This years cohort of graduate product design leavers are currently showing their skills and final projects in the London’s biggest graduate design show called New Designers. Students show off their projects and portfolios in the hope that they will be ‘talent-spotted’ by businesses and consultancies who visit the show. Every year Teesside University showcase its graduates at this event and is always successful in gaining placements and jobs for students. Good luck every one!!!!
Teesside ex-student, Tom Crisp, now Design Director at Design Partners in San Fransisco, came back to Teesside last week and wowed Product Design Students with a bundle of stories about life as a designer.
As well as showing his award winning portfolio of work he has done for Wacom ( Cintiq, Bamboo and Intuos), Heinz Ketchup (new squeezy bottle), Intel ( Mobile Metro), Villeroy and Boch, Logitech and Proctor and Gamble, he gave a talk entitled ‘Twenty Things I wish I could have told myself atUniversity‘. Among his top tips for designers were ‘Make Things Constantly, Experiment and HaveFun‘, ‘Make Friends with Criticism’ and ‘Add Magic. Always’. Students were then treated to a master class in drawing and some feedback about an on-going sledge project.
Tom also invited students to submit their portfolios to him for the possibility of working for Design Partners as an intern. It was a truly inspirational day. Tom has promised to come back to share more of his wisdom next year. See more of Tom and teams work at http://www.designpartners.com/.
Second year Product Design students kicked off a joint project with their Chinese counterparts at the Suzhou Art and Design Technology Institute with a group Skype call where all the students and staff met each other and discussed the details of an exciting new project. Paul Denison, Principal Lecturer (International) has been working towards getting the project off the ground for 3 years. The project is called ‘Design for our Future Selves’ and the idea is that students from each institution help each other to research issues around ageing in both China and the UK. They then design products in small groups that are ‘cross cultural’ and suitable to be sold in both markets.
The project is being facilitated by two Chinese students who are studying in the 2nd year and who are acting as translators as well as being team members. It is hoped that all sudents will develop a strong sense of working internationally and that this will help them to develop skill sets which set them apart from graduates in other universities.
1st year Product Design students at Teesside University recently enjoyed a very challenging group project to design an ergonomically sound Arcade Game for the Future. Students carried out research into existing games, anthropometric and ergonomic data, and built their own test-rigs and models to make sure their designs were completely viable for all audiences. Students selected a team leader for their groups and everyone got a job that suited their skills. The results were a resounding success and demonstrated how enthusiastically students had risen to the challenge of not only designing but prototyping and testing their ideas out on real people. Well done to all!