We Love Amsterdam

Following on from last year’s epic trip to Italy, the delights of Milan and visits to Ferrari and Lamborghini, Product Design students recently returned from this year’s International Study Trip to Amsterdam!

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I thought it would be difficult to top Italy, but what a fantastic city to visit.

The highlight for me was our visit to the Philips Museum in Eindhoven where we had a private escorted tour and learned about the history of this, most iconic of companies, from its early beginnings as a manufacturer of light bulbs to today’s global force in design innovation.

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Our hotel was in the heart of the Museums Quarter and we, of course, visited the world-class Van Gogh, Stedelijk and Ryjks museums.   Well… it would have been rude not to!   Nothing quite compares to seeing the great works of Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Kandinsky, Monet, I could go on “up close and personal”.   You get a real sense of “feeling” and how the artists worked in a way you can never quite appreciate from a screen or book.

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The Stedelijk Museum has a stunning permanent exhibition of 20th Century Design Classics that is a must see!IMG_0156

There was also plenty of free time for the students to take in some culture, including cutting gem stones in the diamond quarter, “designer” shopping, the flower markets and Amsterdam’s vibrant night life to name a few.

And…, we are already thinking about next year’s trip.   High on the list is a return visit to Berlin in 2017, the VW Autostadt and Bauhaus.   We’ll have more information at the start of term in October.

Grazie Italia… We’ll be back!

Product design students recently returned from an epic study trip to Italy and we thought we’d share a few moments with you.

Arriving in the Italian style capital, you can’t fail to be impressed by Milan.

Day 1 started with a trip to the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci”… The Science Museum to the likes of me and you!   This is where I caught this lovely snap of our students in the Da Vinci Gallery which had intricate models of the great man’s many inventions.   The Science museum is on my must see list.

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We then headed to the city centre for lunch and the Duomo di Milano (the cathedral).   What a building!

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It’s difficult to believe that they started building it in 1386 and only finished construction in 1965!… and now they are having to renovate the old bits! :-/

Having been awestruck by the interior, many of us climbed the all too many steps to the roof.   Another photo opportunity amongst the spires of white and pale pastel marble.   You can see the mix of old and new.   The views were spectacular.

And afterwards, a walk around the designer fashion shops in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II followed by a beer (or two) in the city centre overlooking the Duomo.   And yes…, those are 1 litre glasses (just don’t ask the price!)

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Day 2 and we headed south to the Ferrari factory and museum.

We started the day with an escorted tour of the Ferrari test track and factory before visiting the museum.

The whole experience was fascinating from some of Ferrari’s classic racing cars to the stunning La Ferrari and of course, a Ferrari simulator!   The students took a group Selfie but I quite like my perspective on it.

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After Ferrari, we spent the evening in Bologna, a walk around the old town piazzas followed by some great, authentic Italian food.   We took over the entire restaurant!

Day 3 saw us head for the Museo Ferruccio Lamborghini.

Museum director, Fabio Lamborghini, nephew of Ferruccio, gave us a personal tour of the museum.

Fabio had some great anecdotes about his uncle.   Our thanks to Fabio for bringing the entire Lamborghini story so vividly and passionately to life.

From tractors, to air conditioning, the “Popemobile” to the very beautiful Miura we heard all about the ground breaking innovations and the “genius of Ferruccio”

 

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It was quite a road trip.   An unforgettable and inspirational experience for all.

I am reminded that Enzo Ferarri once said “If you can dream it, you can do it”

At Teesside, we believe that too….

Ireland abounds…

Product Design graduates Anna Staples and Emma Braham applied for European Placements and both ended up working in Cork, Ireland, on three month internship schemes.

Anna has been working for a company called Quay Designs who upcycle  furniture and sell it on in their own shop. Anna says:

“I am really enjoying working at Quay Designs because its allowing me to have a hands on approach with all the furniture, see how timber and oak is treated, we get a lot of different styles of furniture in, art deco and 50s kind of stuff. It’s actually ideal for me at the moment. I also get to see what styles of furniture are on trend and what colours are on trend also.”

Emma has been working for Air Dryer Systems Ltd in their new product development department.  Emma says:

“The experience has been really good, working on products to extend their current range”

Anna is hoping to extend her stay in Ireland for a further 3 months, whilst Emma has since secured a new position back in England.

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Ich bin ein Berliner…

Last week 1st and 2nd year Product Design students could be found in the German capital, Berlin. The main part of the study visit was a day trip to the truly wonderful VW Autostadt in Wolfsburg, probably the world’s first automobile theme park, with its beautifully designed pavilions and of course the cars.

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Other visits included the Reichstag, with the large glass dome designed by British Architect Norman Foster, the Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design, with its extensive collection art pieces relating to one of the most influential art and design schools of the 20th century and the magnificent 368m tall Fernsehturm Tower with its incredible views of the whole city.

DSCF0437 DSCF0486 P1100323 Overall it was an excellent few days with lots to see and do. Watch out for more posts from the trip.P1100460

Take a seat: Date for the diary

Postponed from 28th Feb,

Product Design graduate Jonathan Prestwich will be visiting the University this Friday (7th March) to talk about his very successful career as a freelance furniture designer and consultant.

Jonathan graduated from Teesside in 1995 and for 2 years worked as a junior designer for a consultancy in Boston Massachusetts.  From there he worked in France for 6 years as a design manager for Burkhard Vogtherr, a successful German designer, which gave him the experience and contacts needed to set up on his own.

Since then he has produced designs for many well known international furniture companies including Arco (Netherlands), Arflex (Italy), Davis (USA), KlÖber (Germany) and Modus (UK).

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Venue: Centuria Building (School of Health) Lecture Theatre H0.01

Jonathan will then be available during the afternoon to speak with students in the Product Design studio.

Body chair, Davis Furniture (USA) frame lounge, Arco Muebel (NL) Web Tec, Davis Furniture (USA) OS Lounge Chair by Jonathan Prestwich OS_wallpaper

‘Ketchup’ with Tom

Product Design Alumni , Tom Crisp, will be returning to Teesside on January 28th to give a talk about his career so far, working with some of the world’s best design consultancies, and to spend time in the studios with the product design students.

After graduating in 2004 Tom moved to Portland, Oregon to work for for international design consultancy ‘Ziba Design’ at their HQ and, for a short while, at their office in Germany. After 6 years he moved to San Francisco and spent a year and a half at ‘New Deal Design’ working alongside world renowned designer Gadi Amit. After that he was offered the opportunity to start a design studio in San Francisco for the Irish company ‘Design Partners’. They are now in their second full year of running the studio, getting it established and growing the team.

Tom has worked on: Many of the Wacom tablets and screens, the Fitbit products, the new Heinz Ketchup bottles, high-profile laptops, design strategy programs, in-depth research and conceptual projects. His clients have included: Heinz, Fitbit, Wacom, Citibank, Intel, Dell, Logitech, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson and Samsung.Newly_Redesigned_HeinzKetchup_Bottles51Lbf6K3AkL notebook stacktc1 wacomintuos4medium

Tales from the Middle Kingdom

Teesside Graduate Conor Barnes’ ambition whilst a student was to teach in the far east. Since graduating in May Conor has realised that dream.The following is Conors 1st email since starting work.

‘I work at Changsha Foreign Language School as the head of junior two’s (12-14 yrs.) oral English lesson, where for the past few weeks I’ve been teaching them a range of topic’s; from Music genre’s to parts of the human body. Also teaching how to make comparisons, superlatives, spellings, pronunciation, etc.

I found that I’ve adjusted to life here very well and are already considering staying another few years.  I have made many friends here in Changsha and have a busy social life when I’m off duty, I’ve even started a band and we should be starting to play some shows around the pubs and club next month.’

Check back for further updates from Conor.

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