A welcome return.

Last week we were delighted to welcome Tina Gray, Head of Innovation and Design at Mayborn Group , to the University. Tina gave a special guest lecture entitled “Working in Design, Perspectives from a leading design and manufacturing company”

Mayborn are best known for their Tommee Tippee brand which can be found in the major highstreet retailers.    Their feeding, weaning and monitoring products are used by parents and children around the world. Tina gave some insights into the Mayborn design and development process from briefing to production, and some of the issues that operate in this highly competitive market.Tina also discussed the skills and qualities that she looks for when recruiting designers.

After the lecture Tina spent the afternoon in the Product Design studio talking informally with students “one-to-one” and in small groups.

Tina and Mayborn are great friends of the course and it always pleasure to welcome our friends to give specialist lectures.

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Teamwork @ Dyson with Ben Russi

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:

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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.

‘Every cloud…’

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Graduate Talk and Studio Visit

David Winter, Co-founder of Hull Studio and Teesside graduate has worked widely within the fields of furniture, interiors and the super yacht industry.

After graduating David began work within the furniture industry for Silverlining Furniture based in Cheshire where he was involved in designing bespoke furniture for luxury yachts and houses worldwide. Driven by values of innovation, passion and excellence the company continually redefines traditional design and craftsmanship through cutting edge materials, finishes, techniques and technology.

Leaving Silverlining after 5 years in 2013 David Co-founded Hull Studio with former colleagues. The studio has a multidisciplinary approach with an ethos that lies in exploring the relationship between traditional craftsmanship, modern technology and organic design. Their work is currently being shown by Gallery Fumi in London and is often exhibited at The Pavilion of Art and Design.

David is also currently exploring and challenging what his design practice means through an MA in Product Design at Manchester Metropolitan University.

David’s talk will take place at 1pm on Friday 27th February in A2.01. David will then be spending the rest of the afternoon in the studio.

“Going the Extra Mile”

The world of work is a difficult place for a young graduate to navigate. How do you get noticed?, get taken seriously?, get things done? Everything and everyone is new!

Well, product design graduate Michelle Blackett had some of the answers to those thorny questions when she gave an inspirational talk to our students last week. Michelle graduated in 2010 and her first destination job was as a Knowledge Transfer Associate with Nifco UK. Nifco UK is an injection moulding company, supplying many of the big name car manufacturers.

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Michelle was employed through the university and mentored in her role by Peter Reid, Senior Lecturer in Product Design.   Her job was to develop a New Product Development Strategy.   No small task!     Michelle has since gone on to be employed by Nifco in a variety of roles from project engineer where she was responsible for key accounts with Ford and Jaguar/Land Rover to her current position as Marketing Manager with responsibility for Branding, internal and external communications.  

One of many great examples of how Michelle has gone the extra mile is when she organised a teambuilding and charity event for Nifco staff to climb England’s highest mountain, Scarfell Pike in the Lake District.   http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/local-news/stockton-workers-peak-performance-tsunami-3675240

But now Michelle is about to go a few miles further… Ford have offered her a new role in Essex!

And the secret of Michelle’s success, in a nutshell… “always going that extra mile” and exceeding your boss’s expectations.   That’s what quickly builds respect and builds your career.

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

Tom’s Magic Tips

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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 at University. Among his top tips for designers were ‘Make Things Constantly, Experiment and Have Fun‘, ‘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/.

‘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