A Level Product Design in Action Conference

Our A Level Design Technology students recently attended a Product Design in Action Conference at Warwick University as part of their broad A Level curriculum but it also gave students access to expert and up to date information and advice as they consider careers in the design industry and various related fields. Year 13 pupil Daniel L (Howson's) describes the experience:

We began the conference with a talk by the award winning industrial designer Sebastian Bergne. He stressed to the 800 strong audience of Britain's future innovators, artists and architects that good design should aim to make even the most mundane of everyday objects special. He highlighted the importance of being willing to be flexible and to be able to think outside the box to thrive in such a competitive industry. Once, when approached by a client to design a soap dish that would prevent the soap bar from disintegrating he designed a ring shaped block of soap that would dry by itself when hung from a hook on the wall and therefore would not disintegrate. This kind of thinking, he told us, comes from experience and cannot just be learned in a classroom.

In an era of romanticism, fuelled by the Instagram generation’s eye for the aesthetic, Icelandic product designer Theodóra Alfreðsdóttir reminded us that design is far more than meets the eye, it should tell a story and have a purpose beyond its appearance. Amongst other things we heard from a car designer from Jaguar Land Rover, threw paper aeroplanes at a bucket from across the auditorium and watched a small army of orange robotic arms eerily take over Hull’s old town in the name of “culture”.

Overall it would be safe to say that the lecturers were informative and gave us as students a useful insight into the world of design and its future as an industry.