A group of Trinity’s Lower Sixth Design & Technology students recently travelled up to the Emmanuel Centre in London for an interactive product design inspiration day.
They enjoyed a series of ‘Product Design in Action’ talks from experts working in different sectors of the industry. The programme included talks: Materials Engineering, Accessible Design (Open Source projects), Social Design: Making with a Purpose, Logical Progression, and Resourcefulness and Design. Each of these provided students with a different perspective on the world of product design and how different skills are important when designing a product.
Liam Bridgman said, “My favourite talk was Materials Engineering, hosted by Dr Anna Ploszajski. She talked about her journey into materials engineering and how different projects and events impacted her love of the field. She discussed projects including the creation of solid-state hydrogen fuel as an alternative green fuel source, attempts to break the land speed record on the salt flats of Utah and investigation of smart materials and their possible uses in adaptive arm braces. As materials engineering is not a particularly well-known field of engineering, this talk was eye-opening as to what is possible and what a career as a materials engineer would entail.
“I also enjoyed the talk on Social Design: Making with a Purpose, by Professor Daniel Charny MBE who discussed how product design could be used to solve a specific problem for a primary user. This relates directly to the inclusivity project we undertook in our DT lessons with our project focusing on people with arthritis in the knees. Professor Charny founded an organisation called Fixperts who take on these projects of solving problems for people. It was great to see how the skills learnt in class can be applied in the real world and it was inspiring to see the results of these projects as they often end with a very appreciative client.”
Joseph Birch agreed, “I found the talk by Dr Anna Ploszajski the most interesting as she delivered an overview of her career as a Materials Engineer and discussed her different research projects which were so inspiring. Other talks, such as the one by Allie Katz were really useful in getting us to think about accessibility and inclusively when designing. These are critical skills for designers and will aid our A Level coursework projects.
“We finished the day with an interactive design exercise where we made a paper interpretation of a kintsugi vase (pictured left). (Kintsugi is an ancient Japanese process of repairing ceramics traditionally with lacquer and gold, leaving a gold seam where the cracks were.)
“I plan to study mechanical engineering in the future and so getting an experience of many forms of design work has been very valuable. Overall, the trip was a very useful and engaging experience I am grateful to have had.”
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