Design has always fascinated me from a young age. I was forever building things, taking things apart (the TV remote the thing that would annoy my parents the most!), and then trying to put them back together again!
I have always had a love of building furniture and have carried that with me throughout my university career. I’ve been massively influence by designer Thomas Heatherwick, the way he is able to solve problems with what appears to be such obvious solutions that always leave you thinking, “why didn’t I think of that?” That is one of the things I love about design!
Please tell us about your final year project
My final year project is a piece of public space furniture to encourage positive social interaction between users, increase park functionality and enforce accepted social norms. It provides both free to access Wi-Fi and mobile phone charging capabilities. However, it also monitors users’ behaviours, which if undesirable through drinking alcohol, smoking or excessive noise levels will temporarily disable these functions. This is to help create a user base that is conscious of their own behaviours and conform to those accepted by wider public space users.
This product came about after I spent a year helping with a local youth work charity. Getting to know the teenagers in the local area was a brilliant experience and made me see how they were such an unfairly represented group. During my research I found a quote that perfectly encapsulated the problem area I was trying to solve.
“The more we know of those we share space with the easier it becomes to assess whether they pose a threat to us.”
I wanted to try and bridge the gap between teenagers and people in wider society using public spaces. Show people that teenagers are not bad, and that getting to know them you’ll understand that they are valuable members of society with lots to offer.
How have you found your course/time at Brighton?
Pretty brilliant, in short!
However, the longer answer is that it has not been a complete walk in the park, I’ve had to put a lot of hard work and late nights into it, but it’s been well worth it! The city is great and bustling with something always going on, however what has really made my university experience has been the people. I’ve met some brilliant friends along the way from my course year, but also from other years. That’s something I love about product design! Having an open studio for all the years has meant that you naturally interact with every student from every year. Also, lecturers have really inspired and encouraged me and made my time at Brighton such a brilliant period of my life.
What are your plans after Graduation?
They’re still pretty open at the moment, I’ve just been trying to get through and nail final year first! However, the real plan is to move back to London to where I was living during my placement year and work in either a design consultancy or as a graphic designer. Although before all that I think my parents have a few DIY and furniture building jobs they’d like to sign me up to, so I look forward to doing something a little slower paced for the summer!