Before studying at Ravensbourne, BA (Hons) Product Design second-year student Dan Jones was a design engineer apprentice working for design-based engineering company Parkegate Engineering. He heard about Ravenbourne through Curventa and after conducting some research decided to apply.
Why did you choose to do this course at Ravensbourne?
I initially chose to look into Ravensbourne and the Product Design course because of its emphasis on project based learning. I am at my best when I am free to take a concept and develop it over time.
I was impressed by the open plan style of learning, echoing much of what I had experienced and seen in industry. Also, I thought the idea of cross-course collaboration was interesting, for example, if I happened to be using fabric within a design then I could go and talk to somebody on the fashion course for their knowledge on material. Or, if I needed a promotional video then I could speak to somebody on the media course, again, a similar approach to that of industry practice.
What do you like most about Ravensbourne?
There is an element of excitement in the air around Ravensbourne. The atmosphere that is generated by the students and staff; the place feels alive, creative, buzzing with the inspiration and innovation of the work being produced.
I love walking along the Greenwich Peninsula before lectures, seeing the fantastic architecture of the Ravensbourne building, standing proudly next to the O2 Arena.
How do you like the teachers, resources, support, facilities?
The teachers on the Product Design course at Ravensbourne have all the time in the world for their students. They have the incredible ability to not only teach us the tools and skills used within Product Design, but are also capable of shaping our minds and approach to design, allowing for us to freely develop our thought process in design. They are masters of positive criticism, feedback and steering their students in the right direction. I myself now not only work with one of my lecturers from first year, but have also become good friends with them.
The resources at the university are open to all students. We are able to, after training, use the machines and equipment for project work, both personal and module based. The staff who work within the prototyping room, as well as the lecturers involved are all trained to deal with any issues or problems, and have proven extremely helpful in resolving any issues.
What opportunities have you had here that you don't think you'd have gotten at other institutions?
I have had the opportunity to become heavily involved within the 3D printing industry through projects and a first year lecturer who I now work closely with in developing 3D prints. Through the 3D print specialist company ‘Modla’, I have had been able to work closely with owner Jon Fidler and demonstrate my 3D printing knowledge and skills at art fairs, museums, magazines and talks. There are currently a number of models on display at the Science Museum, as well as on the front cover of the RSA magazine that I have contributed towards.
We also have the privilege of some truly inspirational figures within the design world giving guest lectures at Ravensbourne. I have even had the opportunity to present one of my projects to a figure-head of design in the UK.
What are your proudest moments here?
I was given the opportunity to display and present one of my projects to Jay Osgerby, of Barber Osgerby, the design duo behind the Olympic Torch, among many other iconic designs of the 21st century.
How do you think this course will help you in the future?
Ravensbourne is very industry focused and encourages it's students to look into finding work placements early, if you feel ready to take on a role within the industry then the support and resources are there for you as a student to take it that step further.
The knowledge you gain throughout the modules crafts each student into acting and thinking like a designer, but without generating generic designers. The foundations of becoming a designer are sewn into us as students, which enables us to develop further into our own individual styles.
The skills learned throughout the course will enable us to move straight into industry and become useful designers with key skills. Ravensbourne has built up quite the reputation within the design industry, many students have gone on to lead successful careers as designers and many design companies recognise Ravensbourne students as potential future employees.