Product Design by Sam Parkinson

For Sam Parkinson, product design is “about identifying a problem, breaking it down into little bits and rebuilding using your design skills.” Having just recently graduated from the University of Huddersfield, Sam is now seeking challenging career opportunities with reputable companies or design studios. In more recent projects, Sam has combined his design skills with his passion for sport; here we showcase some of his latest work.

“My interest in design started at an early age. Like most kids, I can remember making spaceships and trains out of bit of Lego and K-Nex (probably still got them in attic somewhere). Design and technology became a major part of my education at school and I continued my passion for design by studying AS/A2 Product Design along with Maths, History and P.E. at Clitheroe Royal Grammar Sixth Form. I had a great teacher at Sixth Form, Phil Taylor (not the darts player), who advised me to apply for the University of Huddersfield, which had established a great reputation for Product Design at degree level.”

“During my time at the University of Huddersfield, I acquired a professional set of transferable design skills which have been valuable throughout my career. These sets of skills allow me challenge every critical aspect of Product Design, from in-depth research techniques, idea generation methods, right up to final CAD visuals and manufacture/technical reports.”

“As a result, these techniques consistently generate unique design solutions that solve challenging problems. Furthermore, the University of Huddersfield provided great opportunities that allowed me to use these skills in live projects with some great companies like Kenwood.”

“In the third year of my degree, I took the opportunity to do a year’s work experience at Mitre Sports International, where I combined my passion for design with my love of sport. My main role was to manage the Special Make-Up process which involved the designing and manufacturing of sports products from the initial brief, right through to generating specifications and sampling. My time at Mitre allowed me to gain exposure to the professional design industry which, as a result, developed my skill set to a professional level by working with clients and a great design team, led by Duncan Anderson and Mark Upshall, whose knowledge and experience was a major influence on me.”

“My Final Year Project provided a great opportunity to display the skills I had acquired whilst at University and Mitre, which resulted in my work being exhibited at the 2012 New Designers exhibition. The project was derived from the findings in my Major Research Report which identified the following problems with existing wallets:

• Wallets would easily become bulky and therefore uncomfortable to wear.
• Users found it difficult to access cards.
• Users would like an easier option to remove non-essential items.

In response to the identified problems, I used a range of design techniques to design and develop the Stash clip. The Stash clip is a light weight, easy accessible, modular money/card storing device which consists of different compartments that clip onto a key ring. The user can customise the product to their own requirements by changing the number of compartments on the key ring. The product is aimed at young professionals who are after a minimal alternative to a wallet whilst on nights out, at festivals or on sporting activities. In addition, the Stash clip will come in a range of colours and major retail stores or bars can apply their own branding to the product.”

“Overall this project was a great challenge which I really enjoyed. For me, Product Design is about identifying a problem, breaking it down into little bits and rebuilding using your design skills. Currently, my main design influences are Lacoste and Audi as their designs are iconic and original, which are the main factors I look for when designing, especially for sport products.

At the moment, I have just recently graduated from the University of Huddersfield and I am currently seeking a challenging career opportunity with a reputable company or design studio. My aim is to continually keep developing and learning in order to reach my potential as a designer.”

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