Produced by Guest blogger
This is a guest blog by current student Max Bateson, currently studying BA (Hons) Product Design Futures.
Product Design Futures was a new course for Bournemouth University when I first enrolled, replacing its Industrial Design course. I find the best way to describe this course is Product Design without boundaries. This course doesn’t focus just on physical products you can make in the workshop but any scale product/service/project in general from innovating the hammer to designing your own village, anything is possible. For my first year, I started as a product design student as the courses shared the same curriculum, which allowed me to see what I like and dislike about the course. At the end, I was able to choose whether or not I wanted to continue to Product Design Futures or stay on Product Design, and for me it was a no-brainer.
I chose this course because I came from a product design and app building background before I came to university. When I discovered BA (Hons) Product Design Futures, I saw I was able to address both of those passions, whilst not having to sacrifice one for the other. I also really liked how this course has a strong CAD element to it, and because of this I was able to gain certificates in industry standard software like Solidworks, which I will be able to use for the rest of my career.
So far, the greatest tools I’ve learnt are problem solving and thinking outside the box, not just looking at what’s happening today and is available now, but what future trends are going to appear and what advancements we are making to get there. This course truly dives into the whole design process and how it affects not just the user but all stakeholders involved, applying new design methodologies like the circular economy and cradle to cradle, so the product life doesn’t end when the consumer is finished with it. The highlight of my year so far was taking part in the RSA Student Design competition – the course was able to integrate this with one of the modules we had to complete for semester one. My project focused on future-proofing houses and creating an adaptable living space for multiple generations; I thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to try it again next year.
Right now, I will be finishing my second year and will soon be starting my placement at Softools, an app development company I have spent the last four years working with developing my skill set and working with a variety of businesses from Coke to Dyson. Beyond that, I hope to keep looking at ways to innovate what we are currently doing in the world and to start looking at how designing for the future is becoming a vital way of thinking.