UEL Product Design students participate in successful New Designers showcase
Many of the programme's recent graduates have secured interesting jobs
Recent University of East London (UEL) Product Design graduates are putting the skills and knowledge they gained at university to good use in jobs about which they feel passionate.
That is partly due to the platform provided by presenting their work in July at the prestigious New Designers event, which brings together design students from across the UK to exhibit their projects and network with peers and professionals.
Siddanth (Sid) Arora (pictured fifth from right), a 2017 graduate of UEL’s BSc (Hons) Product Design programme, said, “It was a useful experience to see other university student work, and it was nice to celebrate our efforts together.”
Sid displayed his ‘Soccer Circuit’ training equipment for players of walking football, a slower-paced version of the game aimed at elderly people, and ‘Wash Ability’, a shower designed for elderly people with mobility issues.
After the show, Sid landed an interview with Freshorize, an innovative company which pioneers new solutions to cleaning and freshness for airlines.
“(Programme leader) Paul Lighterness put me in touch with Aziz Patel, the founder, and I had an interview,” Sid said. “I was offered a job as a product designer on a trial basis over the summer, and now I’ve been offered a permanent role, which is fantastic.
“I’ve been working on new designs for a range of brand new cleaning and care products for planes and passengers. I’ve even had some of my work presented to major airlines like Qantas, Oman Air, and Ryanair.”
Mr Patel, commenting on Sid, said, “We found him to have fantastic talent, not just in product design, but in thinking ahead in terms of aesthetics, functionality and ease of manufacturing. It was talent we could nurture to make our business stand out.”
Sid adds, “The skills I learned on my course, and the support of lecturers like Paul (Lighterness) have helped me to be a career-ready designer who has just embarked on my chosen career path. I’ve turned my passion into a job.”
Sid’s fellow graduate Carlo Negri (pictured fourth from right) also exhibited at New Designers. His projects included a musical instrument, designed to be played in a group, that aims to mitigate the effects of diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Carlos said, “I managed to secure two job interviews thanks to networking opportunities at New Designers. They were great opportunities, and good interview experiences for me.
He continued, “Later, a trip to the Salone del Mobile Milano, a big furniture expo, got me some great freelance work with a well-known European household brand.”
Carlo recently returned to London, and started a full-time job with Hardcourt London, an interior design company specialising in working with leather.
He said, “I’m in the workshop designing and making, which I love. I’m putting the skills I developed at UEL, and my creativity, to good use in the career I want."