Makerversity regularly runs a ‘Get Started in Product Design’ course with the Prince’s Trust, but what happens to the young participants who want to learn more after their first week working at Makerversity? Well if they want, they can apply for work placements with a plethora of Makerversity members and build on the knowledge they have already learnt. Yahya is one of these participants who threw himself into the whole experience, I asked him some questions to find out how his time here went.
Let’s keep it simple Yahya, why did you apply?
I first discovered my enjoyment of creating objects and working with my hands whilst studying in college. Hearing the sound of a saw grating through the wood and watching a chunk of unwanted material being turned into something useful, captivated me. Unfortunately, my access to the workshop and it’s tools were limited, but the yearning to want it more fuelled my desire to be a product designer.
During the week of the Prince’s Trust course you designed and built your own skateboard, did you enjoy opportunity? Would you recommend applying for the next one?
To design and build a skateboard in 1 week with very little experience seemed far-fetched for me. However, I hadn’t come across any other opportunities like it before, so I had to try it out. The course was extremely well organised, and the staff were welcoming, approachable, friendly, understood who we were, and how best to deliver the teaching. I would say to anyone who is interested (even if you’re a total newbie) in a creative maker-oriented path, to try it out, because you’ll only come out with new skills, more contacts, and a cool product you could show off.
During your time here you have tried a whole range of processes out, what has been you favourite?
I was introduced to a few of the many companies at Makerversity, each who taught me something new every day. CAD lessons, silicone moulding, resin casting, electronics and woodwork are some of the knowledge and skills I gained whilst here. Woodwork is still my favourite, but working with moulds and resin has grown on me as there is a lot of learning and experimenting to do, so it comes in at a really close second.
Have you always been a “hands on” person?
Theoretical learning and I are simply not the best of friends. I understand more, develop more, evolve with more, and gain much more from practical learning. The little time that I spent here has made me aware that I become more visibly proficient with tasks when carrying out practical work.
Do you feel like your education lacked when it came to design and making?
Due to funding at my previous college, I missed out on many skills, tools, and machinery that other college students had. However, it is with the irreplaceable advice and kindness from my teachers that I am here today. So I may have lacked in academic education, but I made up for it with the right attitude. Besides, starting from a lower point makes me more appreciative, so I see it as an advantage.
Do you think your experience has changed the way you’ll approach your education or route to work you hope to end up in?
If I am to compare myself from before this experience to now, positive alterations have certainly been made. Life changing? Certainly.
What will you do next?
Sensible Object is the company that gave me a paid position for helping them with their ‘Fabulous Beasts’ project, which was heading closely to their kickstarter week. Sensei Tim, the product designer of the company, chose to take me under his wing to show me the ways of mold making and resin casting. He showed me what to do, how to do it, and why to do it, and then let me get on with it, with strange confidence that I was doing the right thing. From day 1, I insisted on staying late to help out with additional work. I was called in to help out on additional days outside of the original work experience plans, which I attended. 2 weeks later, Sensei Tim notified me that he would be paying me for the assistance I was providing (outside of my work experience days at Makerversity) and provided (back-pay), which took me by shock. I was also given some training on CAD programme, Fusion 360.
Best of luck to Yahya who’ll be continuing to work with Sensible Object and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions so eloquently.
Like this? Watch The Princes Trust: Getting Started with Product Design