Meet our Design Consultant Beth

Katie, our Head of Design recently interviewed her colleague and fellow NTU student Beth.

Can you tell me a bit about you as a designer, what do you like designing, and what’s your style?

I think the best way I could describe myself as a designer is practical, but eclectic! I love to solve problems in the most fun and engaging way I can think of. I love to learn and immerse myself into new and different topic areas, channelling colour, material and form into sometimes quite abstract and fun, yet suitable design solutions.

I truly believe ‘thinking outside of the box’ is so important. With awareness growing in different important topical areas (ethics, sustainability, etc), new ideas need to engage fellow designers and consumers.

Beth and her final project

You have been working on your final project for your undergraduate, can you explain a bit about this project? What are your motivations for it?

My final project is something I’ve wanted to create for a very long time! A big personal interest of mine is multi-sensory design applications – the concept of designing with emphasis on multiple different sensory modalities to create a truly immersive and enjoyable experience for everyone.

After writing an explorative thesis surrounding multi-sensory design as a subject; I created my final project – named Cadence. Cadence is designed to take the multi-sensory concept as far as possible – taking music as an experimental concept and translating it into shape, colour, form and texture.

Cadence is a decorative acoustic panelling system made from reclaimed wood shavings and exploring biodegradable adhesives. Designed to be displayed anywhere; any piece of music of any length personal to the individual/company buying it can be produced as a bespoke Cadence set using the purpose-built production software. Through multi-sensory design practices and centuries of research data, the physical acoustic panels mechanically and psychologically translate music to the decorative panels, with over 9 million different possible combinations per piece.

NTU Exhibition: Adam, Beth, Katie, Olivia

What are the future ideals for it?

Truthfully I would just love to continue to develop on the execution of the idea. Refining the translating software, exploring different sustainable adhesive options, and maybe even branching out on the application of form altogether.

I’m so happy with the outcome at this point of the design, and being able to present all the panels together in harmony at the NTU design showcase makes me so excited for the possible future of this idea.

You are the first student to go through the dc sustainable design course, how did this help/support with your final project?

It was several years before I began working with dc that I began really engaging myself with the sustainability elements of design and manufacture, and its importance. Working with dc and going through the sustainable design course has allowed me to continue to learn and grow my own developing knowledge within sustainability, looking at many different areas and considerations with more depth than I’ve ever really had the opportunity to do before.

What are your reflections on the Carbon Efficiency Estimator?

I think the Estimator is a really useful tool. Before working with dc I hadn’t really seen anything like it – but I think it gives any designer or manufacturer such a good opportunity to evaluate on and improve on their sustainability and process, in what I this is really quite a clear way without much fuss.

Carbon Efficiency Estimator

Where do you hope to progress to in your future career?

I always find this to be such a difficult question. I love working, learning and consulting within design, but I never know where it is going to take me, and truthfully, I really enjoy that. Before working with dc, alongside studying at NTU, I co-ran my own sustainable design start-up and consultancy for a few years, both of which has ultimately led me to where I am currently. I really enjoy my role at dc, and love working within an area that I think is incredibly important.

What would you say to students looking to or currently working on a degree in product design?

I think it’s probably a very cliché answer; but to be yourself. There will always be people who are critical, or that don’t like what you do – those just aren’t your people. Take it all in your stride, learn from it and carry on, and don’t be afraid to learn new skills that you may find daunting at first. Exploring and making mistakes to figure out what kind of designer I am was a huge part of being a student for me.

What is your role at dc?

I work as a Design Consultant with dc. This role includes reviewing and processing products for ESC certification, for example.

What have you learnt during your time at dc?

My time working at dc has been wonderful so far. Not only am I continuously encouraged to learn and grow as an individual, I am lucky to be surrounded by a team of incredible people that I know I learn more and more from every time I’m there. I have been able to develop my knowledge within sustainability as a whole, material use, importance of manufacturing methods, etc; along with gaining important hands on experience of working with individuals within the design, and sustainability sector.

Get in touch for more information on our design consultancy services and carbon reporting for your furniture products.