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Work by Harvey Everson Image courtesy of the artist

For Harvey, Studying Product Design - BA(Hons) at ECA gave him the opportunity to test and evolve his creativity through an array of projects and skills.

Since graduating, Harvey has been able to secure a position working as a Film Production Designer for a London-based company. Despite studying a degree programme in a different field, Harvey has been able to use the wide array of skills he acquired during his time at ECA and transfer them to this new role.

Why I chose to study Product Design - BA (Hons)

While placing a strong emphasis on learning about design history and developing the fundamental disciplines that make a product designer truly effective, I believe that ECA, more so than any university, encouraged innovation and critical design thinking as a tool to question ideas and assumptions about our everyday lives. I believe this attitude to question and explore the unknowns and use design as a tool to improve people’s lives was what attracted me most to study product design at ECA.

My time at ECA

Over the 4 years at the ECA I developed immensely as a designer. From having a previous background in A-Level art and photography, I was initially sceptical about having the right skills to become an effective product designer. However, this doubt quickly faded, as through the constructive criticism and encouragement of my tutors, I quickly began to develop and improve. A valuable piece of advice I learnt at ECA, that I still carry to this day, is that to improve you must make mistakes. I believe this positive attitude towards making mistakes gave me an enormous sense of freedom to push my practice outside the confinements of what is traditionally seen as product design.

On reflection, I believe I was very fortunate to have been part of a studio culture that was collectively made-up of students from all years on the product design course. Together, we spent time collaborating and learning from one another. Having this type of rapport with students from all years meant I was able to use their critiques and perspectives to elevate and evolve my ideas, product concepts and bring my visions to fruition.

"I was very fortunate to have been part of a studio culture that was collectively made-up of students from all years on the product design course. Together, we spent time collaborating and learning from one another."

Harvey Everson

Product Design - BA Alumnus

My experiences since graduating

I think graduating in 2021, during Covid-19 restrictions, created a very anti-climatic ending to the final year, which was a shame. I had spent 4th year working remotely from home as studios were closed, so this abrupt ending to university was hard to adjust to.

I started looking for creative roles back in September. Naturally, I was initially met with a lot of rejection from the jobs I applied for. I think being a newly graduated individual looking for creative work meant I was up against a lot of other creative individuals who probably had a similar background to myself but most likely had more experience in the field.

However, in time I was able to get a creative job working as Film Production Designer for a company based In London. I think what’s the most surprising about obtaining this role is how the skill set I developed as a product designer has been transferable to this role.

While I don’t necessarily have a background in film, the fundamental skills I learnt through Product Design at the ECA means I have a range of skills that are applicable and transferable to a lot of creative roles. In this current role, for example, I spend a lot of time researching and designing ideas for the films I work on. This in many ways is a close reflection of the role of a product designer, to research and design ideas for the client you may work for…

My advice for new and current students

  • Don’t be afraid to try something new or outside your comfort zone.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is how we improve.
  • Spend the first 3 years pushing and developing your practice as much as possible. This will benefit your creative practice as you enter 4th year.
  • Being rejected after university is natural and part of the process. Embrace it!

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