Launched in 2021, Product Design Essentials is an education programme by Wallpaper*, Yellowbrick and Parsons School of Design. Built on compelling video lessons, the course forms a guide to the essential things to know and consider when approaching product design, and covers all elements of design production, from conceiving ideas to manufacturing and marketing products, and getting them to customers.
Learning to design: expert advice from the Wallpaper* community
Throughout the course, designers from the Wallpaper* creative community pitch in to share insight into their processes and approaches to the profession. Through a series of engaging classes, leading design figures such as Alex Rasmussen of creative aluminium brand Neal Feay, and designer and entrepreneur Lee Broom give us a glimpse into their world and offer advice on turning a creative process into a product.
‘I would say very emphatically, get off of the screen, get into a shop, touch things with your hands, bend them, break things, take them home,’ says Rasmussen. Based in Santa Barbara, California, he took over his family’s company taking anodised aluminium to incredible creative heights through collaborations with the likes of Marc Newson and Jony Ive, and Louis Vuitton.
In his lecture, Feay discusses the factory space as a place where to test the boundaries of creativity.
Working as a designer as well as leading his eponymous brand, Lee Broom is able to express the intricacies of working between creativity and business. In the course, he stresses the importance of creating imagery to present a product, showing designs both in a practical and inspirational way. ‘You need to be thinking about it at the very beginning of products,’ he says. ‘You need to be able to show your product in a different light in different environments.’
On the course, participants also hear from Nifemi Ogunro, a US-based emerging designer whose work is largely informed by her personal experiences and her family. Ogunro explains the importance of distilling inspirations into one’s products, learning to bridge one’s creativity with clients and the final user. ‘What we can do is be honest to the process,’ she says.
Meet the course contributors here.
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Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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