By Studying the Associate Degree in Design (Furniture) Erin McDonnell learnt a variety of manufacturing skills while also further developing her design skills.
The Associate Degree in Design (Furniture) prompted me to continue developing my design skills whilst also having a manufacturing element. It gave me the opportunity to combine my interest in this particular art form with my desire to create and turn my designs into tangible products.
I draw inspiration from a myriad of things depending on the design brief. Sometimes I am pushed towards being inspired by sustainability and explore new approaches to achieving this. Whereas other times, I am inspired by a specific material that I’m working with and experiment with how to use it in ways that are new and exciting.
I find working with materials that I haven’t used before quite enjoyable. I am always trying to expand my knowledge of materials and techniques where I can, so challenging myself with the unknown is an important aspect of my process. This program gave me the creative freedom to do this and create a final signature piece based on my values and ethos as a designer. It was extremely rewarding to be able to construct my idea into a resolved prototype and see my design come to life.
The biggest challenge I was faced with throughout my studies was grasping the amount of new skills taught in, what feels like, such a short amount of time. Learning so many new skills simultaneously can feel overwhelming at times, but it really pushed me to apply myself and taught me how to better manage my time.
Learning all these new skills and techniques helped to refine and develop my ideas. It is quite interesting to see how much a design can change from the concept you draw on paper to the final product. Almost all of my design work done in this course has changed in some way or another throughout the process. Until you are physically making and interacting with your design, it is never going to be as resolved as it could be. Your imagination is the limit and your only constraint is how much you are willing to absorb and learn.
Story: Mikaela Ortolan