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Student story

Samuel Roberts

20 July 2023

"There was nowhere else that could better suit my needs than UC..."


Why did UC’s Product Design degree appeal to you?

My strengths in science and math throughout college led me to look at studying Engineering at UC. However, after attending the UC Open Day and multiple UC pop-ups around Wellington, I discovered the School of Product Design. 

I have always had a creative side of me and took design technology throughout all of college. So after seeing a degree that merged both my engineering wants as well as my passion for design I was completely sold! I concluded that there was nowhere else that could better suit my needs than UC.

Has it lived up to your expectations?

I have really enjoyed the experience of studying at UC. This includes the amazing buildings and facilities that I am able to utilise on campus, as well as the diverse club culture and social events. It has allowed me to meet people from all over the country and make some great friends along the way.

And now you’re even on the executive team for Product Design Society! What kind of benefits does the club bring?

ProdSoc is an academic and social club that is focused on creating tutorials and sessions that can assist Product Design students in their studies, as well as run social events where students can relax and meet new people in their degree.

I am also members of a few other clubs, one being Lads without Labels. This is an amazing club that focuses on gaining awareness of men’s mental health through fun social events.

So what would your main advice be for new Product Design students?

My advice for someone considering studying Product Design would be to understand the strengths of yourself and your peers. The School of Product Design promotes collaboration and requires you to work in groups often. This is a great opportunity to learn from others who have different backgrounds and skills to you, and vice-versa.

What drew you to the Industrial Product Design major in particular?

The Industrial Product Design degree merges creative industrial design with engineering, marketing, and business. My study involves learning about all the different stages of the design process. This ranges from initial user research and concept generation to manufacturing and product delivery (and everything in-between).

What’s the best part of your degree?

The wide range of skills I have been able to learn through the diverse courses that we take. Some of these have included sketching, CAD, manufacturing, material research, robot-making, coding, graphic design, marketing, model-making, and much more. This has really given me the opportunity to try my hand at many things that I have never experienced before.

Do you know what kind of products you would like to create in your future career?

As a young designer in this current climate, I feel a large responsibility to design sustainable products, with the environmental and social implications being a driving force in my design decisions.

I have recently been inspired by a documentary on Bio-Architect Neri Oxman and her work at MIT; discovering new materials and processes through bio-mimicry. Material research and design using bio-mimicry as a driver is very exciting to me. I would hope that in the near future I will be able to find myself working in a field that allows me to do this. 

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