Introducing Caitlin McCulloch | An interview with a product designer

Team news: Having graduated from the University of Leeds with a first class Master’s degree in product design, it’s clear that Caitlin McCulloch has considerable design talent. Caitlin joined the Simple Design Works team in 2018 so we put her under the spotlight to get to know her a little better…

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How did you get into design?

Caitlin: “I was always really creative from an early age. After my International Baccalaureate, I studied product design at the University of Leeds. I’ve also worked in-house previously, in a more engineering-focused role. I enjoyed the detail and thought process involved, but the role didn’t exploit my creative skills.

I started looking for a role in product design, rather than product engineering. My role at Simple Design Works provides a good balance between creativity and engineering.”

What do you love about your career in product design?

Caitlin: “I really enjoy finding solutions to things, and the satisfaction when you finally come up with a product that looks good – it’s really rewarding.”

What impressed you about Simple Design Works as a potential employer?

Caitlin: “It was actually the friendliness and approachability of Kristo and the Simple Design Works’ team. I find if you have a great atmosphere at work it really helps your creativity. It’s also fun! I’m a firm believer that work should be enjoyable. You work harder and you work longer.”

Does your experience so far live up to your expectations?

Caitlin: “It’s certainly very friendly. I quickly started working on design projects, meeting clients and feeling that I’m adding value.”

Who or what inspires you?

Caitlin: “I love finding clever solutions to problems, for example using something that’s been created to solve one problem and using it in a completely different application or way. For example, my father is always losing his glasses so I took the idea of a wrap-around ‘slap’ bracelet, the sort that snaps around your wrist, and put it on the arm of his reading glasses.

Now he can ‘snap’ his glasses to his wrist, instead of putting them down, and can always have them with him.

I’m also interested in the natural environment. I’ve designed a herb book, that’s shaped like a concertina, with all the herbs and soil integrated into the sheets of the book. You simply water it, and it sprouts in a beautiful display. It’s great as a table top herb garden, without the mess of having to deal with soil, plant pots and tools!

On the gardening theme, I’ve designed a double-layered paper coffee cup with an eco-twist. It includes seeds in the external sleeve layer with no plastic parts. So instead of throwing the cup away, you can plant it in your garden – or if you do throw it away, the cup will eventually disintegrate, and if given the chance, sprout wild flowers.”

Ok time for some fun questions. If you ruled the world, what would your top priority be?

Caitlin: “Implement compulsory naps during the work day.”

What would you put in room 101?

Caitlin: “I don’t like the smell of fresh oranges and clementines so they have to go into room 101. Although I might have to bring them back as I love orange juice!”

If you had any superpower what would it be?

Caitlin: “I’d love a superpower! Hard to choose…teleportation…or maybe to live the whole of my life, then go back to my favourite age and become immortal…or perhaps to be an animal shape-shifter with the ability to fly…or the ability to be able to change my super power whenever I wanted (is that cheating?!)”

If you could meet one famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?

Caitlin: “Maybe not someone famous but I’d like to meet my future generations/great grandchildren whom I would otherwise not get to meet. Or I’d like to meet my great-great grandmother and ask about all the family secrets!”

Favourite tipple?

Caitlin: “Easy, classic G&T.”

If you had a racehorse what would you call it?

Caitlin: “Dashing Dora!”

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