An interview with product designer Charlie Conway

We’re powered by our people and it takes a diverse set of skills, personalities and points of view to build a humming innovation ecosystem.  Charlie graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in industrial design and his talent for producing exceptionally high-quality work makes him the perfect addition to the Simple Design Works team.

We love to understand why our team is passionate about product design and what makes them tick, so we put Charlie under our interview spotlight…

So Charlie, tell us a bit about your childhood…

Charlie: “I grew up in Worcestershire and went to Kings School in Worcester. When I left school, I wanted to find a way of applying my artistic skills in a more practical job role so I started looking at industrial and product design.  I knew that Loughborough University was renowned for producing high quality, employable graduates and so I enrolled in their four year industrial design degree.”

Did you gain much practical experience during your course?

Charlie: “In our final year we were asked to create a fully feasible, manufacturable and original product that’s commercially viable. This eight month exercise took our ideas from concept right through to production. This final year project was perfect to give us an opportunity to experience every stage of the design process in a professional and educational environment.”

So what happened next?

Charlie: “Everyone showcased their final year project at the degree show. On the last day there was a networking event where design consultancies, agencies and other businesses visited to meet the students and discuss their final year projects. It was here that I met Richard, the design director at Simple Design works, who was impressed by how thorough I was with my work.”

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

Charlie: “My dad’s an artist and my mum’s a doctor so I felt really passionately about finding a career that would be an extension of my childhood. I wanted to work for a design consultancy that considered both the practical elements of manufacturing with the exciting creative design process.”

“Richard introduced me to Kristo, the founder of Simple Design Works, who invited me for an interview in the Hereford office.  When I met the team and learnt about the projects they worked on, I knew this was the right place to fulfil my ambition and I started working for Simple Design Works less than a month later.”

And does your experience so far live up to your expectations?

Charlie: “Absolutely! What makes Simple Design Works different from other consultancies is the care taken through the customer journey. I speak to customers regularly about the design process so it’s a very hands-on role and I’m always encouraged to challenge ‘the way it’s always been done’.”

And Kristo, why is Charlie the perfect addition to the Simple Design Works Team?

Kristo: “We were impressed by Charlie as it was clear through his degree showcase that he has an exceptional amount of talent.  Charlie proved himself in the very first week of his employment when he took an existing product design and further developed it, enhancing the design and commercial appeal without compromising its clean lines.

Not only is he proving to be a talented product designer, but he is articulate, intelligent and has a great sense of humour. He has fitted into the team superbly well, and it soon felt like he’d been here for years. We know our clients will be impressed with Charlie’s work and we foresee a great design future for him.”