Industrial Design and Innovation

Graduate Profile: Brett Band


This is the first of a series of posts about past graduates and where they are after completing their degree at the Department of Industrial Design and Innovation:

Today we catch up with Brett Band: our own Pro Skater come Product Designer…

Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself and let us know when you graduated from product design?

BB: My name is Brett, I’m 24 and I graduated from Product Design at AUT December of 2011. I’ve been a skateboarder since I was 8 years old and a mechanical watch nerd since I was 22.

Q: Where are you now, and what is your favorite part of your job? 

BB: I’ve been working at Blender Design for just about 2 years now. The most exciting part for me is when a project is ‘all go’, the whole team is working together solving technical challenges and we get to combine all processes like research, visualising, CAD and prototyping. More specifically, I am always quite content to spend all day sketching.

Q: What has been your biggest learning experience transitioning from study to practicing design?

BB: The biggest transition from study to work was becoming efficient at a professional level. Going from University spending weeks on one task, where at work, suddenly I was expected to spend one day on a task and have something to practical to show at the end of it. I found the only way to improve was by doing it over and over with a bit of ‘self-evaluation’ in between. It quickly became fun once my confidence at each task kicked in.

Q: What was your most memorable project from your undergraduate degree and why?

BB: My most memorable project was to do with skateboarding, which I actually tried to avoid getting involved with. It is memorable because I’m aware of how opinionated skateboarding is, so I had to be super critical about what I was trying to achieve and how I would portray that. I enjoyed getting really deep into the research side of the project and really analysing the details!

Q: What would be your one bit of advice to final year students considering what to do after university?

BB: One bit of advice for students right out of University I would say is, be very critical of your portfolio. Your portfolio is how you are judged generally. Do your research about who you are applying to and really think about what they want to see. Get outside perspective of it and if you make mistakes with grammar – like myself, get someone to proof read it! Your skills have to be useful to your boss; examples of CAD detailing is a good one to include I think.

Q: Favorite designer?

BB: I don’t have a favourite designer, there are so many, and the really big names are more like brands. I respect what they do though and I like hearing their different design philosophies! What Richard Seymour and Philippe Starck have to say about design on TED is a good watch! Speaking visually, Daniel Simon’s new Lotus motorbike is pretty much the best thing I’ve ever seen.

Q: What area do you feel you have most improved in most since you graduated from AUT?

BB: Since graduating, I have definitely most improved with CAD.

Q: Philosophy on design? A short summary of what you think design is and why its important?

BB: I’ll give it a go, but I’ve only been working for two years, so I think my own design philosophy could do with some time swirling around in a Whiskey Barrel. I love a quote from a Horologist,”The craft within be equal to or better than the craft exhibited on the outside.” Good design is carefully crafted from the inside and outside; materials are responsible, purpose is beneficial, form and function are timeless. It is not just physical either, the design should have substantial meaning which adds value to it. On the more airy-fairy side of design, I believe an artist’s most powerful attribute is their obsession with their art.

Quebee sketches

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