Meet the Maker - Sophie Dorrington, BSc Product Design

Meet Sophie Dorrington, currently in her final year studying Product Design at Bournemouth University. Having completed an industrial placement at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Sophie is using her passion for engineering and concept generation to drive her final year project – a portable puree device for people suffering with Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). As Sophie works towards her final year project and prepares for New Designers 2024, we asked her a few questions to learn more about her inspiration and experience studying Product Design.

What’s the inspiration behind your final year project?

I have personal experience with loved ones with Dysphagia. Its not only limiting practically having to prepare food in the household, but also socially, as social interaction is heavily centred around food. The further I researched into this issue, the more I realised this isn’t just the struggle of my loved one, but the struggle of many around the world.

The product I am creating will enable independence and improve people with Dysphagia’s quality of life, as currently food preparation is confined to the household.’

Which materials do you enjoy working with?

‘I love using foam for quick modelling, being able to quickly see shapes. Bringing a concept into 3D early in the design process can help to eliminate assumption that the product will work.’

How would you sum up your creative process in one sentence?

‘Digging deep into the subject area, listening, reading, learning, and adapting designs until they meet the users needs.’

What do you hope people will take from your work?

‘I hope that people will see my enthusiasm, that when you are so immersed in the subject the product becomes a reflection of that.’

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Which designer inspires you the most?

‘I am inspired by the design philosophy of Henry Royce, ‘Take the best that exists and make it better’. I am inspired by women in the industry who make their voice heard.’

What are you most looking forward to about New Designers?

‘New Designers is on my bucket list to attend and be able to display my work at. I am looking forward to seeing the breadth of work that is available, as well as having conversations and talking to creative people as well as seeing their innovations. I find it really inspiring and motivating.’

What would you like to do after graduating?

‘After University, I would like to be in a graduate scheme in a large engineering company. I loved the pace of work on placement, and how every day there would be new challenges to overcome. I also loved being part of a large company as there are so many different skill sets, and I found it very inspiring being able to network and improve my communication skills.’

Some of Sophie’s previous projects:

Join us in Week 2 of New Designers (3 – 6 July) to meet thousands of emerging makers across Product, Industrial & Spatial Design, Furniture Design, Graphics, Illustration, Animation, Gaming and Motion & Digital Arts. Tickets for ND24 are now on sale.