I’d like you all to meet Tom Metcalfe. Tom is a Scottish designer specialising in object and conceptual design, design thinking and internet-connected objects. Tom and I both studied Product Design at Duncan of Jordanstone and he’s been brilliant since day one. He gave a talk to the Digial Media Management crew last week and definitely made an impression. I can’t for the new Digital Experience Design crew to meet him.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?
Collaboration isn’t straightforward. I have brokered, supported and been involved in collaborations this year and found we often had to overcome little difficulties. And in spite of solid outcomes, relationships didn’t always survive. A strong reason to collaborate is the potential and opportunity to create a more considered and better outcome. When we think of the bigger picture – like the societal and environmental – it’s clear that we must collaborate. And that we need to collaborate with people that have different experiences and expertise from ourselves… Minimising the difficulties is of course possible. I found a good start is to establish shared values and language and have empathy and respect – a Producer also helps…
What’s your burning question of the moment?
It must be… How do we transition to a lowcarbon economy and wean our way off finite resources?
What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?
Scottish democracy. We have a newfound relationship and engagement with politics. We have realised that we hold the power to build the country we want, for ourselves and future generations. Additionally, this year I’ve been fortunate to meet some great people – often ones who don’t shout about what they do… Makers, organic farmers, quiet scholars and rural communities – to name but a few – are doing inspiring work that few of us know about.
What would be your one piece of advice to students on Hyper Island’s new MA in Digital Experience Design?
I was going to mention the importance of communication and language but… Really get in the mind of your users – Refine the quality of the experience but also remember to nail the value propositions for business stakeholders too, otherwise people won’t get to enjoy your carefully considered creation!