A group of product design students recently took a trip to the February ‘Southern Manufacturing’ show in Farnborough. Daniel Cano has kindly supplied an account of the outing.
The Southern Manufacturing exhibition 2012 housed over 400 manufacturing suppliers, brilliant product design information, fantastic freebies and an excellent hog roast lunch. It wasn’t all food and freebies though, to the technology product designers and engineering lovers this was a Charlie’s Chocolate Factory – sorry, another food reference, no more I promise – plenty of gadgets, the ins and outs of design manufacturing, nuts and bolts everywhere and big heavy machinery. Now, you’re probably wondering what a product designer, like myself, gained from going to the event. It was so interesting to see manufacturing techniques actually used in industry, talking to experts about them and how they could influence my own designs. Of course the best part of my day had little to do with engineering and that was a talk by Stefan Knox of Bang Creations. He touched upon the design process and how you go from a market ready design to a market ready product.
Sure, this might not have been the perfect exhibition for the sort of product design I’m really interested in but it’s always worth going to any exhibition or trade show, however loosely related to design. If not for the exhibition itself, then for the exhibitors and their experience in industry. Without fail you’ll find something that interests you and you’ll hopefully make some valuable contacts along the way.
My advice? I urge you to take the opportunity to go to any sort of design show. Talk to everybody. Take business cards with you. Make people remember who you are. And always, always go for the hog roast with all the trimmings…oops.