CSD CEP Design Student Prize profiles: Rory Williams Assoc.CSD, Product & Furniture

Every year we celebrate graduating CSD CEP student designers across the globe through in-person and online award ceremonies.

The CSD CEP Student Prize is awarded yearly to one design student from each of the CEP design courses who has demonstrated great work throughout their course, recognising their talents and constant hard work.

As part of our celebrations, we’re showcasing talented CSD CEP Student Prize winner Rory Williams Assoc.CSD from University of Plymouth about his design approach and plans for the future.

University of Plymouth – Rory Williams Assoc.CSD

Tell us a little about your work:

Growing up in a family of engineers led me to appreciate a systematic approach to design and question how things worked and were made. From a young age, I was always playing with toys like Lego and Meccano which empowered me to be creative and explore my curiosity, I even dabbled in creating mini stop-motion videos using the models I made.

As I’ve matured, I’ve been inspired by Bang and Olufsen. The brand’s design language and methodology, ‘form following function’, which is something I’ve always kept in mind, especially during my studies. The brand’s products offer a harmony between technology and aesthetics and this balance was at the front of my mind during my final year project.

Mementos – Rory’s final year project.

The idea for my project was sparked by looking through my grandparents’ old photos and realising that I had nowhere near as many physical photographs. Instead, I have a lot of digital images on my phone, but they have no real weight or value to them. I wanted to bring back memories into physical objects again for the younger generation.

My project, Mementos, centres on an interactive design using a mix of digital and physical elements. It invites users to take photographs and upload them on the Mementos website or app. Then using developing AI and photogrammetry technology, a 3D model would be created. Users can then upload their audio alongside the model and a ‘Memento’ would be produced.

For the design, I was inspired by Yuri Suzuki and his collaboration with Teenage Engineering on the P0-80. I enjoyed how he used colour within the design. I wanted to have elements of that in Mementos, as it is a product focusing on unique memories for young people, so the product itself needed to truly reflect its target audience.

Mementos – Rory’s final year project.

The hub – the main core of the product – is created with colourful detached customisable elements allowing users to customize the product themselves. A white hub with orange components, and embedded with magnets, provided my desired outcome of a design that was child-friendly and appealing to a younger generation of users.

What does being awarded the CSD CEP Student Prize mean to you?

I am so proud of this accomplishment, as from GCSE through to my degree, the Society has always been held up as an important part of what it means to be a professional designer. My dad knew all about the Society, so he was pleased to hear I had been awarded the CEP Student Prize.

Rory at his award ceremony

Throughout my course, my lecturers have been amazing and they’ve helped me to shape my ideas and guide me through the development of Mementos. This is the first award I’ve won as a designer, and it has buoyed me to receive this praise, especially for a project I am so proud of.

 What’s next for you?

At the moment, I am still at university, completing a Masters in Design. I would like to continue focussing on how technology can integrate with design and build my portfolio as part of my studies.

Looking into the future, I have an idea of where I would like to work, either in a design consultancy or a company that aligns with my design values such as Bang and Olufsen. At the moment however, I am very much focused on developing my practice and continuing to hone my design skills and take more risks.

Where can we find you?

You can find me via the CSD Find-a-Designer here, on LinkedIn and Instagram. Find out more about me on my website.

Are you a Product and Furniture Design student?

Individuals who have recently graduated, are in the early phases of their Product and Furniture Design career or have the required equivalent competencies can apply to join CSD as Associate members. Learn more about CSD Associate membership here.