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David Richards, Again

This is a tricky one to write. I'll be honest, I'm not hugely sure what to talk about here.

David Richards is great, as was his talk - the first time I heard it. The second time hearing the same talk was funny. The third time - wasn't. Like I say, it's a great talk nonetheless, and David Richard's experience and past projects are extremely impressive. However, I'm not going to write about the talk itself, because we've all heard it before.

I guess one thing that was talked about more this time around was David's experience graduating as a Product Design Engineer who transitioned into mechanical engineering. Let's discuss that a bit more.

Now, personally, I can't imagine anything worse than pure, mechanical engineering 5 days a week. A designer at Apple once said to me that "their industrial and product design engineers are the ones who come up with the ideas, and the mechanical engineers are the ones that establish whether they're possible". I don't want to just be establishing whether other people's ideas are possible; I want to be coming up with crazy, innovative, new ways of doing things. I know this isn't the case for every company, but generally speaking, I feel that industrial design and PDE appear to be more exciting careers.

David, however, is extremely happy in his role, and has been at the consultancy "Frazer-Nash" for many years. His role is that of a 'mechanical engineer', however I would argue that his work on past projects are still very 'PDE'. He definitely hasn't lost his love of design and aesthetic, and is considerate of those factors throughout the work that he does. I think that's part of the beauty of PDE as a degree. It teaches you how to design and develop a product, as well as giving you the mechanical engineering knowledge to understand whether that product and design is possible. This has allowed David to branch towards a more mechanically-focused career. Likewise, it could allow any of us to branch towards a more product design focused career.

On the topic of Frazer-Nash, another thing that came up on he third-time-around was a conversation regarding working in a consultancy vs a 'standard' company. David mentioned that he gets to work on lots of different projects by working at a consultancy, which keeps him interested. I personally quite like the idea of that, but I also like the idea of being able to focus on perfecting one particular thing. I would love to be a part of a group that develops a single product over a long period of time, from start to finish. I feel like I would have it would have more sentimental value to see a product released and in the hands of users if that's where your sole focus has been for an extended period of time. The way of working at both consultancies and 'standard' companies interests me.

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