Daniel Watson

15 July – 15 September 2010
Royal College of Art (MA Industrial Design)

If you’ve read all the previous internship reports (or you plan to after reading this one) then you’re probably already set on applying to be an intern here. Believe everything you read in them.

I would offer a few pieces of advice;

1. Apply. You really won’t be disappointed if you get the opportunity to spend some time here.

2. Make the most of everything the studio has to offer you. I’m writing this, in the knowledge that I’m flying home tomorrow, with a slight feeling of regret that I feel like I’ve only just begun to settle in here. Don’t allow this to happen to you — chuck yourself into studio life from the outset and ask for help when you need it. These guys are experts and very happy to share their knowledge but they’re not mind-readers.

3. Get involved with the other people in the studio. This will come as second nature to many of you but it’s something I struggled to do, despite the best efforts of the people around me and a very friendly crowd who work/live/play/create in this space. Don’t worry about the language barrier and certainly don’t let it stop you from at least trying to communicate.

4. Train your table football skills. You’ll understand why when you get here.

5. Don’t worry about what you think you’re NOT learning while you’re here. CAD and rendering skills can be learned further down the line (and you’ll likely never be as skilled at it as the guys who work here because they’re amazing) but what you’ll learn about the design process, the importance of sketching and communication of ideas from the guys in the department is priceless.

6. Expect the unexpected from day one until the day you leave. This applies to Moscow as a city as well as Art. Lebedev Studio.

Anything else you need to know can be gleaned from the previous interns’ thoughts, but these are the points that I considered important to stress. I had the opportunity this summer to face many of the design demons that I worried about in the past, and I think that this has helped my development as a designer immeasurably. These included styling products, confidence in sketching and your own ideas and design for production. While I wasn’t always successful I always had the support I needed to try again.

Special thanks, as ever, to Timur. From the first day when he met me and my girlfriend at the airport, through swapping British comedy quotes and programs, right up until my departure.

So, in summary (and for those of you that skipped to the end), a haiku about my time here;

Interned here this summer.
Art. Lebedev Studio lived
Up to all the hype.

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