James Wright

8 July – 8 September 2012
Royal College of Art (MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering)

A product design internship at Art Lebedev will undoubtedly raise your skills and outlook to a new level. Coming to the studio just over two months ago from an engineering background was a daunting but exciting prospect, and I have truly loved every minute!

As an intern, you will be working in the same role as the designers, on both commercial and internal studio projects. Sketching and concept generation are the principal focus, but I have also made models, full size mock-ups and visualisations. You will be given the chance to collaborate with incredibly talented designers, modellers and renderers during your time here, from whom you can learn a lot. Projects are regularly reviewed by both Timur and Tema, giving you an opportunity to hone your concept presentation skills. You can initiate and lead your own projects through the studio “brain”, while homework stimulates your mind over the weekend.

Through daily practise and Timur’s expert mentoring, my sketching and concept presentation skills have rapidly improved. I developed new approaches and outlooks to projects, as well as an appreciation of the detail and rigorous iteration required to produce excellent results. I have learnt and practised crucial new skills under Timur’s guidance, such as digital sketching, marker rendering and tape drawing.

As a boss, Timur is remarkable. He is extremely generous with his time, giving regular tips, lessons and lectures, while always pushing projects forward in a positive direction. He readily shares his knowledge and experience with you, along with curating the incredible range of design books and resources. He poses discussions and questions about design, to stimulate wider knowledge. He is always in a good mood, willing to lead fun outings and his jokes/ email links will be sorely missed.

The studio itself is an incredible working environment, filled with very friendly and capable people. The studio canteen and table tennis facilities are excellent, and the antique technology filled corridors still amaze me. Moscow is a vibrant city, filled with numerous exciting weekend prospects; make the most of them. St. Petersburg is also definitely worth a visit over a long weekend.

Thanks firstly to Timur for giving me the opportunity and teaching me so much, the product design team, Captain Sasha for offering me somewhere to live and finally everyone in the studio that put up with my English and poor Russian.

The time I have spent here has definitely influenced my future career for the better, providing me with a range of vital design skills. I would recommend anyone to apply for a life changing experience.

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