Coming from an arts background, I saw the internship as an opportunity to develop more traditional industrial design skills. It has more than delivered on this count as well as provided a great insight into how a major design studio operates. It is a real privilege (and at times a little daunting) to be surrounded by the super-talented “Prom” design team who all excel in their areas of speciality, and also be part of the studio as a whole: a big, vibrant, and unique melting-pot of departments, people and skills.
I was able to get stuck-in on a broad range of projects right away—both client and studio-led—exposing me to an array of briefs and design challenges. Over nine weeks I have been involved with nine different projects (some much more so than others), with the core of day-to-day work being sketching, modelling and quick prototyping. Time races by so it is important to make the most of learning new techniques and to soak up the knowledge of other designers (for example, I had a first stab at tape drawing and Taya from Graphics gave me good advice on typography).
Special thanks go to Timur who is the ideal boss for an intern, being both keen to share, and very adept at communicating, his extensive design knowledge and abilities. He has worked out just the right balance between hardcore and fun: eager to challenge you to improve as a designer, and to regale you with videos and English jokes. His helpfulness and generosity outside of the studio have also made my time in Russia a real pleasure.
Moscow is a big and intriguing city, it’s key to make the most of your time away from the studio exploring as it has some unique experiences to offer (like swimming in Moscow river, much against everyone’s advice). We were also able to plan a short trip to St. Petersburg which made for a great contrast and is well worth the cramped train ride.
Other big “thank yous” go to Sasha for being a first-rate “golden hands” landlady; to Jenya for sorting out all the logistics of us getting to Moscow in the first place; to Lola for showing us some of the city as well as a special method for remembering Russian slang; to Lelic for the ice-hockey extravaganza; and to the rest of the studio inhabitants who were always friendly and welcoming, eager to share a drink, improve my swear-word vocabulary, help me order lunch, or throw down a table-tennis challenge. Working at Art. Lebedev has been an invaluable experience that blows other internships out of the water.