Where I work: Sarah Dickins

10 May 2018

Sarah Dickins, product design & innovation consultant, Kinneir Dufort, UK

For the last five years, I’ve been at Kinneir Dufort, a Bristol-based product design consultancy, working on projects that span the consumer, medical and industrial sectors.

What are your weapons of choice?
When it comes to mapping out ideas, you can’t beat a good old Post-it note. Illustrator, SolidWorks, KeyShot and Adobe Creative suite are great tools for design visuals. At Kinneir Dufort, our outputs are becoming increasingly more animation/film-based, so I’ll often use Adobe Premiere and After Effects to help bring things to life.

Kinneir Dufort’s offices in Bristol

Sarah is based in the design team and works closely with the research team and innovation programme leads

What technology/product could you not live without in your workspace?
For physical product design, you can’t beat having technical prototyping experts and a workshop on site. We like to get ‘real’ as early as possible, so it’s great to be able to ‘cut and shut’ existing products to create quick models in the early stages, before getting into 3D CAD.

Sarah at her computer

Workshopping with colleagues

What’s missing from your toolset?
We’re increasingly dreaming up more organic forms, new textures and surface finishes, so I’d be keen to try Grasshopper for the later design development. That – and an office cat!

Prototyping workshop

A shot from inside Kinneir Dufort’s studio

Is there anything that would make your design process run smoother?
Controversially, I don’t think a design process needs to run smoothly. Of course, the client never sees it, but a dash of chaos in every project sometimes gives us the best ideas. There’s nothing worse than a predictable output, right?

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