Design Practice In Context: Peter Norris

Recently we had our first theory lecture with Peter Norris. After giving a background of his career in marketing he began the lecture with: Independence, Self Thinking and Analysis Ability. These qualities supposedly will get us employed. It was all rather self motivational. He even pointed out how much time we have on the course and how important it is to go for what you want.

What was particularly useful was his information about work placements. He said that if you work for a bigger company it would most likely start in November, whereas a smaller company in April. We need to prepare ourselves for this by finding out where we would like to work and what it would entail. He suggested that we should talk to people before hand to get an understanding of the company. When contacting companies he said that it is best to write a letter, as emails are often dismissed and also to focus the letter to the top of the firm directly. Peter also advised us how we can better ourselves in the practice. Examples such as: engaging with staff and peers, planning ahead, not going out too frequently and not leaving things to the last minute. He told us that assignments submissions tend to bunch together which can make it difficult to handle everything.

We then moved on to how the course will be graded, the lectures that we will be covering and the difference between management and designer. Designers are creative, whereas management think more technically and logical with only one thing in mind- profit. Managers also need to consider durability, survival and growth especially when regarding a product. Managers are linear, analytical and problem orientated whereas a designer would be lateral, holistic and solution led. Managers are usually more pessimistic and adaptive, being cautious of what they do while a designer is optimistic, innovative and experimental. We don’t think the same as those who work in business so it can be difficult to understand each other. It is important to explain calmly but also know that the client is not always right. This proved quite useful and an insight to the managements minds.

Towards the end of the lecture Peter went through the basics of Marketing. Although boring as it sounds, I know that if I want to be a successful designer I need some decent knowledge of the subject therefore listening persistently.  The main focus of this subject was the 4 P’s: price, promotion, place and product. It is important to think about these when working in industry. I found the lecture interesting, I liked his refreshing attitude to learning, he was rather motivational. I also found his information regarding business, and marketing useful. Therefore look forward to our next lecture.


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