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Furniture and Product Design student completes placement in Kenya

Furniture and Product Design student Arjun Singh Assa has recently completed a six-month placement at Ranjodh furniture.

Product student in Kenya
Furniture and Product Design student Arjun Singh Assa on placement in Kenya

Arjun shares his experience with us and what he learnt during his time in Mombasa in Kenya:

"For my placement year, I was able to land a placement in my hometown Mombasa, which is in Kenya. Having worked for my employer before, they saw this as an opportunity to implement what I had learnt from my second year into their business. Situated within the Industrial Port side of Mombasa, Ranjodh Furniture was established in 1954 and has ever since been in the woodworking business for various clientele. From Bespoke Furniture to commercially mass-produced projects the company practices its trade with traditional and modern manufacturing techniques.

For the past six months, my role at the company was a workshop/project manager. In a way, I was running certain aspects of the business such as dealing with various clientele whose orders were put on paper and thereon be produced in the workshop under my coordination. Having previous skills in various wood manufacturing processes, the knowledge gained from my second year allowed me to approach each project critically on its various aspects such as design, material, manufacturing and costing.

Outside of working hours, my employer gave me the opportunity to use the workshop as my own studio space to practice and create. Within these times, I created a few prototypes from my second year; a chair and a coffee table. I was also able to implement a making exercise that was inspired by the NTU Makers club; the concept of learning through making; whereby I invited “non-makers” interested in woodworking to participate in small maker sessions. The experience allowed people to really appreciate the maker culture and see the concept of learning from a different perspective.

Being able to exercise what I had learnt from my second year, it has allowed me to be more confident and focused in my design decisions. As I move on to my next placement in Brixton, London. I look forward to comparing the working and living experience of two different countries within the sphere of design."

Furniture and Product Design student completes placement in Kenya

Published on 9 January 2018
  • Subject area: Art and design
  • Category: Culture; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment

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