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Adam Wolstenholme, BA (Hons) Product Design


United Kingdom
I am currently living and working in Stockholm, Sweden, as part of my placement year. I work for Modernity Gallery which specialises in the curation and sale of iconic mid-century Nordic designs, from lighting and furniture, to textiles and ceramics.

More about Adam

Adam Wolstenholme is a third year BA (Hons) Product Design student at NTU, who is currently working at Modernity Gallery in Stockholm, Sweden, during their placement year.

Why did you choose NTU and your course?

BA Product Design at NTU has a fantastic track record in the national rankings, so it was natural to apply. The city has a lot to offer socially, whilst the course itself was the perfect balance between art direction and design theory – so it was never going to restrict me creatively.

What is the best thing about your course?

The guidance offered by the tutors – they are clearly driven and passionate about the subject and their enthusiasm is infectious! You will graduate and move into working life feeling incredibly qualified as you jump into the industry you specialise in.

Have you been involved in any live projects or exciting briefs? What has stood out to you?

Design consultancy Matter came to assist us in one of our many collaborative projects, one I enjoyed was Mobile Communications. This was a group task, so much like design consultancies do, we had to tackle the brief as a unit and ideate together to product a selection of three designs that looked to the future of mobile communication devices beyond 2020.

Have you completed any work placements on your course? If so, tell us about your experience – where did you go, what did you do, what skills have you gained and what have you enjoyed most?

I am currently living and working in Stockholm, Sweden, as part of my placement year. I work for Modernity Gallery which specialises in the curation and sale of iconic mid-century Nordic designs, from lighting and furniture, to textiles and ceramics.

I have gained invaluable business knowledge regarding logistics, communication with high profile clients and interior designers. I particularly have enjoyed assisting and marketing of the sought-after pieces we present. I was responsible for assisting the creation of our latest collaborative online exhibition at the London House of Modernity, my design skills tested to a professional capacity to produce an immersive catalogue, alongside a virtual tour and video.

How did you source your placement? Did you get support from the NTU Employability Team?

The job was listed on InPlace. Before I applied, I visited the amazing Employability Team at the City campus who gave me invaluable tips to tailor my CV and cover letter.

What marks out of 10 would you give for course facilities and why?

Without a doubt, 10. I consider myself to be very privileged to be working where I am now, and I put this down to the encouragement given by the tutors and mentors who run my course.

Does the “real” NTU match what you’d imagined? How does it compare with your friends’ experience at other universities?

My friends at other universities do not seem to receive the same level of engagement from staff on their respective courses, and I can say with confidence that the course description online absolutely matches the experience I have had so far.

Have you been on any trips with your course? Tell us about one you particularly enjoyed and why?

In February 2020, I visited Stockholm for Stockholm Design Week, a world-renowned event that showcases the very best of European but specifically Scandinavian design hosted across the City in various locations.

This is in fact when I dropped by Modernity gallery to meet the directors, where I received my job offer the same week. The trip led to a project called ‘Global Contexts’, my favourite project to date, that I used to study the Scandinavian concept of Hygge and design a set of tableware as a result of the invaluable primary research I got to carry out in the vibrant City of Stockholm.

What do you think makes NTU a top university?

NTU is a university that really encourages young creative thinkers to reach their full potential, not only in my discipline but across the board in every course and campus.

What would you say to someone thinking of applying to NTU?

Don’t hesitate to apply, your questions or uncertainties will be always be answered and you will feel a sense of pride in everything you do if you throw yourself at everything the University and city has to offer.

How would you promote NTU to potential students in 10 words or fewer?

Prepare to have your mind opened to unimaginable possibilities.

What three words would you use to describe Nottingham?

Alive, Creative, Friendly.

Nottingham is the UK’s best student city. Agree or disagree?

Agreed, the city is not overwhelmingly vast but offers so many opportunities.

Where would you recommend visiting in Nottingham?

As a keen photographer mainly using the medium of film, my regular spot to hang out with like-minded people is the Photo Parlour, a local film lab/darkroom and creative hub.

Where is the best place to eat, go to a gig or buy clothes?

I work part time as a barista/café assistant in the city centre at an independently run business. I urge anyone to eat local and handmade, there are loads of little gems around Hockley, especially coffee houses.

Where is a good place to live as a student?

I think most student houses are within short walking distance to City campus, so if you find you have to get public transport anywhere, I suggest looking for reasonably priced places around the Arboretum.

Did you find it easy to make friends at NTU?

In my first year my accommodation was quite a distance from everyone else, but after I moved into second year, I managed to engage in society nights out and you will always manage to link up with people. Nobody really keeps themselves to themselves here, which really is a good thing.

Where would you turn for support, advice, or guidance?

As I have mentioned, my course representatives and tutors were my lifesavers if I was struggling in any area, whether it be the coursework or external factors interfering with my degree.

If you had a (non-academic) problem. Who would you talk to? What would you do?

I know there is a great team of people at NTU who give student support whenever this is needed, so although I have not had to turn to anyone yet, I would always suggest the Student Support Team.

What’s next for you after NTU?

My placement is going really well, so I see this extra enthusiasm carrying me through graduation and straight into employment. This might be as part of a design consultancy, brand, or maybe another gallery.

Has the Employability Team helped you plan for life beyond NTU?

The amazing help given when applying for placement jobs has definitely stuck with me, so I know that this knowledge has prepared me for post-graduation without a doubt.

Find out more about BA (Hons) Product Design at NTU.

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