Matthew Hodgkins

Current student

I think the real teaching quality comes from there being lecturers with a range of specialties and the open-door policy many lecturers have for their offices. I came into Loughborough with aspirations to leave as a product design consultant.

Over the course I found myself morphing into a service designer and wanted to start thinking about how design could be applied to societal-level problems. When I realised this and made it known to the lecturers who have expertise in this area, they were immediately willing to give me time and guidance on how I could continue to pursue these interests professionally.

In terms of facilities, there is not much that needs to be said other than they are first-class. The building provides a great base of operations with spaces that cater to whatever you are after, whether it is a quite space to think or a more communal area to bounce around ideas. This becomes even more valuable as you progress into the later years and take on more workload.

Matthew Hodgkins

What I enjoy most about my course is the connection you feel to other design students. The best parts of my final year were being sat in the upper levels with friends. One moment you would be making a breakthrough with your project, the next you would be talking through ideas and asking for advice from friends and the next you would be laughing and cracking jokes.

What I think design gives you, more than sketching and modelling skills, is a process and method for creating practical, functioning solutions to problems. That problem could be anything from ‘How do we improve the experience of using a kettle?’ through to ‘How can we reduce the impact of economic insecurity in the UK?’. Regardless of where your career leads you, you are equipped with a set of skills that will make you a problem solver.

Loughborough has changed my mindset from one of design simply being a tool to create physical objects, to design being a way of thinking and a practical methodology for tackling problems on almost any scale.

My greatest achievement is being granted fellowship to the Royal Society of Arts through achieving a commendation in their Student Design Awards competition. My project was a piece of service design which allowed for gig workers to trade their skills for cash-injections from their friends. It works as a replacement to pay-day loans and to fill gaps in the benefits system, allowing gig works to act and remove themselves from the cycle of economic insecurity.

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