Page 1

ashley willard

Industrial design portfolio Northumbria University Winter 2016

hello I’m Ashley Willard. From a young age I have loved craft and the act of producing something unique and tangible. This has given me an eye for detail and a passion for creating that I carry forward into my work today. Although I have a particular attentiveness for aesthetics, the context and empathy behind a designed product drives me further so I always look to involve myself with the context of a project as personally as possible. I am eager to enrich my experiences further and gain invaluable skills in industry. I am therefore currently looking to secure a 3-6 month placement opportunity from March this year.



Relevant skills

Block Design

Summer 2016

Industrial Design Internship Proficient ideation, sketch-work and model making abilities.

Industry experience Northumbria University

2014 - present

6 month internship as part of the design team at Block Design, UK. Experience with professional studio-based photography, post production and graphical editing for use in high end publications including ELLE Decoration.

BA Design for Industry

Involvement in the design, construction and manning of exhibition stands at global design shows; New York Now and Design Junction London.

Hitchin Boys’ sixth form

2012 - 2014

A-Product Design B-Geography B-Mathematics

Confidence meeting and liaising with global manufacturers on the production of CAD drawings and working prototypes. (see ‘2016 placement’ for further details) Live projects in collaboration with the Royal Society of Arts, Phillips, the Lexus Design Award, Mind charity, Peacocks Medical Group and Design innovation in Plastics award.

Transferable skills

Hitchin Boys’ School 13 GCSE’s A-C

2007 - 2012

Having held numerous positions in retail and catering I have developed accomplished communication skills and team working abilities. Gaining trust and establishing healthy relationships with coworkers is another trait I have learned to embrace. These skills have given me the confidence to resolve unforeseen problems in high pressure environments as well as to constantly push my comfort zone.

Contact me Hitchin, Hertfordshire /Newcastle-Upon-Tyne


See further work



Issuu: Ashley Willard

contents: 2016 placement



interactive lighting






Lexus Design Award



non-literal product



console table



model making




interactive lighting pg.5


2016 placement: For 6 months over summer 2016 I was part of the team at Block Design, an established homeware product design company based in Cornwall, UK.


“Ashley was an extremely valuable member of our team for 6 months, he worked well collaboratively but was also self motivated and organised when working on his own. He often initiated projects and was confident at taking it through from concept to development. He was involved in a lot of our design processes and successfully liaised with manufacturers, he has a natural aptitude for branding and a very good eye for photography. We all thoroughly enjoyed working with Ashley.� Tara Ashe / Lead Designer


During this time I was able to greatly develop my skills in the design process including gaining strong research and development qualities. This led to the production of a number of new product lines whilst I was at the company including an origami inspired wall clock range [see right] and a colour-led perpetual calendar. A small team environment allowed me to learn from and influence all areas of the business from concept through to prototyping, manufacture and distribution. I was also strongly involved in branding and photography for Block, gaining the experience and confidence to eventually style and produce the autumn/winter product brochure [see left]. Outside of the studio I got the chance to work on exhibitions for internationally renowned trade shows NY Now and Design Junction, further building my awareness of the industry. For further insights into my time at Block please see ‘Block placement report’ on my Issuu profile.




interactive lighting: Create a semi-portable lighting installation with an intuitive or tactile element.


St Mary’s lighthouse, Whitley Bay


I began by exploring how light evokes feelings of safety and security and how these properties translate to its role in navigation. This led me to study coastal lighthouses, specifically St Mary’s lighthouse at Whitley Bay, that has served the Northumberland coastline since 1898. I wanted to create a lamp that did justice to this landmark by capturing the different roles that light plays in our day to day lives.



st marys lighthouse

whitley bay

north sea




foam master


negative silicone mould

aggregate collected from Whitley Bay beach

cast concrete base

mary A portable, wirelessly charged lamp harnessing the navigational and impervious properties of light. Inspired by St Mary’s lighthouse on the Northumberland coast, the directional beam acts as a functional task light when held or upright, as well as a soft mood lamp whilst prone, providing the user with a sense of warmth and security. The materials and forms have been considered to give a familiar and comforting tactility to the product, whilst the inclusion of natural found materials from the coast links the concept to it’s origins.



wireless induction charging

touch sensitive on/off

hand-held task light

weighted to self-right


touch sensitive on/off [brass]

10x 5mm LED’s

steel weight -li-po battery -micro arduino board -charging board

induction charging coil [receiver]

induction charging coil [transmitter] to mains supply


grow: Create a concept for an item of children’s furniture with an emphasis on longevity; a piece that will grow with child.







This item of furniture will remain with the child throughout their first years. The transition from baby bed to cot to their own play table will reflect their changing needs as they grow up both mentally and physically. Detailed ergonomic and anthropometric data for both girls and boys from birth to 8 years was compiled and referenced in the design process, ensuring each stage of the products use would be comfortable and safe.



12 weeks

moses basket



2 years +

play table



anticipation: A largely open brief; building on the given theme ‘anticipation’, explore the meaning behind the word and design around findings based on its affect on the lives on the consumer.


typanophobia 20% of the general UK population suffer from an acute form of needle phobia, it is especially prevalent in younger children. In most cases the negative anticipation or anxiety associated makes the thought much worse than the act. I identified that the major triggers could be grouped into three categories: sight; the view of the needle piercing the skin, thought; the idea of the procedure or feeling; the physical sensation of the needle.






Through playful design I have attempted to combat the three main triggers of anxiety during a needle-based procedure for young children. A sheath for the syringe has been designed to limit the visual impact of a bare needle and also provide some playful distraction, similar to that of a parent mimicking an aeroplane when feeding a toddler. Prior to the procedure a sticker with anaesthetic backing is placed on the skin where the needle will enter. This provides further visual distractions as well as numbing the feeling.


Enter GP.

Child selects their favourite planet.

The corresponding sticker is applied whilst the anaesthetic takes effect.

Starry light show is projected onto the child’s fore-arm.

The doctor discreetly attaches the needle cover.



non-literal product: Building on a depictive keyword, experiment with form and product language to create a concept for a fictional encapsulated electronic product.





The concept is a bulky, rugged-looking form which embodies the heavy duty, industrial theme. This is achieved with the use of angular shapes and lines and compact design; this gives a sense of weight to the form. The buttons are all concealed in recesses so they are not exposed during use. The overall look and feel of the form creates a product that would not look out of place in a toolbox for example.


console table: Design and manufacture a piece of multifunctional interior furniture, exploring the needs and desires of the user.


I chose to focus on design for hallways; an area of the home that is often overlooked due to its narrow width and high footfall. Despite these constraints I still wanted a piece that offered high functionality whilst maintaining an uncluttered, modern aesthetic. This led me to experiment with ways of maximising utility on a piece of furniture that would have to be unusually shallow.


hand beaten copper dish

copper pen holder envelope slot

hinged drawer


Designing for the home of a busy young professional I wanted to include features to make their daily lives easier and more enjoyable. The table top holds a hand beaten copper dish, providing a convenient home for small trinkets such as keys. This sits beside a glass topped slot for envelopes, serving as a concise, subtle reminder for any pending post. The frame is constructed from 18mm birch faced ply with a thin mahogany insert which compliments both the door and burnished copper features, tying the piece together.


model making: Hierarchical forms A set of four ‘game pieces’ for use in an unspecified, theoretical board game. Form and scale have been explored to represent hierarchy. Mini-figure An accurate, fully articulated model of a standard LEGO mini-figure at 3:1 scale; constructed using hand and machine tools available in the workshop. Technical drawing produced on Adobe Illustrator prior to construction.




modelling foam, emulsion paint (polished)

3:1 scale


jelutong, mdf, modelling foam



thank you Hitchin, Hertfordshire /Newcastle-Upon-Tyne 07935244085 Issuu: Ashley Willard @awillardid

Ashley Willard / Industrial Design Portfolio  

Third year ID student at Northumbria University