Dominic Hargreaves has been making his fair share of headlines this summer, as his Royal College of Art graduation products attracted interest from consumer press and industry alike. His Folder bicycle and iQ bike locks are eye-catching projects, balancing function and style.
Taking advantage of the momentum, Hargreaves is working for Priestman Goode and in talks with numerous big brands, but he has always been good at nurturing client relationships. Throughout his education he did a lot of client work. ‘It’s really important. You’ve got to get out there,’ he says. On a placement at Bliss Flights of Fancy, he suggested a design for a storage system and the company went ahead to produce it. With one product to market, other doors opened, including at Marks & Spencer, for which Hargreaves has been designing accessories and bathroom ware for a number of years.
Putting in the time for nurturing such relationships is vital, and Hargreaves feels that his freelance relationship with M&S is bearing fruit, as ‘we’re finally starting to work on real innovation in the bathroom’. That’s what design is all about, he says. ‘Design is a hard challenge, and to get it right is so satisfying. The idea is to do things better and do things right – and if you can put flair into something, all the better.’
One of Hargreaves’ main bugbears when it comes to modern design is the lack of time invested in development. Real product design takes a long time to get right, he feels. ‘When you see something that’s well thought out you can see the effort that’s gone into it. This is something the industry needs to go back to,’ he says.
One of his favourite projects, the Frame bench, which is designed to highlight parts of beauty and interest around London’s Greenwich Park, is hopefully about to be commissioned.
But it’s in transport that Hargreaves sees the future. ‘We can already see radical changes in transport design, and this is going to open up a huge amount of developments, as a lot of what we’ve got will not be applicable any more,’ he says. ‘As nano-technology develops it’s going to offer engineering opportunities that were inconceivable before. It’s great to be part of design, especially at this time. ‘
2005 and ongoing Freelance designer Marks & Spencer
2007 BA Product and Furniture Design Ravensbourne College of Art and Design
2009 MA Design Products Royal College of Art
2009 to present Designer Priestman Goode
‘Dominic Hargreaves was an inspiring student to be around, not only because of his commitment to the subject, but also for the sheer enthusiasm he had for his studies. I started to see star potential in Dominic during his final year. The way in which he undertook his major project for his degree showed varying amounts of risk-taking alongside a dedicated iterative process. Dominic is an intelligent lateral thinker and worked endlessly to get as much out of his degree as possible. He also embraced technology wholeheartedly, more than his counterparts did, and got involved in collaboration projects with interaction students.’
Michelle Douglas Subject/course leader BA Product Design BA Design for Interaction Ravensbourne College of Art and Design