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Meet The Tutor: Alexander Hinnerskov - Product Design

Written by Yusuf Tamanna
Published date 25 September 2020

We catch up with Alexander Hinnerskov, a product designer and one of our very own short course tutors. Prior to starting teaching in 2013, Alexander graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2007 with a BA Honors in Product Design. In the intervening years, he’s worked across all areas of product development including bespoke furniture, interior design, lighting and styling for clients including Fredrikson Stallard, Eva Menz and Underdog Studio.

On our Introduction to Product Design (Online Short Course) students are taught the fundamentals of product design from a theoretical and practical standpoint. The courses welcome a hands-on and experimental approach to product design predominantly through sketching and model-making.

Students can choose to top-up their skills with our Sustainable Product Design (Online Short Course) where the focus is on products that are built to last. How are they made? What are the practical and demographic considerations that you need to account for when sustainability is your main objective? And why simply using sustainable materials isn’t enough.

If you’re a teenager with an interest in Product Design or perhaps you’re a parent or carer who knows a young person who a short course would be perfect for, we have our Product and Sustainable Design Residential Summer School for 16 to 18 Year OldsWatch an interview with Alexander where he discusses more about the teenage course.

In our interview below, Alexander tells us more about how his own personal interest in product design came about, what inspires him and what words of wisdom he has for budding creatives.

Alexander Hinnerskov working in the studio

Hi Alexander! How did you come to work in product design?

I always knew I wanted to make things from a very early age. I used to spend lots of time in my grandfather’s tool shed making all sorts of toys, gadgets and odd objects. I used to want to be an inventor and then an architect until I discovered product design.

Can you tell us a bit more about your work?

I have worked many years in industry and as a freelancer with the design of home accessories, furniture, lighting and interiors. This has been for a wide variety of clients in both London and Copenhagen, where I am now based.

Alexander is at his desk working on a project. The desk is full of materials as he looks down to cut a piece with a pair of scissors.

Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you stay inspired?

I get my inspiration from contemporary art, technology and life around me. How people use things not just on a functional level, but the emotional connections people can have with objects is fascinating. Looking at what my peers are doing keeps me challenged and hungry for more.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a product which looks at people’s need to care for and have plants as well as flowers in the home. Research suggests that by doing so people become more present in the moment and disconnect from technology (i.e. phones).

A close up image of a clear dish filled with dark coloured potpourri. A copper clip is poking on top of the potpourri.

What is the best bit of advice you have ever received?

My drawing teacher, Jannik, used to tell me ‘kill your darlings’. It’s about not getting too attached to the work you are doing which lets you move on to the next project. It sounds destructive, but It means being objective and having an ability to progress. Also, the uncompromising creative rigour of Patrik and Ian of Fredrikson Stallard is something that has stuck with me since working with them. Sometimes the best advice is seeing how it is done.

A wide angle image of Alexander at work at his desk. The brown pinboards in front of him are covered with photos stuck on with masking tape. Beside him is a black wire machine with a roll of wire on top.

What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?

Produce work! As much as you can. Doesn’t matter if it is good or bad. Just make stuff. The more you make the better you will become at it. Put your phone down. Step away from your laptop. Go and make some stuff!

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Do you have a passion for Product Design? Why not take one of Alexander’s courses? Take a look at our upcoming courses to see how our online short courses can help support you and your creative vision!

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