Interview with Product Designer Tom Quigley

Tom Quigley is a graduate of UCLAN in Product Design, since graduating he first worked as a lighting designer for lamps and lightings. Now working as product designer for Ansell lighting, he is part of a red dot award winning team. We talk to Tom about; life after university, working for Ansell, advice for graduates and his goals for the future.

“My goal is to help design a revolutionary product that will benefit everybody in some way.” -Tom Quigley

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How did you feel by being Headhunted so soon out of university? Do you think it was the right decision to move after only 6 months?

It was a great feeling knowing that my work had caught the interest of companies prior to graduation, the competition from other graduates for roles in the industry was and still is extremely high.

We all want to start our professional careers on a path that will afford us a sense of pride and joy in our work, I didn’t expect mine to be in the lighting industry but so far its been rewarding and given me a challenge. Once completing my junior term as a lighting / product designer out of university for Lamps & Lighting I was approached by a recruiter for my current role as Product Designer to join Ansell Lighting a decision which was right for my career in both experience and opportunities.

What do you enjoy the most about working for Ansell? Do you have a favourite project you’ve completed so far?

I am fortunate to work within a highly skilled and creative team overseen by a design manager that keeps us engaged and encourages us to keep learning whilst developing new projects. I would say my favourite project to date would be working with ‘DW studios’ who have done promotional product videos for Dyson, where I directed promotional videos for a various number of our new products. I have designed and developed various products here which shall soon be released into wholesalers later this year.

Is your goal as a designer to sell products to the mass market or to create a small batch of unique products to be appreciated as one off pieces?

In my current role I design Led luminaires, and we distribute primarily to wholesalers who in turn sell our products on. So products I work on are in the lighting industry for Ansell lighting. My goal is to help design a revolutionary product that will benefit everybody in some way. Who knows what the future holds?

Do you have any ambitions to work abroad away from the UK? Have you had any experience in selling or designing work for the international market so far?

Yes I have been afforded opportunity to design products for the UK and European markets. We have just been bought by ‘ENDO LEDZ’ who are on the Tokyo stock exchange, helping Ansell lighting grow across the globe and therefore increase in potential opportunities. I would like to work abroad and if Ansell or Endo require me too then I shall whether that be to design in our various studios home or abroad or to meet with our manufacture in china or japan.

What advice would you offer to Product Design graduates this summer?

Keep practicing, Keep your eyes open for opportunities and don’t look at how others from your graduating year are progressing in comparison to yourself. Stay humble and congratulate your peers when they achieve their goals.

Do you have any ambitions to give back to education or go back to your university in the future?

Education has gifted me the avenue to do what I am passionate about. I would enjoy the opportunity to talk with students about the industry and provide any professional advice that may want.

Do you have any tips for switching off in the evening & at weekends? Or is your mind always thinking about design?

As designers we can never switch off completely. You will find yourself looking at design in all forms of your daily routine.

Travel and do as many new things as you can, put yourself in new environments…you will see new things that will inspire you, and in turn help you become a more efficient problem solver.

What are your career goals for the next 5 years as a designer?

I would like to grow my industry knowledge and keep learning from the professionals around me. Whilst being at Ansell lighting our team has won various awards including a red dot award so I would like to continue our success and contribute to our companies reputation.