We sat down with Rowan Nowell, Designer at COLOURFORM™ and asked him 5 questions.
Tell us about a typical day in your role at James Cropper.
Design is a very interactive role so a typical day will always include a huge amount of liaison with colleagues and other stakeholders in the business.
A crucial part of the day is the team catch up that we have each morning. This is where we’ll get together to discuss, understand and agree priority of deadlines and urgent tasks for the day ahead.
Designers may be called upon by manufacturing teams to problem solve, which is something I love. Bringing a design perspective to the table and presenting ideas for improving part quality can be so rewarding.
Design projects typically can range from a few months to several years! I could be working on a meaty project for a few weeks at a time or bouncing between many different projects in one day.
Day-to-day I could be doing anything from sketching some first ideas down on paper, creating design work by CADing (computer aided design) every detail of the design, to working with the tool maker and building the spec of the tool that will make design.
My working day can be really varied but the opportunity to be creative is a constant. Which is great for a designer!
During your career at James Cropper, what has been your most memorable highlight?
That’s easy! It’s a long-term project which I began work on after only being in the role for a couple of weeks!
Using our COLOURFORM technology we created a casing, made from moulded fibre, for Maison Ruinart, which completely reimagined packaging for the champagne house.
The project has been a fantastic vehicle for development of new processes within pulp moulding. It really got us thinking of the material and its capabilities thinking about what else we could do to achieve this product in a manufacturing sense.
It was a really interesting few years, exploring new ideas such as vertical wash cutting and in mould texturing and locking clasp designs.
Of course, there were challenges along the way but that made the whole project more and more fascinating and rewarding. It has been well received both by the customer and the wider audiences and has allowed us to develop at an accelerated rate, and still is.
We are continuing to work with Maison Ruinart and pushing the boundariesof what is possible for more exciting designs that will come out in the future.
Who do you most admire in the industry?
I really admire Elon Musk. I think what he has achieved in his life to date is staggering and his approach to solving unbelievably complex problems and risking it all, is fantastic.
Which three things would you take to a desert island?
1. Mountain bike (hopefully the island has a big hill)
2. Swiss army knife
3. Bow and arrow
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I’m a designer… of course it’s going to be tinkering on anything mechanical, usually something with two wheels!