Clutching at Straws : A piece to the unsung product design engineers of this world part 1…

The Beauty of mother nature’s slutty little sister

Hey all, today I want to try a little experiment with you all if I may

Where ever you are, put your browsing device down (don’t worry it’s only for a second), stand up and take a few small steps back. I want you to take a good look around

So if you’re at work it may look like this below…



If you’re reading this from a home computer, it may look like this below but I want you to still take a good look around  the room you’re in…




If you are on your laptop or phone, you could be in fucking space for all I know but you can still do the same, technology really has come on leaps and bounds these last few decades…


texting in space


Now I want to find out from you how much of your immediate surrounding was natural.

Let me turn this question on its head abit,  I would like you to tell me specifically how much your surroundings was purposely designed to fulfill a specific purpose?

Unless you happen to find yourself  in the desert, you’lll generally find that there is nothing within your view that is as ‘ nature’ intended and didn’t have some engineering process or design input involved in its making.

Pretty much everything  that fills our lives in today’s modern world has been designed from scratch to fulfill a certain purpose, including the very device you are using to view this post.

The reason I ask this is because for every single item that you viewed,  someone out there MUST be responsible for making/designing it and I am struggling for the life of me to find any of the fuckers in everyday life.


Where the fuck are you all hiding?

By trade I’m a Metallurgist and have worked in the development of various products in the aerospace and oil and gas industries, specifically dealing in the use of various metal alloys for their fabrication.

But after being interrogated by friends for insight into what I do for a living,  no one ever has a clue what the hell a Metallurgist is.

This shit just didn’t drop out of the sky yesterday. I mean it’s not like steel making isn’t one of the oldest professions in the world and we don’t produce hundred of thousands of tonnes in refineries around the world. It’s not like we don’t walk around and find the sight of something metallic  completely novel in our day to day lives.

This doesn’t just come from everyday folk, even other engineers in my building don’t know what we do. I have to start explaining that I’m pretty much the everyday equivalent to Magneto, without big throbby purple helmet that would get me a warning letter from HR and the whole hating humanity angle (I keep it to just midgets)…


master of magnetism magneto


Then it got me thinking, if most people don’t know about my profession, what about all the other product and engineering developers out there, we tend not to  interact with people from these fields in every day life, do we?

Just have a quick glance at our workforce diversity for a sec. Even though the odds are that you are going to be from a country where the majority of the workforce are going to be public servants of some type.

If you don’t believe me, just look at how many teachers, lawyers, accountants, pilots, drivers, soldiers, estate agents, sports people, gym instructors,  firemen, customer service/helpline operators, cooks, actors/entertainers, clerks, security related, retail based, hospitality minded individuals are within your friend set. But you’ll be grasping at straws to think of any product design/material design type individuals.



This may be a class thing as I don’t know any postmen, bin men, scaffolders, genuine builders tradesmen but the key difference is that I at least see these people on a day to day basis carrying out their professions. They aren’t hidden away.

But for the life of me, outside of those who I studied with and are linked to via work, I can’t find one other individual involved in product design, testing or development.

I mean where are all these people? Especially with the ever growing amount of shit for sale these days? Have they now been rebadged as other professions?

I know the metallurgy industry is dealing with major issues with a lack of people coming up through the ranks in order to replace the older fogeys. Then again, very few institutions teach it in  as its own separate degree in comparison to the regular mechanical engineering  courses you see at most universities. So socially metallurgy may have been mostly absorbed by other disciplines but design should be fundamental right?

Even so what about design outside of the scope of a metallurgist? So much of our everyday stuff involves plastics and need other material specialists and developers to design and bring them to market.

You can’t tell me that globalisation is such a major part of our everyday society that everything gets made an designed abroad now. That would be so sad….


made in china

made in china


Why so serious?

The reason this irks me is because I would love to have a conversation with the majority of these people to find out the specifics on why shit is the way it is?

  • Screw designers
  • Lightbulb designers
  • Folding clothing rack creators
  • Toothpaste
  • Biros

but alas, it seems these people simply don’t exist anywhere near me.

I wouldn’t mind if i wasn’t a material science related person myself but because my eyes are open to it, I find it so hard to believe in a world of  so many creative things, there aren’t that many more creative people among us.

To be fair, if you were to look at it objectively, everything around us must have started as a concept drawing and alot of blood sweat and tears went into getting it to be where it is now.

You could actually go as far as to argue that you are surrounded by numerous pieces of art if you chose to.

Don’t believe me…well look out for my next post which will unravel the artistic beauty of such an everyday item.