Eddie Carrington

CAD INTERN EDDie CARRINGTON ON RE-INVENTING THE TOASTER, GETTING TO GRIPS WITH AUTOCAD, AND WHAT HE’S LEARNT ABOUT THE live events INDUSTRY SO FAR

Eddie Carrington is currently on a placement year with us from Loughborough University. As a Product Design & Technology BSc student, Eddie has experience designing across a variety of sectors. His past projects have combined digital content, storytelling and a range of technologies to create smart glasses for people with hearing loss, a re-invention of the classic toaster design, and a projection-based AR murder mystery experience during lockdown. His course has allowed him to explore the full design process, including fabrication, user centred design, CAD/CAM, and design for manufacture but his passion lies in creating live experiences.

On his placement year at Wonder Works, Eddie has been able to put his CAD, 3D printing and iterative design skills into practice as he makes his first steps into the live production industry. We caught up with Eddie to find out what he’s learnt so far and his top tips for anyone looking to get into a similar role…

WW: What’s your background and how did you end up at Wonder Works?

EC: I am currently studying Product Design at Loughborough University, and I’ve always been excited by events and live experiences. I’ve always admired Wonder Works’ contribution to the 2012 Olympics and loved the idea of working on such large scale projects so I applied for a placement in March 2022 and started in August.

WW: What recent project are you most proud of and why?

EC: I really enjoyed working on an interactive augmented reality dining experience during lock down last year. Combining projected visuals and real-world props, ‘Crime Scene’ is an immersive dining experience that throws you into the centre of a compelling murder mystery. Players conduct DNA analysis, look through the victim’s phone and explore an animated timeline of events, all while enjoying a two-course meal.

WW: How would you describe your role at Wonder Works?

EC: It’s been really varied so far. I’ve been lucky enough to work on a number of projects and a lot of them have involved CAD. Previously I used Solid Works and I’ve been transitioning to AutoCAD while on placement, which has been easier than I expected. A lot of things I’ve been working on sit within the product end of events, which plays to my strengths. For example, I’ve been designing some prototype panel work for an automation company, system layouts for a new theatre, and bespoke enclosures for a difficult working environment.

I’ve also enjoyed working on Wonder Works’ Christmas display, where I’ve helped come up with some of the concepts for the indoor elements. It’s allowed me to use a lot of my skills including 3D design, paper craft, video content and 3D animation. It’s been great to be part of the overall ideation of the project from start to finish. Working out how it all comes together, how the animation will work with the physical elements and working collaboratively with the wider team to create something totally unique and cohesive.

WW: What have you enjoyed most about working at Wonder Works so far?

EC: It’s really exciting working somewhere with such great projects. Some of them are very ambitious and it’s been great to be part of that. The Christmas display has probably been the most fun project so far because everyone on the team is able to bring their ideas and expertise together to create something from scratch.

WW: What would you say has been your biggest challenge along the way so far?

EC: I think at Wonder Works it’s been transitioning to AutoCAD because it’s not what I’ve used before and I’ve enjoyed learning something new. I didn’t expect to be as confident with it at this point.

WW: What has been your biggest learning at Wonder Works and how will this steer your final year at Uni?

EC: I’ve learnt a lot about the technical aspects of the industry – rack spacers, DMX light control, cable baskets, emergency lighting. These are things that I wasn’t aware of before so it’s been really useful to understand more about them. 

My final project has to be fairly product based but I think my experience at Wonder Works will definitely affect the way I approach the project. Before I came here, I’d be much more focused on the end result of a project. But now that I’ve actually worked on live projects and experienced designing something that is actually going to be made, I’ve learnt to test along the way by prototyping even small parts. I’ll definitely be doing more 3D printing in my final year because I’ve really enjoyed that.

WW: What advice would you give someone looking to get into a similar role?

EC: You’re going to learn a lot so don’t feel that you need to know everything before you start. Before I began my placement I was a bit nervous because I’m not a stage designer and I’m not an engineer so I didn’t know how useful I’d be. It’s such a huge industry so don’t come in thinking you need to know all aspects of it in order to make a meaningful contribution. You can start by working on things that play to your strengths and then as you gain confidence you’ll be able to expand your knowledge and understanding.

WW: What’s next?

EC: When I go back to uni I’m going to be working on my final year project. I don’t know what that’s going to look like yet but it’s a really fun one because you get to choose whatever you want and then you spend most of the year working on it. Once I graduate I hope I’ll be able to do something in live production – either for live events or even permanent installations but definitely something along these lines.

 

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