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Exchange Success

Published: Tues 28 April 2015
Exchange Success

Exchange student Sabrina Souza de Frias e Vasconcellos shares her experiences of studying Product Design at the University of Bradford.

In 2013 Sabrina Souza de Frias e Vasconcellos came from Brazil to study Product Design for a semester at the University of Bradford whilst as an exchange student from University Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation (FAAP) in São Paulo.

Talking about her experience she said; “I had a life changing experience. When I went to Bradford, I expected to learn new things about design, but what I did not imagine, was that with this experience I was going to gain a great amount of knowledge in so many different ways.”

Studying in another country, not only did studying in England help develop her use of the English language; it gave a deeper understanding to different cultural views towards design and the development of products. Talking about her time being taught at Bradford, she said; “during the lectures we frequently had some discussions about design and for me it was always an interesting moment. Even though we were speaking about the same subject, and understanding the different points of view, there was a great cultural plurality that brought about different ways of thinking.”

On Sabrina’s return to Brazil she carried on a project she started at Bradford. The project called Aurora is a concept product capable to capture important life moments based on the feelings that you had. Using the Beta brainwaves to identify important moments the product automatically turns on and starts recording what you are seeing and feeling. By this way you will be able to keep your “digital memories” through time and generations.

During Sabrina’s final year at university, as a result of the success from Aurora she was chosen to be part of a team to represent the University (FAAP) in a competition titled 2º Desafio de Design Odebrecht Braskem (2nd Design Challenge Odebrecht Braskem). Competing alongside two fellow students; against six Universities from São Paulo; during four months, the team worked in a Design Agency named Mais Packing alongside companies Odebrecht, Braskem and Tramontina, developing a product that could be used as school children’s furniture. The project developed was awarded first place in the competition and will soon start to be produced. Images of the product they created are currently under wraps, so unfortunately we can’t share what it looks like.

Kate Johnson, Product Design lecturer said: “It is deeply pleasing to know that Sabrina has embraced the full experience of studying here at Bradford.  Projects and discussions are always enriched by contributions from overseas students whose cultural perceptions may differ from our own and these contributions help reinforce cultural thinking in the design process for all our students.  We are extremely proud of Sabrina and wish her a very successful design career.”

Reflecting on her experience as an exchange student, Sabrina said: “On looking back, the time I spent at Bradford, studying abroad gave a greater understanding of my subject; living and learning in a different culture, for me it was the greatest decision I have made. I believe that this experience opened a whole new world of great opportunities to start my design career.”

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