Product Designer Joanna Morgan

Northumbria University graduate and product designer Joanna Morgan is on the lookout for internship and entry-level job opportunities following her recent completion of her degree. Here, she takes us through her education, experiences so far and one of her recent projects – the Footsteps Changing Bag.

“I’ve always been intrigued by both the arts and sciences. At college I studied AS/A2 levels in Product Design, English Language, Psychology, Maths and General Studies: this proved a solid foundation to my degree in BA (Hons) Design for Industry. 

Through my four years studying at Northumbria University I gained transferable skills to confidently research and tackle any design problem. I was challenged in many different areas, from medical devices to consumer products, taking modules ranging from product analysis to computer applications. I was also given the opportunity to work collaboratively with companies such as Unilever, Mars and Trunki. 

My final major project was an amalgamation of my time spent at the University and was exhibited at New Designers in London, 2012. This was a self-directed project focusing on product longevity concerning child development.

Research found that the cost of parenting and the recession means that parents are more attentive to purchasing decisions, but this is difficult when children develop so quickly. In response, I designed the Footsteps Changing Bag which lends itself to a change in use through a child’s early years. This is facilitated by the attachment of a smaller bag using two custom designed brass clips.

There are 3 overarching stages to this concept: when the child is aged 0-18 months, the amount parents carry varies depending on where they are going, for how long, the weather etc, the smaller bag can either be used as a mini pack or an extension.

When the child is a little older parents need to carry more: more food, clothes and toys. They enjoy mimicking adults and are at a stage physically where they can help take some of the load; they can carry the smaller bag. This can be easily clipped back onto the larger bag should they become tired.

When the child reaches about 3 years, changing bags usually become redundant. However, with its generic pockets the footsteps changing bag can be used for day trips and the child can continue to use the smaller bag.

Ironically, I also completed a dissertation during my final year entitled “Should good design be for life?” This was a controversial discussion in favour of product obsolescence. This vastly improved my research and analytical skills.

For me, industrial design is about identifying problems users have with products or services and doing something about it. I am a logical creative who constantly asks why. Coupled with the rich and diverse knowledge and skills acquired through my degree course, I am currently seeking an internship or entry-level design job in a progressive product or industrial design studio.”

You can find more of Joanna’s work at

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