Living abroad can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to study and even work in a place totally different to where you came from. My name is Leonardo Fantinati, I am Brazilian and I took the challenge to live and study on my own at Dundee. The results of my experience were quite exciting!
I started my study program at DJCAD (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design) on September 2013 under the ‘Science without Borders Programme’ scheme. As a Product Design Student I got involved with projects and subjects exploring multidisciplinary fields of study and solving numerous problems by the use of appropriate research techniques.
My interest into new methodologies and innovative materials to work with led me to attend a specific module, ‘Textiles Futures’ aiming to give students opportunities to understand and have contact with the field of technical textiles.
The project briefing, in partnership with Scott & Fyfe, tasked us to consider how some of the their existing textiles could be re-appropriated, developing innovative contexts of use and researching new areas of application in terms of market viability.
Focusing on the ‘wearable industry’ and providing the user with good ergonomics and comfort during hours of use, the product concept was to provide a low-cost utility shoe formed with a two-piece die cut pattern dispensing conventional construction models such as sewing, being easily foldable and constructed around the user’s foot.
Due to my efforts I was offered the opportunity of a two month paid Research and Development Internship at Scott & Fyfe. As a part of the
Composites Pod my duties included gaining market insights into the Composite industry with a view to analyze distributors and potential customers not recognized in Latin regions. Another element of my work was to gather insights into Composite product ranges and support new product developments.
The best part of everything? I’ve learnt a lot, both at DJCAD and Scott & Fyfe. Studying and working abroad provides you with the ability to leave your comfort zone and it unequivocally influences your worldview. On a personal level, independence and self-confidence is what you take. Besides that, the interaction and contact with people all over the world can provide you long-standing friendships and a diversified network of contacts.
On a professional and academic level, the whole experience taught me cross-cultural and interpersonal communication skills while working in a multicultural team, making me able to easily adapt to new settings, backgrounds and challenges that may appear. Scott & Fyfe gave me an awesome opportunity to develop these abilities while working with a competent and challenging team. Thank you guys for everything!