Labs Life: Meet Belinda Deschamps
Welcome back to Labs Life, our ongoing interview series where you get to meet the people behind the scenes at the Sutherland Labs. This time we are have tracked down the illusive Belinda Deschamps, a Design Researcher who was born in France but is now nestled comfortably in the heart of the London Labs.
What did you do before you came to the Labs?
Belinda: I graduated with a Masters in Industrial Design from Central St Martins, then spent six months acting as a Design Research intern at an ergonomics agency in London before joining the labs team. My experience in setting up communication and creative strategies has been very useful in designing and delivering research projects. I understand the whole process from end to end, from design research through to the creation of a working solution. I am a free electron.
What inspires you?
Belinda: My family and friends all have qualities that I admire so much. The authenticity and benevolence of my grandparents, the patience and humour of my dad, the braveness and empathy of my mum, the optimism and generosity of my brother, the cleverness and joy of my friends. Just spending time with them is inspirational.
Travelling around the world to meet people from completely different cultures, who have completely different needs and problems, and being able to solve their problems through design is pretty inspirational too!
The Labs have just invented an incredibly chic time machine, and we have travelled back to ask the ten-year-old Belinda what she wants to be when she grows up. How would she answer?
Belinda: During the holidays that I used to spend on the South West French seaside I always wanted to make the most of my time by planning my everyday activities. This was not easy, because the weather at the seaside changes very rapidly. I knew that I could not control the sky, but I could predict the weather by studying the patterns of the clouds. If you had asked me then, I would have told you that I wanted to be a meteorologist!
My grandpa spent a summer teaching me how to recognize the different types of cloud and how to predict the weather. When the stratocumulus clouds were dominating the sky, it was not a good time for the beach! I would stay home, drawing and painting, building and crafting, and playing games. I opened a restaurant with my grandma, I created a range of jewellery, I organized fashion shows, I was a postman – to deliver my creations – the list of different roles that I assumed was endless, but through them all I realized that I did not just want to study things and predict their outcomes. I wanted to create. I wanted to be an inventor!
As a design researcher at the labs, I get to do both of the things that filled my holidays. Studying to predict and inventing new solutions. If I had to explain my job to little Belinda, then I would say that I am something a little like a doctor, but instead of repairing people, I fix the things around them to make their lives better.
Will Belinda ever learn to control the weather? Will that time machine of ours ever come out of beta testing? Come back next time for another instalment of Labs Life, to find out all of these answers and more!