The design courses blog for BA (Hons)
and HND Vis Comm at Edinburgh College

Heins Sight

3 November 2014

Michael Heins, one of our mentors and a digital designer at Lewis, popped in to the studio on Friday to talk to our HND students. Lewis has been one of the key employers we've been lucky to worth with over the past six years that the mentor programme has been running, and a number of their team are regular mentors to our final year students. Originally we'd asked Michael to come in to talk about workflow, but on the day he delivered a much broader talk called  'Things I Would Have Liked Somebody To Tell Me When I Was A Student'.

Slide - Michael I. Heins

Michael, who has studied in Bremen, Istanbul and Edinburgh’s ECA and was lucky to benefit from a wide range of great teachers such as Erik Spiekermann, focussed on the key areas around the everyday activities of a designer. A central theme running through all of the points in his talk was the concept of 'Mise-en-place', a French phrase meaning literally 'putting in place', and referring to the set up a chef uses in the kitchen - selecting and sharpening their tools and organising the workspace, ingredients and resources. Michael sees this the perfect metaphor for the various strategies a designer should employ to get organised, to be able to eliminate distractions, and to allow multi-tasking, version control and time management, so that the creative process can flow unhindered but efficiently and to a given deadline.

Slide - Michael I. Heins

After the presentation, Michael took questions and really personalised the session with honest insightful answers that the students clearly found inspirational. He also talked at length about his extra-curricular activities, which include experimental digital media art, typeface design, running, and of course cooking.