The polymathic Kingston University graphic design graduate whose conceptual approach is opening plenty of doors
Harry Grundy doesn’t subscribe to any particular process in his design work, the idea is the most important thing, everything else follows. His commitment is to “design and the job it does for its audience” and that shows throughout his divergent and exciting portfolio. It’s an approach that was encouraged during his time studying at Kingston University, whose graphic design course “has always nurtured students with an interest in conceptual work”. For Harry, within the course’s tight-knit studio culture, those who pushed the envelope had an inherently positive effect on their classmates. “Art school is a rare time where naivety is power and nothing is off limits”, he explains. “I’m trying to drag this idea out into the real world and carve a place for my own practice that embraces it”.
It’s a strategy that is working. Having been named one of It’s Nice That’s ‘Graduates’ last year, Harry has made good use of that momentum and is now based out of Makerversity at Somerset House as part of the former’s ‘Under 25’ scheme, offering free desk space and mentorship to young creatives. Not one to hang around, Harry already had a junior design role to his name. He interned with NB Studio while studying and was subsequently offered the position. “I had a great time there during the internship, so I bit their hand off”. Having been trusted with his own client work and relationships, it’s an experience that provided solid foundations and ample confidence to set up his own cross-disciplinary practice.
“I love getting the opportunity to work in a new field and really value being trusted by the client” Harry tells me, pointing out that he works with specialists on a project to project basis to ensure that the final output is of the highest standard. It’s being able to mark those boundaries that makes Harry so flexible and effective when working across a wide range of fields and the outsourcing of the fabrication element makes his practice feel a little like that of an artist. It’s a comparison that he’s had before, but for him the ideas are based around functionality, the playful element making them all the more engaging and with it, impressive.
For any young designer who wants to push their work into new fields, Harry has sound advice. “Keep stretching, keep scaring yourself and be an opportunist. Being a student is a get-out-of-jail-free card, so embrace the failures. Collaborate. Using naivety in your work is good, but know when to seek specialist input, your ideas deserve to be taken seriously”. Our advice is to spend a few minutes getting familiar with his work, which we’re taking very seriously indeed.