The CUBE Project and the Product Design Curriculum
This Paper outlines the CUBE Research Project and its value and integration into the 0Degree Programmes in Product, Industrial and Interior Design at the University of Hertfordshire.
The CUBE Project, managed within the Faculty of Psychology, mission statement is to: ‘Build a living space for one person with an internal dimension of 3 metres cubed’ The CUBE will have a minimum dependence on external supplies of energy and water. It will also consider material flows during specification and construction. The first CUBE will be constructed on Campus in Hatfield. Concurrent with and informing the development, are a series of talks by experts within the fields of energy and sustainability and companies who supply products relevant to the project. These talks are open to students and staff of the University as well as externally to the local business community. They form a forum for discussions on the CUBE Project and sustainable issues. The students have been directly involved in the design and development of the CUBE. Initially working in cross-disciplinary teams, ten proposals were presented to the Research Team. These proposals were the first visualisation and physical consideration of the use of space and layout of the CUBE. The concepts generated within this initial design challenge are informing the final design of
the CUBE. To progress the development five students were selected to join a steering committee making the design decisions for the physical construction of the CUBE. They join the research team
and professional designers who will realise the concept. This paper will expand on how the research project is managed and the value to the students’ academic experience. Issues covered will include cross-disciplinary working, integration of research into studio practice, professional context and trade-offs and very importantly Sustainability in the wider context.