Asking why as well and how: strengthening the technical proficiency of new designers

DS 76: Proceedings of E&PDE 2013, the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Dublin, Ireland, 05-06.09.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: Marsh, Phillipa; Arthur, Leslie
Series: E&PDE
Institution: NTU, United Kingdom
Section: Technology in Design Education
Page(s): 492-497
ISBN: 978-1-904670-42-1


Significant challenges can be encountered when introducing technology to design students, especially those with limited science and technology backgrounds. Often students display a fear or unwillingness to participate in technology-based applications, without realising the synergetic potentials. These challenges also exist for design engineering researchers, educationalists and technologists. This paper presents a different view to educating new designers in relation to technology-based disciplines, specifically in Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Manufacture (CAM). The work focuses on moving beyond polarised ‘how it works’ attitudes to technology and considers wider implications of using technology and the impact for design practice. This view of teaching can develop student’s awareness of the impacts of technologies as well as enhancing their knowledge of technological practices. This position has been taken from work which aimed to establish more engaging ways of educating designers on technological applications within design and problems solving. A framework for teaching engineering alongside key design knowledge is proposed, using a debates project to exemplify this. This project requires designers to examine good design principles with a variety of technologies, and develop a detailed knowledge and awareness of emerging technologies throughout debating and discursive sessions. The teaching methodology and practical assessment is particularly relevant to the expanding technological emphasis for designers and the need for students to have a wider perspective beyond a pragmatic technical view. This paper also highlights the knowledge and associated methodology for design pedagogy whilst building on current practices, to enhance the learning experience alongside the knowledge of technological issues.

Keywords: Pedagogy, creativity, technology, industry realism


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