Explore, Adapt and Reflect: Educating Design Students in Translating Design Supporting Techniques across Domains

DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Thalen, Jos; van der Voort, Mascha; Garde, Julia
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Department of Design, Production and Management, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands
Section: Design Education Methods
Page(s): 014-019
ISBN: 978-1-904670-56-8


The interdisciplinary nature of design requires designers to be able to recognise potentially interesting emerging design techniques from neighbouring disciplines, such as marketing, management or engineering. A potentially interesting technique should be assessed, and, when found applicably, modified to suit a particular application in the design process. Training this skill to design students can be challenging. Students lack experience that designers use to make such assessments and modifications. This paper presents the results of a study in which we introduced an emerging design technique, LSP (Lego Serious Play) to graduate design students. The technique is introduced through a lecture and a workshop, after which the students are asked to assess its applicability in the product design domain by writing an essay. Students who expected LSP to be a useful design technique, attempted to apply LSP in a design case. By analysing the essays we aimed to find out how students assess new techniques, and how well they do this. It was found that in their essays, students present a relatively superficial review of the technique, touching only the obvious benefits and drawbacks. In order to fully understand (and in the end appreciate) the core values of the new technique, a regular lecture and a workshop turned out to be insufficient.

Keywords: Emerging design techniques, teaching, Lego Serious Play


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