INTERDISCIPLINARY LEARNING THROUGH DESIGN ACTIVITIES UNITING FUNDAMENTALS OF ENGINEERING CURRICULUM
Editor: Christian Weber, Stephan Husung, Gaetano Cascini, Marco Cantamessa, Dorian Marjanovic, Monica Bordegoni
Author: Fu, Katherine Kai-Se; Tan, U-Xuan; Teo, Tee Hui; Soh, Gim Song; Wood, Kristin L.
Institution: 1: Georgia Institute of Technology, United States of America; 2: Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
Section: Human Behaviour in Design, Design Education
An interdisciplinary design approach is essential to solve critical engineering challenges, yet few eng. curricula cultivate interdisciplinary design thinking, particularly early on. Most fundamentals courses are taught independently, often viewed as isolated subjects. We consider a framework for core eng. subjects, Structures & Materials and Circuits & Electronics, to gauge if proposed design activities can 1) reinforce concepts taught in each course, 2) enable students to see coexistence of both subjects in applications, 3) advance innovation/design skillsets/mindset and 4) increase confidence in solving interdisciplinary problems. To achieve concrete experience and reflective observation of Kolb s model, three design problems are posed to target challenges in energy, aerospace and healthcare. The activities foster deductive learning based on earlier concepts and require their interdisciplinary application. Participants report more confidence with interdisciplinary design projects and better grasp of interdisciplinary requirements in solving technical challenges (p