DS82: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE15), Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research & Enterprise, Loughborough, UK, 03-04.09.2015

Year: 2015
Editor: Guy Bingham, Darren Southee, John McCardle, Ahmed Kovacevic, Erik Bohemia, Brian Parkinson
Author: Meadwell, James; Terris, David; Ford, Peter
Series: E&PDE
Institution: De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
Section: Collaboration
Page(s): 050-055
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9


This paper considers the issues surrounding the use of live commercial design research projects as teaching material for Product Design students. The premise for the paper is based around the Design Unit, a design and research group at De Montfort University in Leicester, staffed by academics who are also involved in lecturing product design students. It highlights an observation that students may not become highly engaged when presented with assignments based on ‘real life’ design projects that have previously been completed by Design Unit staff. It could be argued that such projects are simply too big, the detail can seem esoteric and feel irrelevant to the fledgling designer. In addition, the commercial constraints of the real world project could, at times, impose inappropriate restrictions on student designers. As a lecturer used to dealing with industry experts and then being expected to present to design students on a project within a new industry sector, it could be quite easy to become complacent with regards to the student’s prior knowledge. The aims of this paper are to explore what key areas can be extracted from commercial projects to make the best use of them as educational material. It will aim to suggest tools that could be used to present the material in an effective way and how this could better engage the student to help them understand the validity of the proposed design project or teaching aid.

Keywords: Case studies, live projects, commercial design projects.

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