INTRODUCING INDUSTRIAL DESIGN TO THE STUDENTS OF RENAISSANCE ENGINEERING PROGRAMME: A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
Editor: Guy Bingham, Darren Southee, John McCardle, Ahmed Kovacevic, Erik Bohemia, Brian Parkinson
Author: Peer Sathikh
Institution: School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Section: Bachelors, Masters and PhD in Design Engineering
Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, founded in 1991, is amongst the largest engineering universities in the world. NTU offers an integrated engineering programme that admits about 50 elite students, awarding a dual-degree comprising of Bachelor of Engineering Science degree and Master of Science in Technology Management. Called the Renaissance Engineering Programme (REP), this is a rigorous 4.5-year programme with a curriculum that intends to bridge engineering, business and the liberal arts which includes design. The intention is that the REP graduates would master and possess the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes within the broader context of engineering science to become future leaders. During the second year, REP students take a compulsory module titled RE8007 Aesthetics and Design in Industry, which gives the students an idea of the importance of aesthetics and the relationship between form and function and how user experience can influence industrial design decisions. As the instructor of this module, the author experienced first hand, how REP students cope with abstract concepts, the creative process and execution methods of industrial design. This paper candidly discusses the issues of teaching industrial design to engineering students with an expectation that, together with what they gain from other engineering design modules, the students will possess the wherewithal to become designers capable of solving complex problems upon graduation. This paper discusses ways to improve the approach to teaching integrated design and how this has panned out in the effort to introduce industrial design to REP students.