DS 83: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE16), Design Education: Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinarity, Aalborg, Denmark, 8th-9th September 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Christian Tollestrup, Kaare Eriksen, Nis Ovesen
Author: Velásquez-Montoya, Marcela
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Department of Product Design Engineering, Universidad EAFIT, Medellin - Colombia
Section: Responding to Social Issues
Page(s): 015-020
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9


Colombia is considered by many experts as an important emerging market. Its economy frequently has
an annual growth rate above 4%. However, according to the World Bank, 30% of the population lives
on less than USD $1.90 a day [1]. Since 1999, Universidad EAFIT in Medellin, Colombia, has been
the only university offering a Product Design Engineering (PDE) undergraduate program in the
country. Starting in 2012, the Design Project 6 (DP6) course has focused on understanding relevant
aspects of designing for “bottom of the pyramid” (BoP) communities in Medellin, allowing students to
propose product/service solutions for social needs. In this course, faculty and students have been
working with different government organizations and other institutions, such as non-profit
foundations, in order to understand real needs in their context. Over the course of the semester,
students are guided by a community-based design method using different techniques, including the
Human-Centred design and the IDEO Design Kit [13] [14]. An important challenge for students is not
only to propose a solution for a contextualized social need, but also to implement ubiquitous
technology or use the Internet of Things (IoT) to increase the efficiency of the BoP project and thus
contribute to the scalability of their initiatives. This article describes the methodology used in DP6 and
PDE student experiences in the course, showing that involving them in design projects with a high
degree of social experience is key to ensure more inclusive social development and an integral

Keywords: Social innovation, design project, IoT, ubiquitous technology.

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