TALKING WITH EXPERTS - FROM RESEARCH TO OBJECTS: USING ACADEMIC RESEARCH AS THE BASIS OF COLLABORATIVE AND CROSS DISCIPLINARY PROJECTS FOR DESIGN STUDENTS

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: Soares, Susana; Andrews, Deborah
Series: E&PDE
Institution: London South Bank University, United Kingdom
Section: Responding to Social Issues
Page(s): 027-032
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9

Abstract

The role of design is changing and after postmodern design, in which design seemed to be more
related to production, business and marketing, we are currently looking at ‘the translation of scientific
and technological research into tangible objects that change people's lives’ as one of the most
fundamental roles of design [1]. In the majority of Higher Education institutions a significant amount of research takes place and there
is considerable potential to develop applications from the results of these activities, many of which are
not fully exploited. The primary aim of this project was to investigate how design methods can be
used to bridge the gap between the abstraction of research and the tangible requirements of everyday
life. A project targeted second year students was developed to explore this concept; it was also an
opportunity for students to challenge their familiar working methods by being collaborative and
interdisciplinary. First they formed teams and identified examples of scientific and engineering
research expertise; they then contacted the research active academic staff working in these fields and
carried out a video interview. They analysed their findings and gave a presentation outlining their
approach and design development for an appropriate context. Finally the teams presented educational
videos that explain and promote their design proposals to expert and non-expert audiences.
The paper includes several examples of these design proposals and illustrates the benefits of
collaboration for students and to researchers who see how their work can be interpreted and developed
into real world tangible applications.

Keywords: Cross-disciplinary, collaborative, design, education, academic research.

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