CO-TALK? THE ROLE OF COLLABORATION PARTNERS IN DESIGN EDUCATION
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
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Christian Tollestrup, Kaare Eriksen, Nis Ovesen
Author: Leblanc, Tatjana; Gagnon, Mario
Institution: 1School of Design, University of Montreal, Canada, 2Alto Design, Montreal, Canada
Section: Collaborative Environments
Academic institutions offer a unique environment for academics and experts from different fields to
come together and explore creative ways to improve education and advance disciplinary practices.
Emphasizing the collaborative aspect of such joined ventures has become exceedingly popular. The
abundance of writings on this subject matter reveals its rapid proliferation.
Many disciplines, and design is no exception, have embraced this current since, which gave rise to
interdisciplinary approaches and invited industrial partners into classrooms. However, some critics
question the productive output in light of the increasing collaborative practices, while others have
doubts about their very nature. This paper will therefore attempt to clarify the concept of collaboration
and elaborate on the phenomenon and its effects on design education. Furthermore, Evan Rosen’s
work on The culture of collaboration will allow us to assess the collaborative nature of a teaching
venture that the School of Design at the University of Montreal and Alto Design have put in place and
tested over the past years. More specifically, the paper will describe the framework and the role of
partners, explain the scope and benefits of the teaching activities, talk about students’ results and
challenges, and compare all these aspects to Rosen’s elements of collaboration by which he
characterizes true collaboration.