“YACON” PROJECT TO DESIGN PROMOTION OF REGIONAL SPECIALITIES COLLABORATING WITH THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITIES
DS 88: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE17), Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future, Oslo, Norway, 7 & 8 September 2017
Editor: Berg, Arild; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon; Gulden, Tore; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Pavel, Nenad
Author: Ito, Takao; Sakamoto, Mune-aki; Matsumoto, Keiko; Sagara, Jun-Ichi; Tanida, Ikuhiro; Takeuchi, Satoshi; Yasukawa, Miwa
Institution: 1: Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Japan; 2: Suisei High School, Japan
Section: Design Education Practice
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is the backbone of Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) in Japan. In its curriculum, Project Design Program is applied in 14 departments in four colleges. It also combines its curriculum with the extra-curriculum to obtain innovation skills. “YACON” project is anextracurricular design project at KIT collaborating with the local government and communities. Extracurricular activities play an important part to enhance the cross-disciplinary activities using the design process to solve problems. “YACON” project started in 2013 in Project Design Program in which students tackled problems to promote regional specialties. Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) is an edible tuber crop originating from South America. After the regular curriculum course was finished, students decided to continue the project as extracurricular and multi-disciplinary one. The project was conducted in collaboration with Nonoichi City government and agricultural cooperative groups. Through “YACON” project, students learn not only scientific knowledge of Yacon, but also marketing skills. They make plans of promoting Yacon usage, design promotion tools for Yacon products, and sell them in stores to get feedback from customers. Finally they made prototype products. Through the project, progress in students’ presentation skills and communication skills was observed.