INTRODUCING SECOND-YEAR STUDENTS TO CONCEPT-BASED PROJECTS FOR INCREASED SUCCESS IN THIRD-YEAR SPONSORED PROJECTS
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: Fry, Richard Eldon
Institution: Brigham Young University, United States of America
Section: Design Education Practice
To increase the performance and decrease the stress of students in a third-year externally sponsored project experience, second-year industrial design students are introduced to a critical performance skill for the third year experience - clarifying a broad conceptual topic and making it usable for an effective design exploration. The educational goal is for students to gain confidence in their ability to gather insights through interviews, observations, and participatory experiences; simplify this data down to a handful of experience drivers; and use these drivers to create a framework that provides new insight for the more mature design exploration required in the third-year studios. The introduction of this skill earlier than immediately necessary brings tradeoffs. Disconnected from an actual sponsored project, the importance of the skill is not completely evident to the second-year students. However, in course evaluations, students comment that introducing the skill and practicing it earlier than required, helps their initial third-year product studio performance and decrease stress. This paper reports on the introductory project, the simplified process of taking observations and building a driver-based framework, and highlights some of the difficulties and successes in working with students toward this goal.