THE ROLE OF CO-OWNERSHIP WITHIN PRODUCT DESIGN EDUCATION
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: Verthé, Becky; De Couvreur, Lieven
Institution: Industrial Design Center, Howest, Belgium
Section: New Design Education Paradigms
Teaching product design is a complex activity, which deals with fast changing technology, emerging markets and unpredictable user-needs. During a design education program young designers appropriate an opportunity-driven approach; requiring decision making, doing experiments with different materials and machines and testing prototypes with real users. Therefore teaching design practicums have a certain “wicked component”. No single design assignment, nor student is the same. To deal with such complexity, within a relative limited amount of time, we explore the concept of coownership as a practical tool to facilitate personal and community growth. Co-ownership can give new responsibilities to students within a dynamic school environment. In a design & engineering context it can be organized at two levels: on the one hand at (1) the level of the learning process itself (introspection) – the degree to which students become involved and responsible for their own education, growth curves and their learning outputs. On the other hand we make a clear distinction with (2) the level of the practical organization within a school community (extrospection) – the degree to which students take initiative with regard to the organization of extracurricular events, the housekeeping and clean workshops, the exploitation of a shop, photo studio, materials library and certain machinery. Experiencing both activities can gain real understanding of what it means to build a community and be part of it as a young professional designer with a unique identity.