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Efecem Kutuk, IDSA

Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator of ID, Kean University

Efecem Kutuk, IDSA

Efecem Kutuk is a multidisciplinary academician and designer specializing in social and ethical design, sustainability, design entrepreneurship, IoT, furniture and lighting design. Kutuk's well-rounded design background and informed aesthetic is the product of his diverse and international experiences. He has taught ID courses at Drexel, Montclair State, NJIT and Parsons. Currently, Efecem is an Assistant Professor and the Program Coordinator of Industrial Design at Michael Graves College, Kean University. He earned his BFA in Interior Architecture and Environmental Design from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey and an MID from Scuola Politechnica di Design in Milan, Italy.

Designing Safer

Education Symposium

Rapid Fire Group B

August 25, 2023

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Breakout - Majestic

Product Liability is long neglected in ID education despite the exponential growth of new consumer product releases. This subject matter is covered in engineering, law, and business schools however, not in industrial design. According to Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), in 2021, national estimate of injuries treated in emergency departments due to malfunctioning or defective consumer products is 11,738,091!

In a conference last year, a workshop done for peer educators and id professionals to measure the awareness of product safety. Findings were as predicted - focus was heavily on aesthetics and functionality. After reviewing multiple curriculums, speaking to several id faculty, it became apparent that product safety in ID education is either not covered at all or briefly mentioned by a few. How can we create awareness to this matter in the id education? How can we convey the message without being discouraging yet rather motivating?

How can we educate the future generation of industrial designers to advocate for ethical practices and to design with product safety in mind? Eventually aiming for less product recalls due to the design defects.
In this paper, several different methodologies to implement product safety hierarchy into the industrial design curriculum will be explored. Workshop conclusions, survey results, and student projects of a studio exercise on injury prevention will be shared and discussed. The long-term goal is to educate industrial design students in a way that they would proactively consider product safety hierarchy during the ideation and design development phases.

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