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Ralf Schneider, IDSA

Associate Professor, Syracuse University

Ralf Schneider, IDSA

Ralf Schneider, IDSA, is an associate professor of industrial and interaction design at Syracuse University. With a product design diploma from the Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin, Germany and a M.Des. from the University of Cincinnati (UC), he combines European and American design values.

Previous academic appointments include teaching design at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and DAAP/UC. As associate director/senior design researcher at the Live Well Collaborative, he contributed to the unique mission to foster the collaborative, interdisciplinary design process between industry and academia. Schneider’s current research focuses on how virtual, augmented and mixed reality technology
impacts design.

From 150 to 120- Curriculum Redesign to the Extreme

Education Symposium

Rapid Fire Group C

August 25, 2023

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Breakout - Shubert

Presenting with Don Carr, IDSA

For design educators, the challenge of rethinking a 5-year industrial design curriculum to fit within a 4-year envelope can be a formidable task. For every ‘new learning outcome’ to be added, and equal or greater number needed to be taken away. This story chronicles this 2- year process and offers a glimpse of what has emerged as the new curriculum at XYZ University.

The first step for our faculty was to conduct a curriculum mapping exercise. This involved reviewing the current curriculum and mapping out the learning objectives, outcomes, and assessments for each existing course. The mapping exercise helped to prioritize courses that align with the overall goals and objectives of the program, uncovering gaps in essential knowledge and emerging skills.

Current perspectives on what should constitute an ID curriculum were evaluated and debated. In addition, industry experts, alumni, and current students were invited to lend their insights. Collectively, they provided valuable feedback on which courses are most relevant, useful, and essential in order to succeed in the field. This resulted in a top-to-bottom overhaul of the majority of our course offerings. As a result, what has emerged is a 4-stage curriculum with the following over-arching themes:

Year 1: Design Worlds Today
Year 2: Deep Dive: Industrial and Interaction Design
Year 3: Human and Environmental Contexts
Year 4: Speculative Futures and Professional Launch

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