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Education Papers


Students Stewards of Interdisciplinarity

Kelly Umstead, IDSA | North Carolina State University

In product development, successful collaboration between multiple disciplines is critical for innovation and product launch. The academic environment is an ideal place to begin to foster these alliances that are necessary in the professional world. Challenges of multidisciplinary collaboration in education are well documented, with much attention being directed to the natural collaboration between industrial designers and engineers. Incongruities arise when addressing project and problem framing, design intent and lexicon (i.e. prototype). This presentation explores the acquisition of interdisciplinary skills of ID students that are engaged with biomedical engineering students via an informal collaboration. This collaboration was structured to allow ID students to understand the perspectives and values of engineering students, the first step of achieving functional interdisciplinarity. The roles and responsibilities of both the designers and engineers are evaluated within the project setting along with the value attained retrospectively to both the engineering and ID students.


Design for Decentralized Studio Learning

Lisa Hammershaimb, IDSA Independence University

Studio pedagogy is the signature teaching of art and design education. However, in many institutions, the hallmarks of studio pedagogy are eroding. The new reality for many programs is one where educators must balance an increase in learners with a simultaneous decrease in contact time. There is a gap between what once was and what now is. One way educators are navigating this gap is using the internet to decentralize studio-learning practices.

This constructivist, grounded theory study endeavored to investigate how design educators are using the internet to augment and extend studio pedagogy. The Replication-Collaboration Continuum, the theory created from the study, posits that how educators use the internet can best be conceptualized as a continuum, with replication as one terminal and collaboration as the other. This theory has broad relevance for all educators curious about how to use the internet to implement greater decentralization into their learning spaces.


Design for Unmaking

Theunis Snyman, S/IDSA | Emily Carr University

This paper presents ‘unmaking’ as a pedagogical methodology developed through a Master’s degree research study at Emily Carr University and the ECUAD DESIS Lab (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability). Unmaking, as a method, evolved in two directions addressing two sides of the same coin, everyday citizens/consumers and designers. The first, using unmaking as an ethnographic research methodology for understanding the relationship between tacit skills, blackboxing and agency in everyday citizenry. The second, utilizing unmaking as a pedagogical method for early design education aimed at exploring design’s role in facilitating post-life economies for things. The overarching research study explored these two paths to investigate key aspects of our material culture related to sustainability, localization, skilled circular economies and resilient communities.


Design for International Dialogue

Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness, IDSA | Iowa State University

In early 2015, five universities registered their interest in participating in a joint project with The Ohio State University that would focus on solutions exploring electric assisted kick scooters with a focus on the adult customer. The desire to speed up walking with a simple device, that can be instantly and safely operated by almost anyone and without any training, led to the challenge of upgrading the basic kick scooter with power assist, somewhat similar to an electric e-bike. Each university was provided with the same set of objectives and guidelines for the development of concepts so that ideas contributing to the ongoing discussion of the issue of personal mobility could be compared. Due to the different starting points of each semester at the various universities the project began around winter or late spring of 2016. This paper is structured to provide an overview of the student work from the five participating design programs: Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa; University of Applied Sciences, Darmstadt, Germany; Hochschule Für Technik & Wirtschaft Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Shih-Chien University, Taipei, Taiwan; and Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary.


Design for Fluidity - How Different Project Timelines Develop Students’ Proficiency in the Design Process

Sarah Rottenberg, IDSA | University of Pennsylvania

Students who graduate with degrees in design are expected not just to be expert designers, but to also display proficiency in leading the design process. This paper presents a typology of different project timelines to teach the design process. It describes the different project timelines and articulates what students learn from each. It also highlights the special support students need to succeed in each timeframe. By engaging in a range of projects with different timelines, students develop fluidity with the design process and start to define their own process and practices.


Empathy Insights by Observation, Experience and Inquiry

Paul Skaggs, IDSA | Brigham Young University

A principal aspect of design thinking that separates it from other creative problem-solving activities is that it is human-centered. Designers solve problems for people, but in order to solve problems in a way that meets human needs, designers need to develop empathy for the people who use the products or services they are creating. This paper documents using the principle of empathy developed through the tools of observation, experience and inquiry to understand human needs and create products that meet those needs. Empathy allows designers to develop products and experiences that make human connections through aesthetics, meeting needs and creating meaning. This paper provides examples of designers who failed to implement empathy as well as designers who have been successful in using these human-centered design methods.

Later Event: September 21
Coffee Break