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Education Papers

Design for Responsibility: With Great Design Comes Great Responsibility

Christopher Beard, S/IDSA | SCAD

This paper explores the inevitable changes in industrial design practices due to the decline of natural resources and increased focus on sustainable practices. In the future, design methods like design for disassembly and circular economy will become more common practice. The problem is that current product design curricula places little emphasis on these tools and concepts. As a result, students are at a competitive disadvantage when they enter the marketplace. By implementing these key concepts and theories within the current curriculum, design schools can help form a consciousness towards responsible product development and provide graduating students with a competitive advantage within the paradigm shift of industrial design. Adding hands-on experience for students can help reinforce the learning experience of responsibility within product design and will also allow for innovation and continue relevance for participating school. 



Brook Kennedy, IDSA | Virginia Tech

Research universities provide fertile ground for interdisciplinary work between design and other fields. In industrial design, faculty and students collaborating with scientists and engineers have the opportunity to translate new technologies into useful inventions—for both societal and commercial benefit. Distinct from professional industrial design work practiced in the private sector, this “lab-integrated industrial design,” also provides unique learning experiences—namely, students can be fully immersed from the beginning of a research program rather than serving a more traditional translational role after the fact. To demonstrate what these partnerships can offer, this paper presents a case study of an integrated lab-to-product development partnership involving the creation of a fog water-harvesting device called “Fog Harp.” This invention resulted from a relationship between design and engineering science at Virginia Tech. From the outset, eight industrial design students worked on the project enabling their participation in the invention process firsthand.


Building Word-Based Communication Skills for Designers

Richard Fry, IDSA | Brigham Young University

Tom Greever notes that, “Communicating about…designs…[can be] more important than the designs themselves.” However, the aptitudes that might predispose a student towards industrial design in the first place (visual, adaptive and creative thinking), may also predispose them against communicating in ways that resonate better with their process partners in other disciplines—words and numbers. This presentation shares and summarizes an attempt by students to work with both pictures AND words, with the goal of increasing both their visual AND verbal vocabulary. This new vocabulary was shown to increased students’ creative flexibility and has helped them communicate verbally with more clarity about their intent—and their results.


Design for Mixed Reality Experiences

Ralf Schneider, IDSA | Syracuse University

The recent development of mixed reality (MR) devices and apps hint at an exciting future. To be true to the inherent innovative spirit of the industrial design profession, it is important to investigate the impact of MR on the ID future. This paper examines how MR will influence the design process and why it is crucial to prepare industrial designers for MR design opportunities. At this time, integrating MR in design education makes sense in higher-level design studio courses. As the digitally native generation enters college age, their fluid handling of digital tools will support the use of MR technology in freshman and sophomore courses. For design educators it is important to be prepared for this transition and to support students in playfully working with digital content and tools. Takeaways from MR projects conducted in an academic setting in the industrial and interaction design program in the School of Design at Syracuse University will be shared. This is a design education story that exemplifies the unique value of engaging in MR design development.


Design for Wearable Interactivity

Yaling Liu, IDSA | Georgia Tech

This paper presented a summary and analysis of a short-term workshop, which incorporated the “learning by making” strategy in a design project where students designed circuit t-shirts with interactive features. The workshop built a fundamental understanding of interactive wearables and gesture-driven interaction. The method and process contained three phases: brainstorming, prototyping and a video presentation. The results of gesture and circuit design showed students’ creativity and enhanced their knowledge of soft and conductive materials.

Earlier Event: September 21
Coffee Break
Later Event: September 21
Closing Remarks