The Great Challenge, Staging the Design Education for the next 20 Years

DS 69: Proceedings of E&PDE 2011, the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, London, UK, 08.-09.09.2011

Year: 2011
Editor: Kovacevic, Ahmed, Ion, William, McMahon, Chris, Buck, Lyndon and Hogarth, Peter
Author: Baggerud, Bjørn; Rismoen, Jon; Boks, Casper
Series: E&PDE
Section: New Design Paradigms
Page(s): 429-433


The Department of Product Design at NTNU and its product design curriculum will soon celebrate their 20-year anniversary. The curriculum has been updated continuously and adjustments have been made according to experiences. Now the Department faces the challenge of a thorough curriculum re-thinking, and will run a project called "The New Design Education", DND in Norwegian, with external and internal participation. Our design education is holistically oriented, caters for a relatively small number of students, and has been a jewel at the University due to its pedagogical difference, visibility and appeal to very skilful students. If we fail in continuously being different to other study programs, the Department is believed to cease to exist. The project will end up with a description of the New Design Study and a plan for implementation at the end of 2011. We have to make a major change to be modern in the next generation. This paper will be a summary of our preparations prior to what could be a revolutionary re-thinking of our curriculum. What shall be the objectives, the values and the foundation of the future design education? What pedagogical tools will be available in the near future? What will be the human recourses, among the tutors and the students? During our work we were told by our students and alumni that the study has become indistinct, we have to make clear profiles with specialization in new markets. When we were looking at our framework, we found that it was possible to organize clearer design profiles with a high degree of specialization utilizing existing courses at our University, and choose cases in the design project courses according to the specialization. This makes it possible to educate designers with expertise that opens for new markets. We can offer education in more markets with stronger profiles using (almost) the same resources as before. And then the revolution will start in 2012! Hopefully, DND will start as a modern design education that challenges the students in a safe environment, based upon the latest research, using different pedagogical methodology and modern equipment.

Keywords: Design education, curriculum, designer role, and designer’s skills.


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