DS 83: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE16), Design Education: Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinarity, Aalborg, Denmark, 8th-9th September 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Christian Tollestrup, Kaare Eriksen, Nis Ovesen
Author: Scully, Amos
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA
Section: New Design Paradigms
Page(s): 252-257
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9


How does a department create a kinship in its students to counterbalance exploding enrolment
numbers and operationally distinct year levels? Can we accomplish a sense of belonging and a
personal affinity to a university program without rewriting curriculum? Our department of Industrial
Design was faced with a quandary: How to establish a bond among students in all year levels. These
questions prompted us to undertake an experimental project, one that would serve as a proverbial ‘shot
in the arm”: We would involve every student in a week-long project, with teams vertically composed
of students from different years. This paper chronicles how injecting a sweeping department-wide
project can provide opportunistic learning experiences and create a communal bond. Our project,
entitled ‘T minus 151,’ is a one-week project that counts down 151 hours from the moment of content
launch to final presentations. The project reveals how self-guided team dynamics, dissolving
hierarchy, instituting rapid timeframes, can build affinity, breed mentoring, create a sense of
belonging, and promote creative outcomes. This paper overviews the pedagogical premises that
embrace an approach of student led teams with rapid time frames.

Keywords: Collaboration, foundations, teams, timeframes, business partnership.


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