DS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2019), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 12th -13th September 2019

Year: 2019
Editor: Bohemia, Erik; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Buck, Lyndon; Brisco, Ross; Evans, Dorothy; Grierson, Hilary; Ion, William; Whitfield, Robert Ian
Author: Eriksen, Kaare; Madsen, Ida Sch
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Aalborg University, Denmark
Section: Cultural 3
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.35199/epde2019.102
ISBN: 978-1-912254-05-7


The industrial design profession in general relates to many different cross-disciplinary environments where words, phrases, slang and abbreviations from different scientific fields and practical domains are mixed with terminologies for very precise as well as very vaguely defined phenomena. This creates a natural communication gap for industrial design interns in companies where they meet a lingo that sometimes differs from the study environment at the university. The paper describes the nature of this communication gap based upon observations and surveys focusing on a group of industrial design master students from a Scandinavian university. The research shows that the types and amount of unknown phrases and words vary according to the company and the product categories, but in all cases slang and abbreviations in particular causes the design intern to ask for an explanation or simply exclaiming a ‘WHAT did you say?’.

Keywords: Industrial Design Students, Internship, lingo, language gap, professional lingo, communication, abbreviations


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