University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

Understanding through Making

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2014
EventINTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING AND PRODUCT DESIGN EDUCATION - UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE, Netherlands
Duration: 4 Sep 20145 Sep 2014

Conference

ConferenceINTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING AND PRODUCT DESIGN EDUCATION
CountryNetherlands
Period4/09/145/09/14

Abstract

The core theme of the paper is incorporating an empirical approach in the understanding of object value(s) within Product Design. It is a reaction too and an acknowledgement of the changing nature of both the students previous experiences and the value of design to the modern world. With the former, applicants lack the breadth of basic skills in drawing, making and experimentation. Indeed many lack a curiosity which is natural to design. This is in part due to the diminishing number of applicants from Foundation Courses in Art and Design (United Kingdom). These pre-degree courses encourage experimentation and play in understanding materials and structures. Another observation is that design has progressed beyond the production of artefacts to a process of problem identification and solving (1). In this context Sustainability, Brand and Human Centred Design are all common themes within design curricula. However focussing on these in an already congested curriculum has left some of the basic skills and investigations lacking in students vocabulary and skills within design. The paper outlines a way in which an understanding of structures and objects can be achieved. Two projects are cited, the first a project which gets students to think with their hands and make quickly. In essence the project is about the deconstruction and re-constructing of chairs. Based on the work of Martino Gamper (2), students are challenged to make new chairs using discarded and broken chairs as source material. Within this construct issues of material and object value can be discussed as well as product lifetime, product evolution and second life. The second project builds on this experience with a mechanical design challenge, that of an Automata. With this project students start investigating on paper but quickly need to develop with simple mechanical mock ups both in 2D and 3D. The combination of these projects amongst others equips students with a preliminary understanding of construction, mechanics, materials and aesthetics. This is a starting point for understanding the physicality of artefacts underpinning Product Design Education. 1. RSA Design & Society Social Animals: tomorrow’s designers in today’s world by Sophia Parker. P19, 2009 2. 100 Chairs in 100 Days

Notes

Julian Lindley, Richard Adams, Stephen McGonigal, John Beaufoy, ‘Understanding through Making’, paper presented at the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 4-5 July, 2014.

ID: 9475734