Research oriented projects on design themese: A master semester at AAU

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Abstract

How can design students do research-oriented projects about design themes? At the 3rd semester at the Industrial Design Master Program at Aalborg University this is done by taking research oriented learning objectives on design theories and methods and combining them with experimental case studies with or without external parties like companies and consultancies. Programming the project is a large part of the 2½ month long project work and a “program” is handed in and evaluated after 3 weeks. During this programming the design students are going through a pre-reflection process, where they are designing the setup including the experiment or case that they will be carrying out. This approach shares characteristics of a regular research project, but the extent and level of complexity is much lower and the experiment and case is larger part of the project. At the other end of the project the analysis and discussion of the project is also significantly less in extent and complexity. This paper will use four case projects to demonstrate the variety and range of projects carried out under this research-oriented semester called “Research & Strategy”. Even with a variety in extent, context and structure they all meet the learning objectives and the output of the projects are beyond ordinary design proposals, instead they are centered on methodological issues and suggestion for improvements providing collaborating partners with valuable insight and feedback. At the same time the scientific attitude and professional self-reflection amongst students are improved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign Education for Creativity and Business Innovation : The 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
EditorsAhmed Kovacevic, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Lyndon Buck, Peter Hogarth
Number of pages6
Place of PublicationGlasgow, UK
PublisherDesign Society
Publication dateSep 2011
Pages417-422
ISBN (Print)978-1-904670-33-9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011
EventThe 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Sep 20119 Sep 2011

Conference

ConferenceThe 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period08/09/201109/09/2011

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Keywords

  • Design research
  • scientific attitude
  • report structure
  • programming projects

Cite this

Tollestrup, C., Eriksen, K., & Ovesen, N. (2011). Research oriented projects on design themese: A master semester at AAU. In A. Kovacevic, W. Ion, C. McMahon, L. Buck, & P. Hogarth (Eds.), Design Education for Creativity and Business Innovation: The 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (pp. 417-422). Design Society.