Finding the right type of industrial collaboration for the right type of studio project

Year: 2009
Editor: Clarke, A, Ion, W, McMahon, C and Hogarth, P
Author: Liem, Andre
Page(s): 103-107


Within the context of design education, industrial collaboration is nowadays perceived as being a key driver for studio teaching. From the second or third year onwards, design studio planning and teaching usually incorporate one or several collaborating companies. The early involvement of companies in design education has been acknowledged by the design student community as an invaluable experience and a motivator to perform better. However from a studio planning and organisational perspective, it is not always easy to find the right company, moreover to keep the enthusiasm and interest at level, whereby both "student" and "company" benefit most from the collaboration. Also, this time consuming search of and negotiation with potential industrial collaborators may not be sustainable in the long run. Therefore, it is important for every industrial design course to strategise her search for industrial collaborators. Unfortunately, there is a lack of deeper understanding among design educators to develop such a strategy or framework, where certain types of collaborators are linked up to matching studio projects. This paper discusses a search and recruitment strategy for finding the right industrial collaborator. Results have indicated that in the field of design education, developing and negotiating industrial collaboration is not a straightforward, but rather a complex activity. For example, it is not always the product manufacturer, who is the main user of design services or the one most likely to be engaged in an educational collaborative studio project. Four years of experience in managing collaborative studio teaching at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Department of Product Design have shown that industries at the end of the value chain (secondary stakeholders), closest to the end-user and usually belonging to the service sector, played a more important and active role in supporting educational collaboration.

Keywords: Industrial collaboration, studio teaching, sponsored studio teaching, stakeholders

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