Teaching Students How to Professionally and Persuasively Act as Design Consultants in Collaborative Industry Projects

DS 74: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE12) Design Education for Future Wellbeing, Antwerp, Belguim, 06-07.9.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Liem, Andre
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Section: Professional Perspectives for Design Students
Page(s): 748-753
ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0


The motivation for undertaking collaborative design projects within the context of consultant – client relationships, is not only to train design students to solve complex design problems, but also expose them to pro-active teamwork. Pro-active teamwork in studio teaching refers to a learning concept, where student groups are required to act as design consultants by identifying and solving strategic design problems as well a persuasively communicating them. The term “Persuasion” is central in this paper and will be discussed within the context of the Product Planning and Goal Finding as well as the core Industrial Design process. Factors, which play an important role in facilitating a conducive training and learning environment for students to act professionally, and at certain times persuasively as external consultants, are: *Type of collaborative project and collaborative attitudes of the industrial counterpart *Emphasis on design thinking at a strategic or systems level *Ability to generate convincing and well presented representations *Implementation of intermediate milestones in terms project planning and management. Results indicate that a strategic approach in designing is an appropriate way to stimulate independent and interdependent forms of learning and “doing research”. Within the context of “being able to convert research finding and / or design concepts at intermediate milestones of the design process into persuasive proposals”, new learning and communication styles are to be inculcated among students to challenge them to learn and practice design in a reflective, accelerated and professional manner.

Keywords: Industrial collaboration, persuasion, strategic design


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