TOWARDS A TRULY INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO PRODUCT DESIGN EDUCATION
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
Author: O'Kane, Colm; Tully, Robert
Institution: Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
Section: Multi / Post / Cross Disciplinary Education
The education of new designers and innovators who can develop new product and service interventions to meet society’s challenges in the 21st century is a complex task. Design itself lies at the intersection of technology, art and science . Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)’s BSc (Hons) Product Design programme was developed to reflect this reality and was uniquely designed to operate across three distinct Colleges (Engineering, Creative Arts and Business) within DIT. Its key objective is to give students a firm grounding in these three areas and to produce graduates capable of understanding and executing all stages of the design process with a distinct focus on producing products and interventions which are technically feasible, consumer appropriate and commercially credible. While still a relatively new programme, it has continued to innovate in both structure   and pedagogy    to ensure a clear focus on the needs of society and of industry. Students of the programme have repeatedly won awards in a wide variety of design areas including creative, technical and business innovation, while graduates have gone on to successful careers in a number of fields and industry sectors. The authors believe that the model employed in this programme could be fruitfully applied to the development of cross-disciplinary programmes in a variety of settings within the education of product designers and engineers.