Joined-up Design: Undergraduate technical skills acquisition

Friedemann Schaber, Sid Porobic

    Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperpeer-review


    This paper documents a study of cooperative and situated learning based on the Sorrell Foundation’s Young Design Programme which aims to promote a collaboration between design students and secondary school pupils, by asking them “what they want to improve in their schools” [Sorrell 2008]. This programme informs the process of regeneration of school campus and surrounding community. The approach followed recent policy initiatives in the United Kingdom (UK) such as the ‘Widening Participation’ programme and the ‘Creative Partnerships’, a creative learning initiative designed to
    develop the skills of young people across England. They foster innovative, long-term partnerships between schools and creative professionals, including architects, scientists, multimedia developers and artists. The paper discusses the engagement of the University of Northampton with the programme and analyses the feedback from the participating student mentor, a practicing architect, contrasting this with other feedback that the Sorrell Foundation collated during previous iterations of the programme. Research [Butcher 2008] has been published on student learning and acquisition of soft skills. However, qualitative feedback on this programme, from collaborating industry mentors and other stakeholders, has not been systematically captured, discussed or evaluated. The Sorrell Foundation gathers industry feedback through evaluation forms, much of this remains unpublished. In this paper, however, we hope to highlight the reflections of the participating mentor who is a chartered architect, in view of technical skills acquisition, CAD competencies, and the positive outcome that this kind of life client engagement facilitated. We anticipate that the feedback to have a practitioner’s perspective, is grounded in the ‘real world’ and thus differ from tenured fulltime teaching staff and other stakeholders, such as education and planning authorities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2012
    EventDESIGN 2012, the 12th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik - Cavtat, Dubrovnik, Croatia
    Duration: 21 May 201224 May 2012
    Conference number: 12


    ConferenceDESIGN 2012, the 12th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik
    Internet address


    • live projects
    • urban regeneration
    • digital skills acquisition
    • young design programme


    Dive into the research topics of 'Joined-up Design: Undergraduate technical skills acquisition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this