Product design education: a journey?

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportConference Contributionpeer-review


Product Design education can be focused on training. Providing students with skills to use tools, computer programs and tried and tested methodologies to solve problems. It can be presented as a planned and structured process. Design is seen as a problem solving activity rather than a wider creative endeavor. Such an approach provides clear structure that, students find it hard to challenge. Universities are not being tested on their ability to train but will be assessed on their teaching. Teaching seems to be more about a relationship. In the craft world, between apprentice and master- there was another stage of a journeyman, the learning on the job. Design students are inspired to learn by doing and making. Yet, contact time and working together in workshops sessions are being cut back. The increasing number of students, costs savings and digitally based campuses, are all reducing the time and space allowed for making, nurturing and maintaining a supportive learning environment that applicants expect and need. Design Thinking might have its origins in design practice. Its starting place is about educating non-designers about the design process. In Product Design education we need to educate designers to think and experience things for themselves. The pressures, both internal and external, seem to be reducing the quality of independent design thought and creativity. The 'journey’ is important to design education and not a cliché.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign Education: Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinarity: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
EditorsErik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Christian Tollestrup, Kaare Eriksen, Nis Ovesen
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherDesign Society and Institution of Engineering Designers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-904670-62-9
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2016
Event18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (DS 83, E&PDE 16) - Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 8 Sep 20169 Sep 2016


Conference18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (DS 83, E&PDE 16)
Internet address


  • Teaching product design
  • change
  • design thinking
  • making
  • workshops
  • experience
  • journey


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