The program is an interactive learning experience. Teaching is by way of facilitation so as to develop critical thinking skills amongst the students. Core of the teaching is studio based, project oriented and blends lectures, tutorials, and intensive group discussions seamlessly to provide a practical, hands-on experience to the students. The teaching is highlighted by specially created assignments and team exercises. Guest lectures are regularly arranged to provide industry insights. A small class size creates opportunities for meaningful interactions with faculty and amongst peers.
Students are taken through design fundamentals which consist of four subareas: design history, hand-drawing, graphic design and form studies. Integration of those subareas aims at the acquisition of design knowledge and skills from several perspectives and development of creative abilities. An industrial designer is expected to master knowledge and understanding of design aspects in a historical context.
Professional designers use specific drawing skills in the design-process as a means of communication, not only to themselves, but also to colleagues and clients. Drawing is learnable like reading and writing; a special talent is not a condition, but a substantial amount of practice is necessary.
The student will learn to work with form, color, and the meaning of form. Students will get exercises in plasticity (wood, clay or stone), form transitions, proportioning and coloring. Subsequent to model making, students will express form and meaning in mood boards and collages. Students are taught to use digital tools and aids such as Photoshop, Rhino, etc. for effective visualization.
It is important for companies to develop and introduce new products on a regular basis. One of the main issues facing any company is the decision of which new products should be developed. Students will learn how they can select future directions for a firm based upon a solid understanding of several strategic considerations. Several tools and (market) research methods are presented that are available to product developers in guiding the strategic product innovation decisions.
Human-product interaction deals with the way in which we perceive, understand, use and experience products. This interaction is substantiated by our sensory, cognitive and motor systems. In order to understand how we interact with products, knowledge of these systems and how they limit, enable or facilitate interaction is essential. Our knowledge and insights come mainly from the human sciences. Relevant knowledge and insights will be addressed in a thematic approach. Themes include: use-cues, emotion, sound, cognitive fixation, touch, safety and risk awareness, discomfort, visual aesthetics, multimodal experience and inclusive design.
In order to be able to create products for people, product developers need to know what kind of products people want. What are their desires, needs and problems with regard to current and new products? Students are introducedto methods of customer research that can be used to collect information from customers to support the different stages of the product development process.
The major part of the course work is a sequence of design studios. The design studio is a project-based learning environment, which provides instruction around the design of products. Students are given a problem brief at the beginning of the design studio, which they investigate throughout the design studio sequence. The beginning design studio looks at simple problems. Subsequent design studios increase the complexity of the problem being solved. During the studio work, students understand the design process and apply it to a given problem. They consider business imperatives, technological possibilities, cultural and behavioral factors during the application of design process. In upper level design studios, students think about how the product interacts with its user and how the product exists in an ecosystem by building experiences and services around the product. Faculty members facilitate the entire process of discovery through various methods including lectures, laboratory practice, assigned reading, homework assignments etc.
The final year major project is the most important feature of this program. This project is usually done in co-operation with a company or organization that provides a real life task and setting. The final year project is executed through the Innovation Factory at DYPDC. It is a complete innovative product development process, starting with a strategic product plan for the company, resulting in a design assignment. The design assignment concludes with materializing a prototype of the designed product and a plan for market introduction. The project is intended to promote the inevitable coherence of different disciplines in product development. By the end of the project the student will have learned to turn the interests and goals of the company, and the interests of society and future users, into a materialized form of a product, and gained insight into the use of methods and techniques for product innovation and product development. The student would have learned to integrate all their existing knowledge and skills necessary for the project at hand, to see when new knowledge and skills are needed and to integrate the new knowledge and skills in the project and above all would have learned to manage a complex product development project.
At the end of the program, a student would have acquired the following capabilities: