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Integrating social factors through design analysis.

Garland, N. P., Khan, Z. A. and Parkinson, B., 2011. Integrating social factors through design analysis. In: 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2011) Design Education for Creativity and Business Innovation, 8-9 September 2011, City University, London, UK, 529 - 534.

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In recent years there has been a drive to embed sustainable development (SD) into UK higher education design curricula, encouraged and supported by the professional institutions. Progress is evident with approaches involving problem based learning (PBL) and peer assisted learning (PAL) yielding measurable benefits. Activity has focused toward quantitative environmental and economic impacts while less tangible qualitative social factors are ignored or isolated from the design process. Recently the "social usefulness" concept has emerged, engaging these aspects within the design process. To engage students with the broader elements of SD, particularly the social sphere, a short course was developed from ongoing research. Building upon previous work the compulsory course ran for the first week of the academic year with first and second year students involved in no other academic activities. Groups conducted design analysis of consumer products broadening to a sustainability perspective. This included social usefulness, the product-service mix and material utilisation. Didactic elements were restricted, emphasising underlying concepts with learning delivered through PBL, PAL and student presentations, discussion and reflective learning accounts. Students developed understanding of sustainability and relevance to engineering and design. They discriminated between aspirational and inspirational products, understood how social usefulness links to function and how the product-service mix influences material utilisation. PBL and PAL encouraged students to develop strategies for problem solving and learning, skills required for study within HE and beyond into lifelong learning and continuous professional development. Emotional attachment to the products was unexpected and inhibited the students' ability to consider them objectively. This was unexpected and considered an important learning observation leading the research team to consider adapting the phenomena to both existing and proposed learning programmes.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:Published by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and The Design Society in: 'Proceedings of E&PDE 2011, the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, London, UK, 8-9 September 2011'.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sustainable; Social; Design; Education
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:24547
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:31 Aug 2016 15:38
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:57


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