HURN, K., 2013. The impact of collaborative ‘live’ industrial partner projects in product design higher education. IN: Proceedings of The 5th International Congress of the International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR): Consilience and Innovation in Design, Tokyo, Japan, 26-30 August 2013, 10pp.
The aim of this paper is to critically review the value of working with industrial partners on ‘live’ projects with product design undergraduate students in the context of whether this has a positive or negative impact on student motivation, engagement and subsequent final output for the project. Further to this, the paper investigates students’ wider perceptions in the validity of working with industrial partners within the changing academic landscape and in the wider context of their future careers and employability. The paper uses the case study of a specific second year product design cohort at the University of Derby who were engaged in a ‘live’ industrial partner led project. The form that the project took is examined alongside the previous year’s project that was not industry related and comparisons are drawn from the research conducted in the form of a literature review, industrial partner interviews and specific qualitative and quantitative data collected from the students. The paper concludes with an outline of the possible implications for academics developing or running similar industrial partnerships in the field of undergraduate product design education.