The challenge of utilising new technology in design education
conference contributionposted on 09.03.2006, 18:15 by John McCardleJohn McCardle, Chris Kirkham
This paper examines some of the many problems and issues associated with integrating new and developing technologies in the design of products. As technology in general races ahead challenges arise for both commercial designers and educators on how best to keep track and utilise the advances. The challenge is particularly acute within tertiary education where the introduction of new cutting edge technology is often encouraged. Although this is generally achieved through the feedback of research activity, integrating new concepts at an appropriate level is a major task. Of particular concern is how focussed areas of applied technology can be made part of the multidisciplinary scope of design education. This paper provides examples of the successful interaction of research and education within a UK higher education institution. It highlights that, through selective tuition of research topics and appropriate technical support, innovative design solutions can result. In addition, it shows that by introducing leading edge and, in some cases, underdeveloped technology, specific key skills of independent learning, communication and research methods can be encouraged. Furthermore, the paper examines both the successes and failures of the process and provides conclusions relating to curriculum development, effective learning, and assessment.
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