Supporting Student Learning in Relation to Entrepreneurial Innovation in Self-initiated Industrial Design Major Projects

Griffith Institute for Educational Research
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
7th Biennial International Conference on Technology Education Research: Explorations of best practice in Technology, design & Engineering Education, 2012, pp. 155 - 164
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Often Industrial Design students at the tertiary level, and Design & Technology students at the secondary level, complete a major project in their final year. These projects may be framed as being self-initiated design projects. Due to socio-cultural and technological changes these student projects, are becoming more complex, with greater emphasis on formally conducted research to set justifiable directions in development of innovative solutions that are entrepreneurial in nature. As design educators we are charged with the task of shaping the educational experiences of our students so as to move them closer to those paralleling professional designers. Consequently, we need to draw from models of self-initiated design that occur in professional practice to help develop appropriate strategies for supporting students in the completion of these challenging design projects. A background study investigated self-initiated projects developed by professional industrial designers, identifying particular links between aspects of background knowledge and a set of predominate project factors common in self-initiated design. This paper presents the results of this study suggesting that major projects (that are self-initiated) by university design students in their final year and indeed high school D&T students can be supported by research conducted into self-initiated design processes, as they exist in professional practice.
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