Towards Re-Imagining Industrial Design Education for the Contemporary Period

William Dim, Ian de Vere, Jacob Sheahan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

It is proposed that a progressive Industrial Design education should focus on supporting students in learning to self-manage ambiguity and bolster their agile independence throughout the tentative undergraduate years of growth [1]. As the field of Industrial Design moves beyond its industrial manufacturing roots, exploration of curricula that anticipates contemporary issues such as decolonisation, diverse participation and complexity in creative innovation is still not prevalent in this contemporary period [2]. Such a context necessitates an accelerated disruption to traditional design pedagogical practices [3], as seen in the RMIT University Industrial Design programme My First Six Months (MF6M) - a first-year learner-centred initiative situated around capacity development, student agency, self-efficacy, and disruption of expectations about the power dynamics in learning and teaching. This paper outlines the adoption of the RMIT University, My First 6 Months (MF6M) first-year learner-centred pedagogical alignment into the 2nd and 3rd year vertically integrated studio environment, through the case study ‘Safeness by Design (SbD)– Enabling an Ageing Workforce’ – a collaborative partnership with the Innovation Centre of WorkSafe Victoria, a state government safety regulatory body. In curating the studio’s outcomes, it became evident that the embedded predispositions developed throughout their MF6M experience, activated the diversity of students’ thinking and acting in situations resembling real-world design practice, which achieved our SbD studio’s pedagogical ambitions. We found this model to be highly transferable, requiring less teaching staff …
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 24th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2022)
EditorsErik Bohemia, Lyndon Buck, Hilary Grierson
PublisherThe Design Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781912254163
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Design pedagogy
  • design education
  • design learning
  • future perspectives
  • Project-based learning
  • self-efficacy
  • capacity development
  • industrial design education


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