REFLECTIONS ON AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN CURRICULUM PARADIGM SHIFT FROM MATERIAL PRODUCTION TO BEHAVIOUR CHANGE BASED ON A CASE STUDY
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
Author: Novoa, Mauricio; Mubin, Omar; Apalakis,Adrian
Institution: Western Sydney University, Australia
Section: New Design and Engineering Education Paradigms
This article narrates on work towards a new industrial design curriculum launched in 2016. The makeover promoted transitioning from traditional design education focused on both, industrial age manufacturing and first-generation Bloom’s taxonomy, to recent expressions of new product development and innovation driven by constructionism and social constructivism. It integrates design research, heuristics, human-centred design, human-computer interaction, participatory design, user experience, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and design, and mathematics) and CDIO (conceiving, designing, implementing and operating) frameworks. The new approach upgraded expected final outcomes from concept proposal to proving practically how solutions work, operate and their likelihood for user adoption. A water conservation project for a household serves as metaphor of that shift from material production to behaviour change with a third-generation activity theory and artefact mediation analysis. Designers and users participated as co-designers in an organisational and design intervention to improve sustainability awareness and performance. Water is a premium commodity because its scarcity. Research showed the most likely influence to change habit in a family came from their shared construction of knowledge based on their interaction. Instead of applying normative measures that were often seen as penalty. Design as persuasion was also essential for confirming habit change. Results made the project a students’ benchmark because it’s working prototype as unique value proposition and minimum viable product with prospect for user adoption and industry take up for manufacturing. The project also evidenced favourable and disparaging steps in the process of new curriculum implementation and redefinition of design as value adding.