A new breed of design students & their attitude to technology
Journal: DS 59: Proceedings of E and PDE 2009, the 11th Engineering and Product Design Education Conference - Creating a Better World
Product design education has been one of the most exciting and vibrant study paths in the last two decades. It presented the students the opportunity to develop their skills and talents to create innovative or effective product solutions. Along the way, Universities have developed their own philosophies for these kinds of courses. However, it should have been obvious that if a product designer is to succeed in the world dominated by products which require both aesthetics and engineering excellence, then he will need to be able to converse competently with these extremes. From experience, it has been observed that the majority of even BSc orientated students do not comprehend, often dislike and in many cases confuse the applied science & technology design requirements with mathematics. This paper attempts to address the question of why students struggle with applied technology in design degrees. Further, it assesses the student perspectives via quantitative and qualitative feedback and investigates the role of numerically orientated design activities in product design education and industrial work placements. It is shown that an increasing number of students have varying A Level profiles. Therefore, there will be an increased importance of their GCSE education to provide the fundamental numerical and technological skills for holistic design courses as well as greater pressure on university academics to bridge any shortfalls.