Guiding Interdisciplinary Design Collaborations in the Studio Classroom

By Shea Tillman and John Chad Duncan.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Collaboration has become the new language for creating meaningful, well-conceived design ideas. Interdisciplinary collaborations have also become a key component in gaining external funding for educational design projects. If however, educational design collaborations are to be successful, they require more than one team handing off completed responsibilities to another team. How can faculty effectively manage these often disruptive efforts to maximize creative outcomes? What are the challenges that occur when students from dissimilar disciplines are paired together in a classroom and challenged with a design problem?

This paper presentation will discuss and illustrate lessons learned through the teaching of a true interdisciplinary design studio. This studio course involved merging an industrial design studio course with a rehabilitation class to collaboratively develop design concepts for improving the quality of their lives for client consumers with disabilities.

Keywords: Industrial Design, Collaboration, Interdisciplinary, Disabilities, Assistive Technology

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.271-284. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.042MB).

Shea Tillman

Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Design, Auburn University, Alabama, USA

Shea Tillman is an Assistant Professor teaching industrial design studios and coursework within the Department of Industrial Design at Auburn University. Shea holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design from Auburn University and Master of Arts in design from The Ohio State University. His research interests include the integration and communication of user research into the product development process, as well as the role of brand in developing product family form language.

Dr. John Chad Duncan

Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Services, University of Maine at Farmington, Farmington, Maine, USA

Dr. J. Chad Duncan is an Assistant Professor teaching rehabilitation courses within the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services at the University of Maine at Farmington. Chad holds a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Services and a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from Auburn University and Prosthetic and Orthotic degrees form Northwestern University. During this article Chad was a doctoral student at Auburn University and collaborated with co-author Shea Tillman. Chad currently sits on the editorial and creative staff for the Journal of Forensic Vocational Analysis. His research interests include prosthetics and orthotics, quad rugby, assistive technology, and forensic rehabilitation.


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