Inspiring Creativity and Design Innovation: Multidisciplinary Embedded Design

By Philip Breedon, Phillipa Marsh and Leslie Arthur.

Published by The Design Collection

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

This paper argues there is a need to take a different view when educating designers in relation to technology-based disciplines. Designers need to have a wider perspective on the implications of using technology, alongside the ‘how to’ information. Design, Engineering and technology teaching can provide more of a ‘why’ approach; by developing student awareness of the impacts of technologies; as well as the detailed knowledge and fundamental technological practices. As a team of researchers we try to ensure that there is a meaning and purpose to our actions when correlating a creative focus with multidisciplinary research activities and the process of design; which traverses the various disciplines. The primary characteristics of our design related research is combining thought and action linked to the challenging of pre-conceptions and the nurturing of a positivist approach to multidisciplinary design. As a design team who maintain the precarious balance with practise and theory we also adhere to a common and grounded set of principles in our understanding and application to design. Design focus is centred about Smart Design and includes technical textiles, wearable technologies, clinical, medical products, plus Artificial Intelligence and personal robotics. Teaching design engineering alongside developing key design knowledge is proposed, by using current research projects to demonstrate and explain. The diversity of multidisciplinary research projects requires designers to amalgamate good design principles, integrate and develop awareness of emerging technologies. The teaching methodology and practical assessment is particularly relevant to the expanding personal technology market and the need for developers and designers to have a wider perspective on technology. This paper highlights the knowledge and associated methodology for design pedagogy whilst building on current practices, to enhance the learning experience alongside the knowledge of technological issues.

Keywords: Design Pedagogy, Technology, Multi Disciplined, Smart Design

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.443-452. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 765.446KB).

Dr. Philip Breedon

Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture,Design & the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Philip Breedon is a Senior Lecturer at the Nottingham Trent University. He has taken on a series of engineering and computing academic challenges culminating in the award of his PhD based on artificial intelligence and robotics. A number of previous cross disciplinary robotics and technology based research projects have been undertaken, including Snake Robot and Muscle Machine. These exciting and innovative projects provided numerous challenges in terms of design and control. His research interests and latest projects centre on new and emerging technologies and include technical textiles, wearable technologies, swarm robotics and investigative research related to the utilisation of ‘smart materials’ for medical applications and surgical implants.

Phillipa Marsh

Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture,, Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Phillipa Marsh is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture, Design and Built Environment at The Nottingham Trent University. Her research interests are based in student experiences within the learning environment, the quality of student learning and student approaches to study. Her previous background is as an interior designer within architecture and as a product designer. She has also completed a Masters degree in Research Methods at Sheffield Hallam University focusing on student experiences and approaches to adult education.

Leslie Arthur

Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Leslie Arthur was short listed for the most innovative lecturer of the year by the Times Higher Education publication in 2009; he provides teaching, tutoring, student support and guidance across the design under graduate and post graduate provision. The primary focus is upon methods, mechanisms and methodologies of research, which compliment design practice, critical and contextual studies. His outputs include publications; conference papers and exhibitions, written with colleagues and independently produced. The content of the publications ranges from design teaching in engineering to designing new curricula, developing team teaching techniques, re-designing assessment systems plus re - introducing debates to students and the establishment of the visual essay.

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