Students' comprehension of design collaborations with external organizations

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Gottlieb, Laura; Eriksson, Yvonne
Series: ICED
Institution: M
Section: Design Education
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


This pilot study examines how design students comprehend collaborations with external organizations? the roles and involvement of different actors in a design process. The study looks at two undergraduate courses where a total of 33 design students collaborate with a municipality and governmental agency. Data focuses on the students' terminology in regard to the external organizations and is collected through questionnaires, voice recording, workshops and written assignments. The data analysis is both quantitative and qualitative, focusing on the word frequency and semantics of the terminology. The results show that the students were not used to working closely to external organizations. This is reflected in the prevalent use of the term "client" instead of "collaborative partner". Not working closely with organizations nor users is reflected in the students? inabilities to handle the complexities that emerge when working with multiple stakeholder and users. At the end of the paper, suggestions are made of ways to develop students? comprehension of ways to involve external organizations and users in the design process.

Keywords: Design education, Design process, User centred design


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