Anne Lisæth Schøyen and Mette Mo Jakobsen - PDF

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INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING DESIGN ICED 05, MELBOURNE AUGUST , 2005 INNOVATIVE, SUSTAINABLE INTEGRATED PRODUCT DESIGN -MASTER PROGRAM IN DEVELOPMENT IN CO-OPERATION BETWEEN UNIVERSITY

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INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING DESIGN ICED 05, MELBOURNE AUGUST , 2005 INNOVATIVE, SUSTAINABLE INTEGRATED PRODUCT DESIGN -MASTER PROGRAM IN DEVELOPMENT IN CO-OPERATION BETWEEN UNIVERSITY AND BUSINESS Anne Lisæth Schøyen and Mette Mo Jakobsen Keywords: Integrated sustainable product design, Industrial Ecology, Co-teaching with business, design methodology, master in product design Introduction The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education, NOKUT, was established by the Norwegian Government in 2002 and commenced its activities on 1 January NOKUT is an independent government body. Through evaluation, accreditation and recognition of quality systems, institutions and course provisions, the purpose of NOKUT is to supervise and help to develop the quality of higher education in Norway. This implies new challenges for the different institutions. Educational institutions in Norway will through this new setting operate as market-players in another way than earlier. To be recognised in the market of education all institutions need a clear profile. Another important challenge pointed out by the Norwegian government is the need for entrepreneurship and innovation to create value and new businesses. The institutions are also expected to be players both locally, nationally as well as internationally. To meet these new challenges, a strategic process at Akershus University College, (HiAk), has decided that Innovation and Sustainability shall be developed to be the main theme of our University reputation as well as core part of our student competence. This decision along with the directions from NOKUT, leads to interesting possibilities for the Faculty of Product Design. In particular, Hiak has given our faculty the opportunity to develop a new master program in addition to our existing bachelor study in product design. The purpose of this paper is to present the process of developing this new master program as well as the final result, the program for master in product design and innovation. To identify a balance between theory and practice has been very important to us in this process, in order to achieve the expected level of knowledge and skills. This work has been inspired by our vision to educate students with the competence of being both change agents and product designers. As important in all product development processes, the user-orientation has therefore been of highest importance during the process of designing a new master program. Students in bachelor programs, former students, teachers and researchers from other faculties at HiAk, government, business and other stakeholders have been, and are closely involved within the whole process of developing our new master program Product design and innovation. However, to be able to translate the strategic and regulatory directions from Hiak and NOKUT into pedagogic and operative terms for all students and collaborative networks linked to the Faculty of Product Design we need to specify how we understand innovation, sustainability, integrated product design and co-operation between university and business. The following chapter presents therefore the main terms used in this paper and discusses the relation between them. Discussion of discourses: terms Innovation To our University innovation has throughout decades been understood as any new discovery, form and function developed through experimentation with. By it is here understood to be wood, glass, metals and any kind of plastic. Our teaching has traditionally been based on a combination between art and design theory and design methodology linked to specific projects or tasks defined by tutors or assigned by cooperating businesses. Therefore, in certain cases, some of our staff members find it rather peculiar that innovation, to some extent, has come up as a new buzzword, as the idea has existed for generations. However, as innovation is a term widely discussed for the time being, interesting clarifications has come up during discussions at our faculty. During discussions many of our teachers has been forced to speak out and write down their deep founded tacit knowledge on innovation and material experimentation. At the end of a series of internal workshops, discussed in more details in the two next chapters, the following definition on innovation has been agreed upon by all staff members: Innovation is not only about having new ideas, but also the capability to realize the whole process from concept to final product having value creation as the overall goal of all activities. In more details, we have further defined that; We will teach our students to have the competence of being change agents and product design innovators in businesses. Our students shall be able to make a difference wherever they are employed in society. They shall be able to identify needs, find good, sustainable solutions to products, as well as implementing long term value creating solutions. Sustainability With innovation defined, the last part of this definition introduces sustainability as the other important area of focus at Hiak. In the report Searching for Solutions, Beatrice K. Otto (Draft, 2002) collected views on sustainability from many different researchers and representatives from companies. As stated by Ehrenfeldt in this report: Sustainability is a radical way of thinking. In my view it is fundamentally different from solving environmental problems. It s a future-oriented vision flourishing. Once I did a workshop, and the consensus was that sustainability was just too complex for people to talk about, it turns people off. We came up with a metaphor which was flourishing, as a definition and a vision of what s going to happen when they stick the chocolate in their mouths Staff at Faculty of Product Design share Ehrenfeldts ambition to turn sustainability into a futureoriented vision that is associated with operative and playful opportunities. Additionally, at Hiak, we seek to make sustainability a way of reflection in scenario envisioning workshops, allowing our students to enjoy and share the creativity and feeling of being able to contribute to a sustainable future. Students are a fundamental group of importance in the purpose of innovation as they have not yet locked into set lifestyles, and will carry sustainable patterns throughout life. They are thus an important group both for implementing ways of thinking, working and acting, as well as a group to address new sustainable solutions in society as a whole. The potential to educate students with the idea of sustainability as a way of life has to be recognized as fundamental in all development of educational programs. Therefore, sustainability is a part of our thinking and suggested solution sets in our educational programs at all levels at Hiak. As consequence, sustainability is one of the main driving forces behind student projects at Hiak and is one of the most important premises for good product design. Totally new solutions have to be found to achieve sustainability. Ways of satisfying needs have to change. Radical changes on both the supply and demand sides are necessary. Effecting this change will require new thinking. Innovation is about change and new thinking. Sustainability has hardly been taken into account within the innovation community up until now when searching for, and judging the sustainable quality of new solutions. The need for bringing innovation and sustainability more closely together is therefore vital. Furthermore, raising sustainable design from a technical problem to a problem simultaneously considering economical, ecological and social needs is necessary. This way, the product designer considers the whole system and is able to design innovative systems or products. Integrated Sustainable Product Design Considering sustainability, it is our suggestion that a product designer will not be able to optimize the total sustainable value of any given product, if that total value has not been considered and calculated in the early design phase. In this case, the Faculty of Product design sees it uttermost important to not make sustainability into a specific compulsory teaching module, but rather make sustainability as a subject linked to all studies involved with integrated Product Design. Here, integrated Product Design is understood to include all stages involved with production, use, disposal and reuse of a given product. As shown in Figure 1.1 we view sustainability as a fundamental part of integrated product design, introducing innovative sustainable design and upfront thought design for reuse. That is, integrated sustainable product design is viewed as an overall design tool in the early design phase, applied to reassure that sustainable solutions are identified at all levels in the forward channel and product takeback channel. Figure 1.1 also introduces an interesting picture in terms of change in roles concerning the supply-side and demand-side. Considering the marked opportunities that lie in the reuse of products, one will find that by the time industry realize fully the concept of reuse, industry itself will become the demand-side of used products, while customers becomes the supply-side of used products. These changes of roles are one of the most important premises for teaching sustainability in our educational program and will be included as one of several subjects in the module of Industrial Ecology. (For further discussion on Industrial Ecology and reuse opportunities for business and industry, see Lisæth, A. [ 1998]: An analytical foundation for designing industrial ecological set-ups by reusing products into new product development, NTNU, Norway). Integrated sustainable product design Supply-side Demand-side FORWARD CHANNEL Packaging Market Raw Design phase Supply Manufacture Redesign phase Upgrading Disassembly Remanufacture Use Disposal/ Landfill Collection PRODUCT TAKE-BACK CHANNEL Figure 1.1 Integrated product design as tool in the early design phase for reassuring that sustainable solutions areidentified at all levels in the forward and product take-back channel Preliminary summary Returning to the focus in this paper, the title; innovative, sustainable integrated product design master program in development in co-operation between university and business, the clarification of terms outlined above, helps to map out areas of cooperating with business. Although there are numerous tasks and ways to co-operate with business, our clear profile will be recognized by co-operative projects with businesses which enables master students to create value in all activities of product design and innovation. Value is here meant to include, economical, ecological, sustainable and social values. And last, but least, we will teach students that integrated sustainable product design is the very purpose of innovation, and that this way of performing their profession will be their set lifestyles. This way we hope that our student will carry sustainable patterns throughout life, and this way, sustainability will be the driving force behind innovation and become one of the most important premises for good product design. The Process Work flow 1; Overall work plan On the basis of term clarification the following chapters will introduce the process of developing our new master program in product design and innovation. Our work has been conducted through several workshops and interviews with all involved parties, Students in bachelor programs, former students, teachers and researchers from other faculties at HiAk, government, business and other stakeholders have been closely involved in developing our new master program. In this paper we will not lay out all details concerning individual interviews and workshops, but rather sum up the main results that favour the progress of our work. In August 2004 one Associate Professor was assigned to work with developing a new master program in product design and innovation full time. First of all, one overall plan, introducing phases/milestones and issues to be discussed in the development process was drawn as a one page overview to be presented to all involved parties. (See Figure 1.2). Key to this plan was to establish and maintain ownership to the overall framework for designing the masters program, and make sure that all stakeholders had a similar and clear picture of the tasks ahead. Additionally, it was of great importance that all involved parties knew exactly where and when and in what context their contribution was important and valued. Finally, an agenda for continuous feedback to the leadership of Hiak on work progress was set, in order to maintain ownership to work progress and decisions, until the final program was established. As shown in Figure 1.2 the plan for establishing a final master in product design and innovation is represented by four main phases: They are as follows: Phase 1; Define framework for designing master program Including three sub categories: 1. Define milestone plan for delivering a complete master program 2. Adopt framework provided by the government 3. Define areas of strength and focus at Hiak Phase 2; Secure necessary integration of subjects, systems and organization Including five sub categories: 1. Define key competence systems and roles 2. Define areas for cross interdisciplinary cooperation 3. Define systems for quality assessment 4. Specify targeted cooperation with industry/business 5. Specify targeted international cooperation Phase 3; Make agreements and develop systems and routines for evaluating compulsory practice in cooperation with business and public sector Including two sub categories: 1. Negotiate and establish contracts with industry/business for realizing compulsory practice 2. Document synergy according to agreements with industry/business on routines and evaluation Phase 4; Finalize system for quality assessment and publish the new master program. Design process and routines for assessing applicants to the new master program Including three sub categories; 1. Make clear necessary regulatory demands and announce new master study 2. Process and finalize applicants 3. Send application to Nokut Suggested process for designing the master program in product design and innovation at the Akershus University College (AUC) from August 04 to March 05 Phase 1 Define framework for designing master program Define milestone plan for delivering a complete Master program Adopt framework provided by the government Define: areas of strength and focus at Hiak Phase 2 Secure necessary integration of subjects, systems and organization Define key competence systems and roles Define area for cross Interdisciplinary cooperation Define system for quality assessment Specify targeted cooperation with industry/business Specify targeted international cooperation Phase 3 Make agreements and develop systems and routines for evaluating compulsory practice in cooperation with business and public sector Negotiate and establish contracts with industry/business for realizing compulsory practice Document synergy according to agreements with industry/business on routines and evaluation Phase 4 Finalize system for quality assessment and publish the new master program. Design process and routines for assessing applicants to the new master program Make clear necessary regulatory demands announce new master study Process and finalize applicants Time: week Phase 1 Week: Week Phase2 Week 47-8 Phase: 3 Phase: 4 Send application to Nokut Meeting with AUC leaders Meeting with AUC leaders Meeting with AUC leaders Meeting with AUC leaders Internal meetings Coordinating with faculties and leaders at Akershus University College Figure 1.2 Suggested process for designing the master program in Product Design and Innovation at Hiak Finally, as shown in Figure 1.2, the overall plan for developing the master study is carried by a horizontal arrow, illustrating the importance of faculty meetings and meetings with the leadership of Akershus University College (Hiak). All meetings are scheduled for input, feedback and decision making according to each of the phases listed above. The continuous and frequent meetings secured ownership, rapid work progress and vital quality assessment of each of the working phases (1 to 4). The Process Work flow 2; Develop framework for the master program In parallel to work flow 1, we needed to frame the concept of a new master program in product design and innovation. Two main ideas were important to us. First, we wanted to design a master program that could easily be understood and adopted by international university co-operators. Moreover, we wanted to design a two years master program, represented by four semester modules, each counting at least 30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). That is, each semester module of 30 credits may consist of one or several individual subjects (counting for example 10, 15, 20, or 30 credits), that could easily be replaced, put together or separated, depending on student qualifications or student exchange opportunities. The goal is to provide for that exchange students, participating in mobility programs, can receive full credit for all academic work, successfully carried out at any of our partner institutions. Second, we strongly believe in the value of practice during studies. Accordingly we wanted to have at least a four month compulsory practice period included in our master program. Our aim is that master students at the Faculty of Product Design will not be able to start final exam before they can document that a four months practice period has been successfully fulfilled at any of our partner businesses. Figure 1.3 shows the preliminary sketch that was drawn to include main modules and practice period before final exam in the last semester for the master program. Furthermore in Figure 1.3 the master program will embrace a combination of three study areas: 1. Project based studies 2. Theoretical studies 3. Material studies The three study categories are not supposed to be viewed separately, but rather as system of study Illustrative Project Project A Project B Project C practice period of 4 months in Final exam with focus on project Theory Design Methodology Strategy Industrial Ecology practice period of 4 months in Company B Final exam with focus on theory Materials Material A Material B Material C practice period of 4 months in Company C Final exam with focus on Year 1 Year 2 The master program Example on chosen subjects for master student X Figure 1.3 Conceptual framework for the master program in product design and innovation elements, based on which each master student can design individual master program under firm tutorial guidelines. In effect, master students will be able to shop modules/subjects according to capabilities and interest and furthermore, students will be able to include exchange programs in their studies if desired subjects are not offered at Hiak, but are offered at our co-operative universities. Figure 1.3 presents an example. For instance student X has a deep interest for the theoretical aspects of product design and innovation. Based on interest, student X choose to relate his/hers master program, in the first semester, to one of three categories; wood, metal or plastic, combined with the theoretical aspects and tools involved with Design Methodology. In the first term of the second semester, student X includes Project B combined with specific strategic subjects. In the second term of the second semester, the same student chooses to focus on all aspects involved with Industrial Ecology. In the second year student X combines a set of theoretical aspects with a practice period of at least four months at company B. In the last semester of the second year, student X choose to finalize his/hers degree program with focus on project work, combined with development of a three dimensional formed product. Accordin
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