University-industry collaboration: the missing link in design education?

Fleischmann, Katja (2013) University-industry collaboration: the missing link in design education? In: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference Proceedings. pp. 5094-5102. From: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference, 4-6 March 2013, Valencia, Spain.

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The value of design has grown far beyond its traditional role as merely a contributor to the well being of society and has been recognised as key to the global innovation process and a key to sustainable long term economic development. For many organisations, design has increasingly become a strategic enhancement tool. These developments are significant because designers and their education become a focus in newly introduced economic agendas and National Design Policies in many countries (e.g. Denmark, India, Singapore). This has led to a process of benchmarking design education in various countries to ensure that higher design education is preparing the designer needed for the 21st century. Throughout this process similar findings emerged and specific to digital media design education it was revealed that digital media design graduates are arguably not sufficiently prepared to bridge the gap between university and industry (Design Council and Creative & Cultural Skills, 2007; 60Sox, 2009, 2010; ISIS, 2011).

While universities are under increasing pressure to demonstrate that their graduates are ready to proactively navigate the world of work (Bridgstock, 2009), it is clear that there are ongoing issues that need to be addressed in order to enable digital media design students to add value to industry and business. In response, some recommend stronger links to industry to better prepare students for the demands of the market (Ball, 2003; Design Council, 2005; Design Skills Advisory Panel, 2007; Livingston & Harvey, 2010). At the same time critical voices question how much should market/industry dictate pedagogy (Adams, 2006, Bhana, 2010).

In context of these ambiguous views the question if integrating industry into the undergraduate digital media design learning environment result in better preparing students for industry practice was explored. In this process various strategies of how industry and also community could be involved were identified and are part of a newly developed alternative learning and teaching approach in design education–the POOL Model framework. The framework was implemented and tested in the Bachelor of New Media Arts' digital media design major at the School of Creative Arts at James Cook University. Findings from a research period of two years are presented in this paper.

Item ID: 29798
Item Type: Conference Item (Non-Refereed Research Paper)
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
Keywords: industry-driven design education, POOL Model framework, industry and community engagement, multidisciplinary collaboration
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Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2014 04:30
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 60%
14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140202 Economic Development and Growth @ 20%
12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1203 Design Practice and Management > 120303 Design Management and Studio and Professional Practice @ 20%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development @ 100%
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