UXD Beyond the Screen. A UX approach to Industrial Design Teaching

talk – 20 min | Feb 3 – 11:00

This presentation showcases an innovative approach to pedagogy involving the teaching of Industrial Design through a User Experience Design (UXD) lens. Emerging from an initial collaboration between HCI, Industrial Design, and Social Science academics from Loughborough Design School and University College London’s Knowledge Lab, Industrial Design students are challenged to design user experiences ‘beyond the screen’, applying conventionally digital UXD methods and approaches to inform the design of future physical product concepts.

Through this case study we communicate the process from both teacher and student perspectives, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of teaching and learning this way. We also critically reflect upon pedagogic synergies and barriers, as well as discussing future directions for Industrial Design.

At the higher education level, particularly in Nordic and other Northern European traditions, there has been a trajectory from Industrial Design to Interaction Design, with students transferring these skills to the workplace in the sectors of UX and Service Design. In parallel, approaches to UX pedagogy have emerged from the HCI tradition, evolving from the theories and practices of subjects such as Computer Science, Psychology, and Ergonomics.

At Loughborough Design School, the pedagogic roots of our UX teaching have bridged both traditions, however in recent years we have pioneered an approach that challenges these conventions, by situating UX processes at the core of our Industrial Design teaching. In this presentation we argue that such an approach naturally results in graduates who are better suited to the multidisciplinary modes of creative working that industry increasingly requires. We illustrate this argument with examples of work showing speculative, responsible and people-centred responses to future technology scenarios.

Matt Sinclair

Matt Sinclair
Loughborough School of Design and Creative Arts, UK

About the speaker

Matt Sinclair

Matt Sinclair

Loughborough School of Design and Creative Arts, UK
Dr. Matt Sinclair is Programme Director for Industrial Design at Loughborough School of Design and Creative Arts, responsible for delivery of the programme to more than 600 undergraduate students. His research is broadly situated within the field of Design Futures, generating speculative, plausible scenarios to challenge the ‘preferable’ futures advertised by those invested in the technological status quo. By utilising research methods from the discipline of User Experience Design, Matt’s work places users/consumers/citizens/people at the centre of movements for change. In the research of products that cannot yet be manufactured, he uses observational research, design probes, co-design workshops and conceptual provotypes to reveal insights for the development of fictional scenarios, personas and customer journey maps. He is a consistent advocate of practice-based research in design, both in his own research and the direction given to his PhD students, which is grounded in an understanding of professional practice established through more than 20 years experience as an industrial designer, design manager and creative director.

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