In the first year, students embark on a range of taught modules, workshops and master classes to develop skills and experience.
Each of these focuses on a particular aspect of IDE and involves practising design skills, as well as research activities both within product development itself, and in exploring user and broader social issues. In each module you will undertake a design project to a brief sometimes set and sometimes of your own devising.
The work periods become progressively longer as they deal with more complex problems, and you practice the transferability of the core skills in different design settings.
Students joining the programme have a diverse range of existing skills, and the tutor input ensures that the modules allow students to be challenged and learn whatever their backgrounds. As students find their feet as innovation designers, the intensity of taught skills is reduced and by the third term students are working on longer project modules.
Emphasis is placed on generating imaginative ideas, and on testing prototypes through three-dimensional modelling and feedback from potential users, design and other experts.
During the first year students elect into one of two learning strands:
- Disruptive Market Innovations: DMI is core IDE territory and is about delivering innovative products to the market that work.
- Experimental Design: EXP is for design innovation at a fundamental level, which may incorporate the exploration of new technologies, new product categories or new contexts.
The learning strands are to allow students to excel at a particular approach to design or to expand their abilities through exploring a way of working unfamiliar to them. The strands are lightly embedded into the programme, especially in the first year and there is plenty of collaboration between these strands over two years.
The programme of work in the second year (IDE2) consists of two projects:
- Group project, which is a team based activity
- Solo project, which is conducted on an individual basis.
Students choose the theme of these project themselves. The Solo project runs throughout the year (albeit thin at first), and the Group project runs during the autumn term and a brief period of the spring term.
The Group project is assessed early in the spring term at the Work in Progress show and the Solo project is assessed at the end of the year in the Degree Show as part of the Final Examination.
The Solo project also forms the subject of a Solo project report involving a full description of the project development and results – this is completed and handed in to be assessed towards the end of the summer term.