Research and education

The strategy of our Department is based on a strong coupling of research and education. Right from the start of the ID Department we chose to develop and implement a unique educational concept. The educational model is strongly focused on the integration of teaching/learning on the one hand and exploration/research on the other hand.

The ID student is trained to explore and to develop new knowledge. There is a direct and essential relationship between research and education in the field of industrial design as it is realized within the TU/e context. This approach to industrial design adheres to the important idea of Alexander von Humboldt, who emphasized the necessity for a mutual relationship between ‘Forschung’ (research) and ‘Lehre’ (education).

Our Industrial Design curriculum is competency-centered; an educational model in which learning and working-as-a-professional come together. This competency-centered educational model is grounded in the constructivist perspective on learning. The notion of competency is defined as ‘an individual’s ability to acquire, select and use the knowledge, skills and attitude that are required for effective behavior in a specific professional, social or learning context’. It is from this definition that the role of knowledge acquisition appears: acquiring knowledge is no longer an end, but a means to develop a particular competency needed to perform a specific task or role.  The tenured staff devote equal amounts of time to both research and education.

BPD and education
The BPD group carries the responsibility for educational competence 5 (Business Process Design) and, together with the DQI group, educational competence 4 (Social Cultural Awareness). In educating students in both these competences the BPD group strives for a strong interaction of research and education. Especially in their Master’s phase, students are (and will be) increasingly involved in ongoing research projects. Since most of the BPD research projects have a strong industrial component, the role of the Master’s students (and in some cases also Bachelor’s students in their final year) is to focus on the activities taking place in industry, while the PhD students concentrate on processing the data obtained in the various research projects. This ensures not only a strong integration of research and education, but also a strong integration of academia and the industrial application field.

Our staff reflect a wide variety in background, nationality and specialization. The ambition level for both teaching and research is to be world first-class. Evidence for the achievement of this ambition is provided by scientific publications in important journals and conferences, proven design results, and in the cooperation with prestigious research institutes and industries worldwide.