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.

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.

UCE and education

Within the Industrial Design Department, the UCE group carries the responsibility to coordinate, provide and integrate the user focus and perspective competency in the basic research and educational processes at the departmental level. The leadership in this core competency has resulted in many fruitful collaborations with the other capacity groups.

The group is and has been responsible for 19 ‘assignments’ (courses) in the ID BSc program and 16 ID MSc modules that can be found in Appendix II. UCE has been responsible for the yearly User Master Class, and is contributing to the yearly ID Design Master Class.

UCE staff members have been closely involved in managing and teaching activities of the two year postgraduate program in User System Interaction (USI). Dr. P. Markopoulos MSc is responsible for the USI curriculum and dr. J.M.B. Terken is responsible for external relations involving the acquisition of the nine-month industrial internship projects with industry and the bi-annual meetings with the Industrial Advisory Board.

UCE members have taught the following 10 USI modules:  

  • Design Case, Designing Speech-based Multimodal Interfaces, Experimental Design, Interaction Design for Children, Introduction to User Centered Design, Qualitative Research Methods, Representations for Interaction Design, Tangible Interaction, User Interface Software Architectures, and Video Prototyping.

In addition to the coaching of many USI design-case projects during the assessment period, UCE members coached 39 USI graduation projects in industry which were hosted by major companies like Philips, Océ-Technologies, Alcatel, Medtronic and Vodafone. Many of the USI design cases and industrial internships have resulted in joint papers with USI students.

UCE staff members also are and have been teaching courses and coaching students in other TU/e departments:

  • Minor Industrial Design (User Focus and Perspective Basics, and project coaching), Interdepartmental Master’s Automotive Technology (Automotive Human Factors), Mathematics and Computer Science Department (User Requirements and Interaction Specification), TU/e Honors program (Persuasive Technologies), Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences Department (Usability Testing and project coaching).