Innovating Industrial Design Curriculum in a Knowledge-Based and Participatory Digital Era

Main Article Content

Mauricio Novoa


This article narrates on three years participatory research between 2012 and 2014 and its formulation for a 2016 undergraduate industrial design curriculum launch. It contributes to design culture transformation since there are leading breakthrough education exemplars but lack of pathways to get there by conservative courses and institutions. The course proposes an individual and collective knowledge creation model through social constructivism and constructionism that recognises its place in time and history. It intends catching up with a profession transformed beyond a digital Bauhaus manifesto that bridges physical and digital artefacts, space and environments through quality of experiences, intelligence, networks and relations. Data and practice supported pedagogy redefinition from master-apprentice and teacher-centred skill transmission models to heutagogy and paragogy. The new approach required habitus change from a traditional goods-centred discipline to human-centred focus, critical design and making, design heuristics, CDIO (conceiving, designing, implementing, operating) and STEAM (science, technology, arts, mathematics) frameworks. Participants worked empathetically to contextualise, problem frame and solve by crossing boundaries between disciplines, institutions, industries, and students’ background and society. Research and practice promoted new forms of industrial design creation happening in physical and digital coexisting spaces of being. The curriculum expressed through units that evolved around an e-curriculum component working as a digital spine that progressed from standard social networking and industry collaboration to international design studio and design factory projects. It became foundation for future physical-digital industrial design artefacts, human computer interaction, machine learning, and systems built on hacker culture, shared information, free open-source software and hardware.

Article Details

How to Cite
NOVOA, Mauricio. Innovating Industrial Design Curriculum in a Knowledge-Based and Participatory Digital Era. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 23, n. 3, p. 151-201, nov. 2018. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 31 mar. 2023.