Industrial Design Education as Innovation Broker through Making, Pivot Thinking, Autopoiesis and Expansive Learning

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Mauricio Novoa


This article elaborates on design research in a final capstone industrial design studio unit and application of outcomes over eight years within a School of Engineering and its more recent incarnation as School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics. Research and curriculum innovation aimed to link students to the new global design-driven innovation agenda as knowledge workers leading by creativity and intellectual capital. An international design studio project with a professional design agency style setup was embedded in the first instalment of the research. Students worked as junior designers with industry experts-couches in a work integrated learning approach. A second instalment expanded to learning concurrent and agile development of projects. An open program recognised students’ background and experience to create a community of learning curriculum through critical making, pivot thinking, autopoiesis and expansive learning. Those contributed to also establish CDIO (conceiving, designing, implementing, operating) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) initiatives as ways to procure evidence and facilitate production. Technology effects on design knowledge flows were addressed with participatory action research, information and communication technologies, human-computer interaction, e-manufacturing, fabrication and rapid prototyping tools. Findings indicated need to update design education to achieve modern design artefact and knowledge construction. The greatest challenge was behavioural rather than technological. Institutional preconditioning assumed students as consumers and education as transmission skill transfer. A shift to transformative learning was possible by empowering participants to work within modern industry integrated benchmarks and achieve unique value propositions and minimum viable products that were ready to market outcomes

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NOVOA, Mauricio. Industrial Design Education as Innovation Broker through Making, Pivot Thinking, Autopoiesis and Expansive Learning. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 23, n. 3, p. 117-150, nov. 2018. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 mar. 2023.