This past July, the Institute of Design participated in the “Jumpstart to Design Research Student Workshop” hosted by Delft University of Technology. Professor Keiichi Sato, Ming Shan, and myself had the incredible opportunity to attend and spend a week in the quaint town of Delft. Delft is located in South Holland and lies between the cities of Rotterdam and The Hague. The weeklong workshop brought together students and professors from top design focused institutions. Participating Institutions included: National Cheng Kung University, Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Middle East Technical University, IIT Institute of Design, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
With 20 professors in various disciplines and a staff of over 200 in Industrial Design Engineering (IDE), Delft University of Technology is the largest design institute in the world. Since it was founded in 1969, more than 3,400 designers have graduated in IDE. Delft is known as a pioneer in educational innovation as well as a source for groundbreaking research in the field of industrial design.
The TU Delft Jumpstart to Design Research Workshop brought together students and faculty from design institutions around the world with the goal of creating an international community of design researchers.
During the workshop, student participants, (both PhD candidates and Master of Design candidates with an affinity for research) learned a great deal about design research, research methodologies, and professional practice. The student participants were presented with the unique challenge of developing an original research proposal by weeks end. Currently, TU Delft has 60 IDE PhD projects running. Given the difficulty of their assignment, student participants were mentored by current PhD candidates. Students were also encouraged to meet with experienced researchers and faculty at TU Delft for further guidance. In addition to afternoon’s spent developing their research proposals, the student participants had the opportunity to meet design practitioners and visit leading design companies such as Fabrique and Philips Design & Research.
The workshop created a fantastic networking opportunity for Design professors from all over the world to meet and discuss potential collaborations in education and research. As a result of such meetings, it becomes possible for design researchers and practitioners to easily connect with other like-minded and passionate design professionals. In this regards, the workshop met its goal and was a great success. The workshop will be held again next July at a location yet to be determined.