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Spruce, J., Evans, M., 2013.

Supplying the demand: Aligning product design curricula and the professional practice of design

Output Type:Conference paper
Presented at:Engineering & Product Design Education Conference, Design Education - Growing our Future
Publication:Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Design Education - Growing Our Future, EPDE 2013
Venue:Dublin, Ireland
Dates:5/9/2013 - 6/9/2013
Pagination:pp. 660-665

Much research has been conducted into the content of design curricula yet limited research has been undertaken into how early career design professionals view their undergraduate studies, and in turn if this experience adequately prepares them for entry into the design industry. Research often discusses industry expectations of design education in the context of a lack of satisfaction with the skills and knowledge of recent graduates; while design industry professionals cite the over-supply of poor quality graduates as undermining the sustainability of the industry. Yet there seems to be little engagement by industry professions into the actual content and nature of design curricula. Building on and significantly extending prior research conducted by the authors, this paper explores the relationship between product design curricula and the professional practice of design. The authors consult with design industry employers to gain insight into both the perceptions and realities of contemporary design practice and identifies key issues that design employers feel design education are not addressing via a series of semi-structured interviews. The results of the paper provide a framework that can guide academics when developing design curricula within the UK to align to the needs of the professional practice of design.