Real World Studio
6 week sponsored industry collaborations – with the aim of exploring and making sense of multiple diverse and challenging 'real world' design briefs.
The Product Design and Technology (PDT) teaching team at the University of Limerick (UL) have developed an immersive, novel learning experience which offers final year design students a unique opportunity to develop real world professional design skills while demonstrating to collaborating companies (those that design is not a core feature of) the value of a design lead approach.
Industry partners are paired with a team of fourth year PDT students to address a real-world project brief over an intensive six week period. The project, challenges students, in teams of four, to explore, in great depth, an area of interest for the partner company such as wearable technologies, medical devices, product service systems, sports equipment, new materials, protective clothing. Outputs offer new insights, challenging perspectives and fresh solutions. All projects take a user-centred design approach.
An average of 10 companies are invited to sponsor projects each year. The project was introduced to the PDT four year degree programme for the first time in 2014. To date we have collaborated with 19 companies and are always looking for new industry partners.
Collaborating companies come from a range of industries such as medical device, product experience, design consultancy, safety products, refrigeration, new product development, start-ups, sports equipment, and toy manufacturers.