Systems Design Education in Industrial Design: A Hybrid Approach of Combining ID Studio and UX Design Courses as a Superblock


Traditional Industrial Design (ID) curricula have successfully trained students in fundamental ID skills. However, the increasing complexity of modern industries and technological advancements call for integrating Systems Design and User Experience (UX) principles. This paper introduces the "ID+UX Superblock," a hybrid educational model combining ID Studio and UX Design to better prepare ID students for contemporary challenges. Systems Design education teaches the methodologies and thought processes required to design not just individual products but complete systems within which those products exist. It encourages students to think about how those elements interact within an extensive system, offering a holistic and sustainable approach to problem-solving. For example, designing a smart home involves creating devices and understanding their intercommunication, management, user interaction, and underlying technologies. The Superblock model aims to widen students' skill sets for designing from both macro and micro perspectives. It involves real-world projects requiring a blend of systems thinking, user research, and UX design, enriching the learning experience and training graduates to be more competitive in diverse design roles. This paper discusses the curriculum, pedagogical strategies, and teaching outcomes through case studies, highlighting how the superblock model improves students’ proficiency in systems thinking and capability to deliver system-level solutions. These solutions encompass physical and digital products with intuitive user interfaces, showcasing students' enhanced ability to integrate ID and UX principles. The success of this Superblock signifies the potential of interdisciplinary education to produce versatile designers capable of navigating complex design challenges.

Author Information
Min Kang, University of Houston, United State
Jeff Feng, University of Houston, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2024
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development

This paper is part of the IICE2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Kang M., & Feng J. (2024) Systems Design Education in Industrial Design: A Hybrid Approach of Combining ID Studio and UX Design Courses as a Superblock ISSN: 2189-1036 – The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2024 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon