A practical approach to teaching abstract product design issues

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‘Buy an identity’ and ‘surprise your senses’ are two of the ideas that were the outcome of a course ‘Design for a specific Theme’ (in the year 2006–07) held for 4th grade students of Industrial Design Engineering at Twente University. The theme in the title of this course was philosophical, based on the theory of globalisation of German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk. In the following year 2007–08, the theme of the course was ‘leisure’, and it proved again that the structure of this course was particularly suitable for the conversion of such abstract themes in tangible product design. This paper describes the structure and the associated teaching methods of the course, gives examples of student results and discusses the points of interest and application possibilities of this type of course
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-521
JournalJournal of engineering design
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • product values
  • designphilosophy
  • design projects
  • leisure
  • student teams
  • Peter Sloterdijk
  • Philosophy
  • Design Education
  • IR-78411
  • METIS-260625


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