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Focus on research

Product Development and Design, Ghent University & Howest University College West Flanders

Ghent University - The Industrial Design Center (IDC) operates as an inherently multidisciplinary group within a large network of industrial partners. The groups' expertise lays on several aspects of the industrial design process and applies a pragmatic “research though design” methodology. This is supported by the use of creativity and iterative prototyping to engage with relevant stakeholders. Their aim is to understand, improve, and augment the field of industrial design by having an impact on education, industry, and academia.

Research at IDC focuses on three important pillars:

  1. Design for Collaborative Change (D4CC) - Research within Design for Collaborative Change focuses on the role of design as an inquiry process to share knowledge, explore, learn and building consensus between several stakeholders. It incorporates practical design-related tools for achieving this.
  2. Design for User Experience (D4UX) - Research within Design for User Experience focuses on the quality of interaction. It fully encompasses all, tangible and intangible, aspects of future intelligent products as perceived by users.
  3. Design for Changing Production (D4CP) - Research within Design for Changing Production focuses on the challenges and opportunities to develop products for factories of the future. It emphasizes the materializing context of the design process (materials, processes, prototyping, connections) and the simultaneous development of the change processes to adapt production systems and scalability of production facilities.

Howest University College West Flanders - Howest-Industrial Design Center is an open knowledge center fully connected to the education and research program of the professional bachelor Industrial Product Design in Kortrijk, Belgium. Thanks to the association with Ghent University it works in close collaboration with the academic master Industrial Design Engineering. The center conducts research & development within the field of industrial product design. The main goal is to improve the quality of the whole design process, ranging from the fuzzy front-end to the set-up of a small series. In each stage of the design process we use and develop context-specific and personalized tools to facilitate professional designers to create valuable products in an efficient manner. Every research project contains an iterative ‘research through design’ philosophy. Our main instrument is case- based research to study a contemporary phenomenon. We connect our projects to a real-life context and mainly design and build new knowledge through the interaction with prototypes. The synergy between industry and education leads to a materialization of research results and opens new services towards a network of companies, SMEs and independent designers. Industrial Design Center continually sets up multi-disciplinary projects at the request of businesses, invests in state-of-the-art equipment available for use for students and companies and focuses on design which is in line with all the evolutions in the field of product identity, engineering, well-being and smart products. Together we can create meaningful products and services with added value.



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