Teaching Design Innovation - Methods for Promoting Innovation in the University Industrial Design Studio

Andy Loewy, Assistant Professor of Industrial Design
University of Louisiana at Lafayette


Flexible and original thinking is the key to outstanding design. In order to teach design effectively we must therefore offer students a framework that isn’t restrictive and allows students room to develop their own individual design process. This doesn’t mean that we can’t offer our students technical advice or offer suggestions that might influence their process. Creativity blossoms and a student’s creative process is discovered when the individual is immersed in an environment that is conducive to innovative thinking. This paper cites methods and techniques that have proven to be helpful to my students as a catalyst for furthering the development of their design process without the restrictions that we encounter so often in prescriptive teaching. Promoting mentally active drawing, encouraging students to identify user problems, to perform in depth research and make discoveries through hands-on model-making are some of the areas that will be elaborated upon in this paper.

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