Term Project Collaborations

Projects are chosen to fit in with the pedagogical aims and requirements of each term. Each project has a different character, content and focus. Each project is defined either by the company or by the Institute of Design. Project definitions are always discussed and refined with the company involved. The project brief is usually drawn up in detail by the institute and includes project description, aims, methods, results and presentation.

It is important to note that the project is seen as cooperation and not a commission, in order to encourage experiments with ideas and forms among the students and to avoid conflict with the company's on-going product development activities. Each project runs for four to nine weeks spread out during the course of each term. Theoretical courses are interspersed with the projects. The purpose is to create a reciprocal activity between theory and practice. Collaborating companies may also provide course input during the theoretical studies.

Between 6 and 14 students participate in each project working either individually or in groups, depending on the nature of the problem. An external professional industrial designer is employed as tutor during the project. The tutor visits UID at regular intervals for discussions and evaluations with the students.

The participating company usually visits UID on three occasions. The first visit takes place at the presentation of the project for the students. Very often a lecture is given at this stage describing the company's activities, strategies, marketing etc. A second visit is made in the middle of the project and a final visit for the project presentation. A representative from the company is usually assigned as contact person for the students and staff for the duration of the project. Students continuously keep the company informed of project status through the Internet. The company has secure access to special parts of our website.

A full presentation of the project is given to the company, usually in the form of a digital screen presentation supported by physical models (2D and 3D), reports and other relevant material. This final presentation takes place in Umeå but it is common that additional presentations are given to other representatives of the company at their own location. The company gives UID financing to cover the costs of the external tutor, certain travelling costs for the students and material for model making. In some cases this financing has been replaced by the cooperating company providing their own professional design tutor or by offering other valuable input such as specific courses or workshops.

The results will be publicized in the form of photographs, publications, web sites etc.

If your company or institution is interested to collaborate with design students on an undergraduate or graduate level, please contact our deputy rector for strategic collaboration.

Example of term project collaboration between our MFA Transportation Design programme and Bayer MaterialScience, Germany.