MA and MSc Design students travel to Paris for project collaboration with Strate Design School

Our MA and MSc Design students recently went on a trip to Paris, to collaborate on a design project with fellow Parisian students at the Strate School of Design.

Students on the Strate School of Design Campus
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Students on the Strate School of Design Campus

Back in January, Postgraduate students on the MA Design: Products and Furniture, and MSc Design: Products and Technology visited Pairs for a 5-day trip to gain inspiration on their future assignments and work on a collaborative project with students from the Strate School of Design.

The cohort were able to spend free time in the French city, exploring local attractions and attending design fairs (such as the Maison & Objet fair) to help inspire and inform future projects on the course. They combined this time with a live project brief set by Strate, to develop an innovative and sustainable corrugated cardboard furniture piece, in collaboration with French students attending the school on similar design courses.

The student groups were required to work as a team to create flat packed pieces, choosing between a seating unit, table or storage system, which needed to be both strong and durable, whilst keeping in mind a chosen purpose at all times. Groups also needed to choose a target audience to market their piece to, which included children, university students or young professionals.

Students working to together to finalise their pieces
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Students working to together to finalise their pieces

Students worked through a number of different objectives to enable them to create their piece, identifying a specific user group, overall trends throughout the market and investigating different technologies and materials to help strengthen designs. Once preliminary ideas came together, the students tested their creations on a small user group, to gain initial consumer feedback and overcome any issues that arose, recording their observations to further inform their designs.

This culminated in a fully realised sketch, a project development pack and a presentation to tutors (from both NTU and Strate) on the third day of the students’ visit. The project gave them invaluable experience in designing, improving and finalising a tangible piece of innovative furniture in a short turnaround, a hugely important skill essential for the working world of industrial design.

Bella Gulden-Malya, course leader for both MA and MSc Design courses, told us more about the students’ trip and their live project brief: "This year, we took our NTU Product Design Masters' students to Paris for our annual cultural trip. This trip was organised for them to help initiate their ‘Professional Collaborations’ module research, to visit the international Maison & Objet Design fair, and do a collaborative project with students from Strate School of Design. During this trip, students not only had the opportunity to explore Paris and French culture, but also had an opportunity to work with French students on a short project brief.”

She told us more: “Overall, this has been a great experience for students and as well as the cultural visit, they have had opportunity to gain professional experience and work together. At the end of the project with Strate, students successfully presented their project outcomes as full-scale models and on their return, they have presented their detailed research boards related to their Professional Collaborations projects.”

Bella elaborated: “During this trip, our Product Design Masters community have also connected even more than before. As course leader I prepare and plan our cultural trips each year very carefully, in order to connect these experiences with our course content and to provide students with great opportunities for self-development, collaborative experiences as well as the chance to socialise."

MA and MSc Design students travel to Paris for project collaboration with Strate Design School

Published on 2 April 2019
  • Subject area: Property, construction and surveying
  • Category: Culture; Current students; Research; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment

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