Co-Design Practice in Industrial Design Education in Turkey A Participatory Design Project

Yalman Z., YAVUZCAN H. G.

7th World Conference on Educational Sciences, Athens, Greece, 5 - 07 February 2015, vol.197, pp.2244-2250 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 197
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.07.367
  • City: Athens
  • Country: Greece
  • Page Numbers: pp.2244-2250
  • Keywords: design education, design process, co-design, participatory design, user research
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


The evolution in design research has shifted from a user-centered design approach to co-design approach. With co-designing, roles of designers and users have changed. In growing co-creation and co-design notions, user is seen as a partner, not as a passive object of study. In current undergraduate industrial design education in Turkey, user research is done in limited steps during design process. User observations that are required for students during their design processes are done outside of studio courses with the students' own opportunities. Yet students face difficulties in design process of the products especially the ones they have not experienced before. This study aims to apply 'designing with users' notion instead of 'designing for users' into a practice in education field. The goals of this study are; to benefit from users who are experts of their experiences as teammates during the design process and to satisfy user's expectations with the end product by using an alternative approach in design education. Two design projects were conducted with 12 third-year industrial design students from Gazi University and six volunteer users in 302 Industrial Design course. Three groups, each consisting of six (four students and two users), were formed to design products according to project briefs. Users participated in the problem definition and idea generation sessions as codesigners during design process. A questionnaire and interviews were used to collect data about students' remarks on participation of users. Students evaluated what they learned from co-designing and how users contributed to design process. The results of the surveys reflect that efficiency of design process can be improved with participation and collaboration of users. Users can play large roles from idea generation to concept development. Consequently, it was observed that co-designing can be efficiently implemented into undergraduate industrial design education. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.