Through our work at PDR, researching and designing for a wide range of clients, we are exposed to a number of different approaches to project management styles and varying timescales. Increasingly we are working with clients to plan and run short, intensive and often experimental projects that prioritise rapid insight and concept generation.
This intensive method of working is a great way of introducing our new members of staff to the whole spectrum of the way we work in a very short space of time, however it can be a challenge for those still fresh from the 3 or 6 month projects that you might encounter as a student. We felt that taking the time to expose students to this style of working prior to graduation would prove incredibly valuable in their first design role. When we were approached by the Product Design course at Cardiff School of Art and Design, asking if we would consider contributing to their 3rd year students' final year, we knew that this was the ideal style of project to run with them.
PDR's Director, Jarred Evans, set their brief at 9am on Thursday morning and the students presented their work back at midday on Friday. Throughout the time-period, PDR staff offered advice, provided sustenance and took part in product demos. Whilst we allowed the students to interpret the brief and set their own work-plan based on this, we were hoping to see evidence of secondary research, primary research with expected users, a structured ideation process, and the filtering and clustering of concepts that then informed a final design.
The presentations were impressive, with 3D printed models, pitch-videos and even a bit of dancing to keep the PDR judges on their toes. After a difficult decision process, weighing up the project narrative told by the students, their realisation of the final outcome and the quality of their final presentation, the project ‘Funky Feet’ was selected to win the event and take home a cash prize!
We’ve had some really positive feedback from the students and both we and CSAD are hoping it can become a regular feature in the course’s final year. Even more encouraging is the amount that students took away from the 27 hours and that some of the short term projects are going to be developed by students into their major projects. We’re very much looking forward to seeing where they take them over the remaining months, now they know how much it is possible to achieve in 27 hours!
"I loved everything about it, the way it was run, the constant feedback and interaction. I genuinely couldn't fault it."
PRODUCT DESIGN STUDENT, CSAD
Take a look at the video: