University of Aveiro launched the new curricular unit: Product Design within Circular Economy
Created specifically within the framework of the KATCH_e project, the first class of this new multidisciplinary optional course happened on the 24th September. With 16 students enrolled, from various backgrounds, such as Design, Engineering and Product Design, Economics, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Materials Engineering, this curricular unit will feature the contribution of teachers from various backgrounds and will also test, during one semester, contents of the modules developed within the project.
In this introductory class, Prof. Teresa Franqueira, responsible for the course, together with other members of the KATCH_e team at UA: Profs. Margarita Robaina, Silvina Santana, Paulo Cachim and Dmitry Evtyugin, presented the classes plan for the semester, that include the participation of LNEG (the coordinators of KATCH_e project), and also field visits to companies, training centers and other relevant stakeholders.
Teaching and learning methodologies are based on a balanced combination between audiovisual exposure, debates, discussion and critical grounding of project decisions, and project monitoring based on individual and practical group work. The stimulus of partnerships and proximity to the national industry in the definition of the brief intends to promote sensitivity to the relations between product, market and technology through the practice of Design for CE.
The exercise proposed to the students is to design and develop a piece or set of furniture pieces in cork and wood. It will be developed by multidisciplinary teams of students who will incorporate their knowledge during the development of the exercise and according to the modules taught. The groups should define a user context and build a narrative to support product development by adapting the conceptual and formal solution to specific audiences and contexts, considering the inputs given on Circular Economy throughout the classes.
The response to the exercises should reveal a sequence that starts with the analysis and investigation of the CE principles and existing products in the market, from the deconstruction of the problem or opportunity to the communication of the solution, through innovative processes of multidisciplinary project development.
The business partner of the project in Portugal, Amorim Cork Composites, will provide the materials and technical support, and will also host two students for a curricular internship within the purposes of the project.
More information on the curricular Unit (in portuguese): http://www.ua.pt/ensino/uc/14453