Responding to design industry skill gaps: a model of business practice education of undergraduate design students

Hall, N.A. and Velez-Colby, F. ORCID: 0000-0003-2562-0006, 2011. Responding to design industry skill gaps: a model of business practice education of undergraduate design students. In: 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (EPDE2011), City University London, London, 8-9 September 2011.

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The productivity and growth of UK firms depends on innovation and creativity to differentiate goods and services [1] so they can capitalise on local and global markets. For the UK design industry the challenge is to become the premier provider of creativity and innovation services to domestic and international businesses [2]. To achieve this, it must address the skill gaps hampering its business potential and service offerings [3].

Research indicates that, in addition to pure design skills and creativity, the design industry demands an awareness of business practice in design. Design students in Higher Education (HE) consider practical business skills less important than the creative aspects of their courses. Such a view is reinforced by the low proportion of marks awarded for business skills in assessed assignments in higher education [1], which places them at a disadvantage when attempting to progress into managerial roles, or when entrepreneurial attributes are required [4].

Design educators should equip design students with a strong base of practical business skills as well as creative problem-solving abilities. If designers are trained to apply creativity in a business context, communicate in a business-like manner and understand business principles, they become a valuable asset and enhance their employability. This paper presents a learning model for the development of business practice curricula in design courses and discusses how this has been aligned with the creative practices the students undertake in their discipline. It is currently used in several courses at the University of Salford.

Item Type: Conference contribution
Alternative Title: Responding to the design industry skills gaps: business practice education for undergraduate design courses
Creators: Hall, N.A. and Velez-Colby, F.
Date: September 2011
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 19 Dec 2018 12:06
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2018 12:06

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