As Course Director of BA Product Design and owner of a product design business I am interested in optimising curriculum design and development to best serve the needs of the product design industry. In my teaching practice I often feel that my role is to ‘design designers’. With this in mind my research investigates the transition of product design graduates between higher education and the workplace and the impact this has on designing learning and teaching materials. My PhD study focusses on undergraduate product design and industrial design courses predominantly in the UK and acknowledges and utilises examples of best practice from courses worldwide.
My research is essentially a study of graduate attributes; the academic abilities, personal qualities and transferable skills that each student will have an opportunity to develop on their course, and the ways in which these attributes can be aligned to the needs and expectations of the product design industry and associated career paths. Employability is used as a measure of a quality learning environment in quality review and audit. The Key Information Set (KIS) progressively refers to graduate preparedness for the employment market in their measures of standards. At subject level and institution level these datasets are an indicator of our success and inform the annual league tables. In short, higher education courses are increasingly being held accountable not only for their students’ experience of their course but also the experience of graduates when they leave the course and for years after.
The developed learning materials will be embedded into projects for the BA Product Design course and will be able to be utilised by other undergraduate product design academic staff teams. The bigger picture of my research is that the better prepared our graduates are for the workplace, the brighter the future of the product design industry with subsequent positive effects on the economy.
Lauren Moriarty is Course Director for BA Product Design within the School of Art, Architecture and Design. Lauren is a PhD candidate within the subject area of Product Design.
Lauren is a product designer with a focus on materials experimentation and combining craft and industrial making processes to create new concepts for products and interiors. Her product portfolio has received much attention to date, being featured in many national and international design and lifestyle magazines and winning a number of prestigious awards. Her portfolio is a series of explorations into concepts for interiors, objects, lighting, packaging and children's products, each exploring how decoration can be functional and interactive and how materials can tell a story.
Lauren brings her industry knowledge to her teaching practice and currently co-ordinates Level 6 of the BA Product Design course. She is particularly interested in the professional development of all students across the course and developing individual designers. Therefore her teaching focusses on employability of graduates within the wider context of the product design industry, acknowledging the importance of innovative design, developing drawing skills, high quality making skills, addressing and fulfilling a need, respecting the environment and supporting enterprising graduates.