human technology relations

This specialization belongs to the master's programme Industrial Design Engineering.

The specialization Human Technology Relations, is dedicated to the shaping of Human Technology Relations. The specialization is focused on the exploration and design of products that serves the problems and aspirations of people on an individual, social or societal level.

One can consider Industrial Design Engineering the discipline that makes technology available for users, since a sole technology, like ‘a lab on a chip’ is not graspable for people. In order to solve diseases or monitor blood sugar levels for people that suffer from diabetes, such a technology needs an interface to the world of the patient. In the specialization Human Technology Relations, one learns to design this connection between people and technology from a people oriented perspective.

Two insights are central to this objective:

At first, the people oriented designer knows the problems, aims, concerns and aspirations of individuals, collectives and societies, and he or she is able to translate these into feasible product design solutions.

Secondly, the people oriented designer is able to create beautiful things. Because “attractive things really do work better” (Donald Norman, 2004).

To achieve this, the specialization consists of a set of mandatory courses that forms the basis of the people oriented perspective on design engineering. On top of that one can choose electives for individual specialization.

The mandatory courses all cover the human technology relations from a different angle. Some are focused on society and the cultural context like Science and technology Studies and Design Histories. Other are more related to process of how we should design for people, like Scenario Based Product Design and Interaction Design. Whilst Multi-sensory Design and Design and Emotion are primarily meant to extend the repertoire of the designer to develop meaningful solutions. In the last mandatory course before starting with the master assignment – Create the Future – one has to apply all insights in order to come to a plausible “vision of the future”.

A set of recommended electives is created that fits to the core objectives of this specialization, but also other courses can be incorporated on the basis of individual interests. 

Within the specialization, a master assignment can be executed external at a company or any other organization where there is something to be designed. When you are interested in doing research, an internal graduation project can be chosen that fits to one of the research interests associated with the specialization. Amongst others these are:

  • Design for Behaviour Change
  • Participatory Design & Co-Creation
  • Design History & Culture
  • Interaction Design & Embodiment
  • Design for Health & Well-Being
  • Design for Brands & Branding.

This can also be done in, or combined with, a Capita Selecta of five European credits.

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