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Murjottelu - interdisciplinary training campaign for industrial design and engineering students

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Today's growing business competition demands that design and technology must be seamlessly integrated. Designers should be employed increasingly as in-house in the industry, in addition to entrepreneurship and consultancy employment. How to realise this aim? Industry training is a tradition in engineering studies, but that is rarely the case in the field of design [Vanhamaa, M. 2006. Harjoittelu osana teollisen muotoilun yliopisto-opetusta Suomessa. Thesis (MA) TAIK]. This causes severe challenges for both industries and the designers themselves; employing industrial designers is perceived as difficult, as is applying for industry positions. The Murjottelu training campaign was launched by Helsinki University of Technology. The original idea behind Murjottelu was to form pairs, consisting of one industrial design student and one engineering student and offer the pair to industrial companies. In other words, to 'smuggle' the design student into the organisation. Training pairs typically work within manufacturing and product-development tasks, similar to traditional engineering trainees. As the campaign has expanded, interdisciplinarity in general has grown to a more important role. Including this year, altogether 91 companies with 188 trainees have joined the programme. Employing the first in-house designer has proved to be easier when arriving with an engineer. Another key conclusion is that both the practical deliverables and learning outcomes are of increased value. The student pair is more creative, effective and autonomous than singular trainees in the traditional training format.

Keywords: industrial design; industry training; interdisciplinary teamwork

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Design Factory, Espoo, Finland 2: Department of Engineering Design and Production, Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, TKK, Finland 3: Helsinki University of Art and Design, Espoo, Finland

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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