In recent years, Product Design has emerged from being a niche discipline in the field of design to gaining attention among the rising new design subjects. Although not a recent subject, Product Design has attracted students who are not content with sitting in front of a computer, possess boundless imagination, and aspire to advance human life.
However, as students embark on this ideal path, they may face the dilemma of choosing between different teaching contents and directions within the curriculum. This issue needs to be addressed early on because different Product Design courses can have different teaching approaches.
Product Design: Combining Artistry and Technicality
While Product Design may seem to be primarily focused on design, it can also be considered a scientific subject. However, the distinction between "Bachelor of Arts" (BA), "Bachelor of Science" (BSc), or "Bachelor of Design" (BDes) does not determine this. Some courses labelled "Bachelor of Science" in Product Design, for example, may primarily teach computer design techniques and material craftsmanship but still revolve around design elements.
The term "science" refers to courses that include units on mechanics, materials, electronics, mechanical principles, and other subjects that involve physics and mathematics. The knowledge taught in these courses is related to the technologies and engineering techniques applied in product design. Therefore, such courses often use terms like "Technology," "Engineering," or even "Industrial Design" in their names. Among universities in the UK offering Product Design courses, both "design" and "science" subjects are equally represented, and some universities even offer both types of courses for students to choose from. Due to the diversity of the courses, students must understand their interests and career aspirations to select the appropriate course. It is also important to note that different courses may have varying admission requirements. For example, technology- or engineering-focused Product Design courses may prefer applicants with a background in physics or mathematics, at a level equivalent to DSE level 4 or A-Level B.
Product Design: Integrating Science, Technology, and Design
The most exciting aspect of Product Design is that students can use various tools and actively participate in designing, constructing, and producing their own creations. As a subject that combines design, science, and technology, students not only learn relevant design theories and techniques but also have the opportunity to use various design workshops within the university. These workshops include the Wood Workshop, Plastic Workshop, Digital Fabrication Workshop, and more, all equipped with traditional and modern industrial machinery. Students can experience the current standards of advanced industries and create innovative and functional new products.
Made in Brunel: A Unique Platform for Student-Industry Exchange
For students aspiring to showcase their creations to the public and industry professionals, having a platform for exhibition is invaluable. Made in Brunel provides such an opportunity:
Led and operated by students from Brunel University London's Product Design department, Made in Brunel organises workshops on different themes each year and publishes an annual book featuring the students' works. In addition, the society hosts a large-scale exhibition called Made in Brunel at the OXO Tower in central London, inviting industry professionals and the public to visit. This exhibition allows students to engage in discussions and learn about the latest industry developments by interacting with professionals. London attracts design practitioners from various backgrounds and styles, and exhibitions like Made in Brunel provide students with the chance to exchange ideas and gain practical experience, expanding their knowledge and skills in the field of design.
Brunel University London: Upholding the Tradition of Technical Education and Teaching New Skills
When it comes to Brunel University London, most students and parents are familiar with its expertise in health sciences. However, the university also excels in fields related to Product Design. Building upon its tradition of being a technical university that emphasises teaching cutting-edge skills, Brunel combines its strengths in industrial design, mechanical engineering, and other subjects to incorporate elements of electronic engineering theory, mathematics, design and mechanics, material dynamics, structures and gravity, electronic programming, and interface design into the Product Design curriculum. By adopting emerging machinery and technologies, the course takes a highly technological approach, enabling students to maintain their competitiveness in the industry amidst rapid changes.