Projects are chosen to fit in with the pedagogical aims and
requirements of each term. Each project has a different character,
content and focus. Each project is defined either by the company or
by the Institute of Design. Project definitions are always
discussed and refined with the company involved. The project brief
is usually drawn up in detail by the institute and includes project
description, aims, methods, results and presentation.
It is important to note that the project is seen as cooperation
and not a commission, in order to encourage experiments with ideas
and forms among the students and to avoid conflict with the
company's on-going product development activities. Each project
runs for four to nine weeks spread out during the course of each
term. Theoretical courses are interspersed with the projects. The
purpose is to create a reciprocal activity between theory and
practice. Collaborating companies may also provide course input
during the theoretical studies.
Between 6 and 14 students participate in each project working
either individually or in groups, depending on the nature of the
problem. An external professional industrial designer is employed
as tutor during the project. The tutor visits UID at regular
intervals for discussions and evaluations with the students.
The participating company usually visits UID on three occasions.
The first visit takes place at the presentation of the project for
the students. Very often a lecture is given at this stage
describing the company's activities, strategies, marketing etc. A
second visit is made in the middle of the project and a final visit
for the project presentation. A representative from the company is
usually assigned as contact person for the students and staff for
the duration of the project. Students continuously keep the company
informed of project status through the Internet. The company has
secure access to special parts of our website.
A full presentation of the project is given to the company,
usually in the form of a digital screen presentation supported by
physical models (2D and 3D), reports and other relevant material.
This final presentation takes place in Umeå but it is common that
additional presentations are given to other representatives of the
company at their own location. The company gives UID financing to
cover the costs of the external tutor, certain travelling costs for
the students and material for model making. In some cases this
financing has been replaced by the cooperating company providing
their own professional design tutor or by offering other valuable
input such as specific courses or workshops.
The results will be publicized in the form of photographs,
publications, web sites etc.
If your company or institution is interested to collaborate with
design students on an undergraduate or graduate level, please
contact our deputy rector for strategic
Example of term project collaboration between our MFA
Transportation Design programme and Bayer MaterialScience,