Industrial Design Intensive

The curriculum is structured in four ten-week course elements, in which the students will work individually or in small groups. The education stresses the importance of group learning and the processes in which learning is situated in both theory and practice. Therefore, attendance in class is mandatory daily at least three and six hours per day. The study language is English.

We work with small study groups and high teacher density. Permanently employed teachers and programme leaders, as well as supporting staff are present daily at UID during office hours. Students are encouraged to contact staff and teachers in person when they need assistance, tutoring or have other study related questions. Contacts between staff, teachers and students are easy and informal in character. Our firm belief is that this is one of the foundations of a creative and open study environment where students from different programs, courses and study levels have continuous contact with each other and with staff, both informally and in learning situations.

Pedagogical Foundation

Our pedagogic strategy of combining theory and practice through conducting most of the education in realistic projects with external partners was established when UID was founded in 1989, and has been developed and improved ever since. We strive after a close cooperation with the surrounding community - nationally and internationally - in these student projects. Therefore, we also strive to have a wide variety of external lecturers and consultants with extensive professional experience from their respective subject areas, from society, industry and the university who instruct parallel with the permanent UID teachers.

A gender equality perspective that is built into admission, education and examination characterizes the pedagogical outlook. In Umeå Institute of Design's articulated profile of user perspective and process orientation, diversity and equal opportunity perspectives are central in both project descriptions and completion of projects. A variety of educational methods and processes are employed, such as problem based learning, case-studies, learning by doing, balance and variation between theoretical and practical sections, studying and tests, advising in project form, lectures, discussion seminars and self-reflection. In general, students are expected to take responsibility for their learning process through methodical preparation before, active participation in and self-reflection after all types of teaching and learning situations.

One pedagogical building block is the students' work with "realistic" projects with experienced supervision, often together with an external collaboration partner. The students work independently in the different phases of the design process and they have the possibility to reflect on successful and unsuccessful methods and results. The work with different phases of the design process in project form is in itself an example of problem-oriented learning.

Group Learning

Another pedagogical building block is based on the observation that the students often learn as much from each other as from the tutors or teachers. We believe that knowledge to a large extent is built through group processes and that individual's experiences and knowledge are valuable starting points for collective learning. As part of this view on group learning, Umeå Institute of Design applies openness at presentations and advising so that all students have the possibility to partake in and learn from each other and from the teachers' and advisors' comments to other students. For this reason we also strongly emphasize that all work should take place at the school during the study hours, between 8 am and 5 pm.

All study results are reported individually most often in the form of oral, visual and written presentations but the process is often based on moments of collaboration in student groups. The importance of student group collaboration, group dynamics and group processes are included in the teaching. In the teaching framework we strive to discourage competition and rivalry between students and instead encourage students to share with one another and help each other because the success of the project is based on the sum of the many parts that each and everyone contributes. Therefore, we work actively with keeping an open, investigative and encouraging atmosphere in all learning situations and in the day-to-day activities.