Developing a co-design method for eliciting children’s needs and preferences in the context of industrial design education

Umulu, Sıla
Children as users and designers as adults who design products for them have distinct intellectual advancements as well as different ways of experiencing the world. Therefore, inviting children to the design process as partners is very important for developing an understanding of this special user group. This study addresses the early phases of design process in the context of industrial design education and proposes a co-design method for supporting undergraduate industrial design students’ eliciting children’s needs and preferences. Firstly, in order to develop a method for codesigning with children, a literature review was conducted to investigate the existing methods. After developing a co-design method, a field study was conducted within the scope of an undergraduate industrial design studio course. The field study involved a co-design session with 51 industrial design students and 24 third grade primary school children, and face to face post-session interviews conducted with the design students to receive feedback about their experiences with the children and the co-design method utilized. The study indicates that the proposed co-design method is supportive for industrial design students in eliciting children’s needs and preferences. On the other hand, the challenges experienced by design students during the co-design session and the post-session design process indicate the aspects of the method which require further improvement. The study concludes with the suggestions for improving the procedure and the implementation of the co-design method.


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Citation Formats
S. Umulu, “Developing a co-design method for eliciting children’s needs and preferences in the context of industrial design education,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.