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Unit information: Transdisciplinary Group Project 4: Building a Demonstrator in 2016/17

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Unit name Transdisciplinary Group Project 4: Building a Demonstrator
Unit code INOVM0003
Credit points 40
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Beckett
Open unit status Not open

Transdisciplinary Group Project 1: Being Human

Design and Systems Thinking

Transdisciplinary Group Project 3: Doing Something Completely New

Enterprise Case


New Venture Creation

In the Wild

School/department Centre for Innovation
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The final year Transdisciplinary Project acts as a focus for the accumulated skills resulting from all other units within the Innovation School degree programmes: the overarching aim is application of those skills within a creative ideation, innovation, design and development cycle. Students will be required to apply their chosen elected discipline knowledge within their project.

The unit offers a high degree of freedom with respect to project topic, and allows students to work together as a collaborative development team; spending a significant amount of time and effort on the development of a novel creative technology solution which is market-driven. The end result is often a demonstrator or product prototype which can be presented to potential investors. Within the context of a specific project topic, this unit provides an opportunity to refine and test a highly transferable set of skills including collaborative team-work, creative design, research, product development and prototyping, analysis, critique and evaluation. The aim is to prepare students with the ability to meet challenges within their chosen post-degree career path, while at the same time collaborating in a design and innovation environment to deliver a substantial body of work that they can proudly demonstrate.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Research, Record and Reflect – organise and document visual research and concept development;
  2. Explore breadth and depth in concepts, ideas and development, using experimentation to develop creative solutions;
  3. Investigate and integrate technical and user requirements into the design and development processes;
  4. Engage in a range of visualisation techniques in the development of ideas in form and space;
  5. Use the workbook/folio/prototype as a method of exploration and documentation of ideas using text, imaging and modelling
  6. Reflect on and evaluate visual and tactile research documentation, mapping, model-making and visualisation techniques

Teaching details

The project is intended to promote self-directed and collaborative learning, under guidance of an academic supervisor(s) (plus any relevant external third-parties).

Assessment Details

Group Project Report

The project report will account for 100% of the overall mark for the group. It will describe process of discovering, defining, proposal development, designing, prototyping and evaluating the project and reflect on the results of each of these stages. In undertaking the project the students are demonstrating they understand the demands of a practice-based design lifecycle. The students will choose the groups they work in and the size of their group. The groups will be peer assessed to achieve an individual mark for each student’s contribution to the project.

The report will cover:

  • Discovering: research processes to generate ideas, including desk research and field work
  • Defining: ideation, concept evaluation, narrative development; articulating the location of the project
  • Proposal development: refining the proposal through field work and concept testing
  • Designing: specifying designs using personas and scenarios, sketching and visualising, enacting
  • Prototyping: building, representing, documenting the project outcomes
  • Evaluation: testing studies, expert walkthoughs, field testing, reflexive evaluation

Intended Learning outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Students will be assessed on the value that they add to the collaboration.

Criteria for assessment include (but are not limited to):

  • Challenge how difficult the project was?
  • Contribution what was done beyond what existed already?
  • Depth and rigour were there any unanswered challenges'?'
  • Novelty and innovation how new the approach or results were
  • Analysis and evaluation were robust, interesting and relevant conclusions drawn?
  • Clarity and quality of presentation

A viva-style presentation, and submitted resource such as prototypes or the final demonstrator, will act to clarify the understanding of markers but are not formally marked themselves.

Reading and References

Dependent on project.