Within the higher education (HE) product design field, many researchers stress the importance for students to recognise and value the relationship between practical 3D object-making experience, and experimenting with process and materials. Given the increasing pressures for design departments to sustain and keep large workshops, we face the perhaps inevitable consequence that product design students will lose fundamental physical 3D-object making skills. A case study from a sand casting workshop was used to investigate how new learning spaces could develop a teaching methodology to teach material and production knowledge, using low budget, low-tech, and practical object-making methods. The study showed that this learning space engaged the participants with the project and developed insights into teaching and learning that would not have been achieved through purely theoretical, studio-based teaching. Furthermore the workshop created an arena for social and professional interactions, and was found to be a possible tool for a discourse on sustainable design and production. The study led to developments in the design curricula of the participating institutions and resulted in learning outcomes of relevance for product design education.
Firth, R., & Stoltenberg, E. (2015, September). Sand Casting on the Beach - Introducing Traditional Making Skills, Materials and Process through Play and Experimentation. Paper presented at 17th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING AND PRODUCT DESIGN EDUCATION