Otago Polytechnic

Solving real world problems

Our product design students are eager to put their design skills and creativity to work on real world projects with commercial businesses and not-for-profit organisations. Perhaps you’re a product design and/or manufacturing company, looking for a burst of additional initiative. Perhaps you’re a charity or public organisation wanting some innovation to make a step change in what you do.

Contact us if you’d like to explore any of the options below.

 

Student internship

One option is to offer a student internship. This needs to be for a minimum of two to four weeks, or one day a week for an extended period. Interns should be working under professional supervision within a product design or manufacturing company, ideally working on a specific project or issue.

 

Partnership projects

You might like to partner with us, giving multiple students, possibly over successive years, the opportunity to identify and develop opportunities to add value to what you do. These projects are embedded into the students’ course, so as a partner “client” you would need to meet with the students to brief them and then three for four times to give feedback.

 

Individual projects

Specific projects may be suitable for just one or two students to work on, using an iterative prototyping process to design and develop a working product to meet a particular need.

 

    Idea generation  

    A group of students can also add value by identifying future opportunities for you. Together they can brainstorm novel potential solutions to issues which you find it hard to make time to consider amongst your business as usual activity. This is an opportunity for quickfire idea generation, to help cast a design vision for what might be.

     

    Wicked problems

    This engagement can be a larger and longer term project across multiple years. The design brief is not formed but a specific value has been identified for an organisation, such as ”we want to be more sustainable”. This inquiry process will utilise the students’ skills to research and develop the core design question against which to generate a design solution.

    For example a design question our students are working on is: “How do you educate adults about health issues they can’t see”. The design outcome? Bypass print and video and make the solution tactile.