9 December 2010

Experientia collaborates with top Korean university

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Experientia, the international user experience design consultancy, has signed a five-year research and education collaboration agreement with the Design and Human Engineering School (DHE) of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) – Korea’s new top university – in a quest to change the way that design is seen and practiced in Korea.

UNIST was founded in 2009 in the industrial city of Ulsan, and aims to foster world-class education in science and technology, with top-notch students (top 3% of student intake), faculty (20% foreign), and facilities. All courses are conducted in English. UNIST, which already has a substantial online programme, also aims to be Korea’s first mobile campus: students can watch lectures, get their assignments and track their grades using smartphone apps whenever and wherever they need them.

Traditionally design in Korea has been art-based and offered through art schools. DHE is aiming to change this, by driving global industry collaboration and encouraging a multi-disciplinary approach in research and education. All students have two cross-discipline majors from Integrated Industrial Design, Engineering & Systems Design and Affective & Human Factors Engineering.

The main focus of the Experientia-UNIST/DHE collaboration will be on human-centred design and on applying this powerful innovation approach in the education of future designers and engineers, and in conducting effective applied research projects.

Experientia will support UNIST/DHE in the development of its educational programme, through adding a horizontal user experience driven didactic approach; defining a comprehensive research methods course; contributing specific expertise in areas such as interaction design, interface design and industrial design, amongst others; and organising projects workshops, teacher seminars and summer camps.

Other ideas currently being explored involve student and staff/faculty exchange, co-operation in joint research projects (possibly as part of wider European research initiatives), an in-depth longer-term collaboration on yachting design, and possible joint publications or presentations at international conferences.

In the following months Experientia and UNIST/DHE will work on shaping the specifics of the collaboration agreement through further discussions and project agreements.

Experientia has a long-term commitment to design education and research. Its partners and collaborators have been lecturing and teaching design at important international universities and design schools for many years, including the Academy for Art and Design in Berlin, Germany. Banff New Media Institute (Banff, Canada), Design Center Busan (Busan, South Korea), Domus Academy (Milano, Italy), IED (Torino, Italy), Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (Ivrea, Italy), Jan Van Eyck Academy (Maastricht, Netherlands), Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy), Politecnico di Torino (Torino, Italy), Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI, USA), Samsungʼs Innovative Design Laboratory (Seoul, South Korea) and Umea – Institute of Design (Umea, Sweden). Experientia has also been involved in several regional and European research projects.

– Korea Times: UNIST to foster elites in science, tech fields
– Korea Times: Universities’ English-friendly policy has pros and cons
– Joong Ang Daily: Unist aims to be Korea’s first mobile campus

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