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ProjectSpace: linking design education with business.

Malins, Julian; Murray, Annette


Julian Malins


Ahmed Kovacevic

William Ion

Peter Hogarth

Chris McMahon

Lyndon Buck


Design graduates are increasingly called upon to work in cross-disciplinary ways in order to respond to the challenges of designing services and products. Working in multidisciplinary teams on live projects involving external organisations can help prepare students who learn how to work in collaborative teams, address specific needs of clients and assimilate feedback from a wide range of experts. Identifying suitable projects that reconcile with course learning outcomes, supervising student groups, and managing the relationship between all the stakeholders requires a sophisticated infrastructure. The potential benefits however, with regards to keeping courses relevant and maximising the employability of students, are considerable. The Centre for Design & Innovation ( has developed a web portal called ProjectSpace, a project brokering system. This is a unique facility that provides a mechanism for the University to engage with external partners, to manage groups of students and provides a shop window for what the University can offer (http://www. The system has recently been piloted with design students in Digital Media and Graphic Design from Grays School of Art, undertaking a project with Skills Development Scotland (SDS). ProjectSpace provides a mechanism for displaying project briefs, key deadlines, assigning both academics and students to projects and a confidential content management system allowing selected parties to view ongoing work. A wide range of issues has been highlighted by this project, including contractual arrangements, project supervision, fit with the curriculum and the management of expectations between stakeholders. This paper reports the outcomes of the SDS pilot project.


MALINS, J. and MURRAY, A. 2011. ProjectSpace: linking design education with business. In Kovacevic, A., Ion, W., McMahon, C., Buck, L. and Hogarth, P. (eds.) Proceedings of the 13th International conference on engineering and product design eduction (E&PDE 2011), 8-9 September 2011, London, UK. Glasgow: Design Society [online], pages 11-15. Available from:

Conference Name 13th International conference on engineering and product design eduction (E&PDE 2011)
Conference Location London, UK
Start Date Sep 8, 2011
End Date Sep 9, 2011
Acceptance Date Sep 30, 2011
Online Publication Date Sep 30, 2011
Publication Date Dec 31, 2011
Deposit Date Nov 6, 2013
Publicly Available Date Nov 6, 2013
Publisher Design Society
Pages 11-15
ISBN 9781904670339
Keywords Multidisciplinary; Web portal; Service design; Project briefs
Public URL
Publisher URL


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