“The user interface of the Varia cabin as a project for design students”
“MSK gave us the Case Varia assignment, which was related to a product they had under development. Students enjoy collaboration projects with companies and find them highly instructive, which is why receiving a real assignment from the company greatly boosted their motivation. The assignment was to envision and design new kinds of interfaces for heavy machinery that could be utilised in the Varia cabin.
“I acted as the project lead and the students’ advisor. Before becoming a teacher, I was an industrial designer working on heavy machinery for a little over a decade and became familiar with MSK during a cabin design project. As my prior experiences suggested, working with MSK was seamless, and I have to say that collaborating with professionals is always wonderful. Despite a very tight schedule, the project and its results were a resounding success.”
“The project resulted in four completely different concepts”
“The students organised into four teams. We did plenty of background research and got a chance to familiarise ourselves with the heavy machinery in question. We used a typical input-process-output model for the project, in which we first collected a large set of background information which was analysed and applied to the design process. The result was that all the relevant information we collected coalesced into user interface concepts.
“It was great to see how different each of the four final concepts ended up being. The great thing about design and the creative process is that there is no one right answer, and good solutions can be found in many different ways.”
“The user interfaces provide customers with ideas and inspiration for their own processes”
“The design studies the students completed on user interfaces for the cabin can be proudly shown to customers who are looking for good user interface solutions for their product. They might not always be something the customer can apply to their own product, but the concepts provide them with ideas and inspiration that they can apply to their processes.”
“Collaboration between MSK and students is a win-win situation”
“In addition to getting the opportunity to do some interesting design work, students got to see how it’s done in a business setting. Collaboration also gives the company a new challenge. Right from the beginning, MSK approached the student project like any other product development project, and the design students all contributed to its success. I have to thank the company for committing so completely to the project. Successful projects usually lead to future collaboration, and we have indeed been discussing possible future theses since the completion of the project with MSK.”