An investigation of auto design practices in Malaysia with particular reference to industrial design education

  • Hasnul Azwan Azizan-Mahdzir

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Design developments in the automotive industry in Malaysia have evolved progressively especially over the years 1985 to 2012. These developments stimulated the introduction of industrial design education programs into Malaysian universities in 1973,beginning with an university now has diploma and degree programs in industrial design along with several other institutions. Many of these programs also contain curricula specific to automotive design at the undergraduate level, although little appears to be known about how industry based designers have evaluated these programs. What is of particular interest in the context of design education is to investigate the possible tensions, influences and rationale underpinning the thinking of professional industrial designers in the automotive industry on the one hand, and university purpose of better informing design education and improving the compatibility between industry-based-designer skill requirements and university-based-designer educational objectives. As is well known, industrial designers use a diversity of skills and practices to design the external and internal form of passenger cars as part of the overall conceptual design and development process in auto design. Industrial design educators, by comparison, tend to take a broader view in that the attitudes, knowledge and skills developed by students are meant to cater for a variety of design employment fields, apart from auto design. This thesis has investigated the views of both professional designers, working in the Malaysian auto industry, as well as the opinions of design educators in Malaysia in order to generate new knowledge that may be applied in industrial design education programs in Malaysian universities and colleges. Relevant knowledge gaps and apparent tensions between the thinking of these professional designers and design educators have been investigated and their educational implications discussed. Reference to concurrent international trends in auto design research, from an industrial design perspective; have also been taken into consideration. This research is underpinned by a substantial empirical study, involving detailed Likert-style surveys and qualitative semi-structured interviews to obtain original information from professional designers in industry as well as university lecturers practising in this field, mindful of their privacy constraints related to company and institutional policies: this thesis is supported by a substantial data base of important, original survey information and analytical findings. This empirical and analytical evidence has confirmed the important tensions that exist between professional designers in industry and academia in Malaysia. As shown in the novel skills taxonomy proposed, the findings of this thesis provide a useful and tangible starting point, noting the proposed collaborative model, for industry and academia consultation as well as for future research in this field of auto design education. Keywords: industrial and auto design, design process, design skills, applied design methods, Malaysian professional industrial designers and industrial design educators, design education.
    Date of Award2016
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorLivio Bonollo (Supervisor), Bill Green (Supervisor) & Eddi Pianca (Supervisor)

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