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Creative Arts & Design×

Institute of Technology, Carlow Masters Degrees in Creative Arts & Design

We have 5 Institute of Technology, Carlow Masters Degrees in Creative Arts & Design

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Design and optimisation of instrumentation and operative technique to facilitate an established surgical approach to a specific foot and ankle surgical intervention. Read more

Design and optimisation of instrumentation and operative technique to facilitate an established surgical approach to a specific foot and ankle surgical intervention. There is a growing awareness of the impact of human factors and design phycology on the effectiveness and acceptance of instrumentation for surgical procedures. User experience with surgical instrumentation can impact surgeon confidence with a particular instrument set, and can influence purchasing choices for implants and instrumentation. Much of the development of recent years has focused on high volume procedures in the hip, knee and spine. This project proposes the investigation of the application of the designCORE approach to human centred design to the area of foot and ankle surgery, which has historically been underserved. Through the application of industrial design techniques the insights captured by this approach will be brought through to concept realisation and validation through simulation with qualified health care professionals (HCP) in University Hospital Waterford (UHW). A key objective of the project will be the development, through this case study, of a human centred design approach suitable for use in a design controlled environment.

Methodology proposed

Secondary research will be conducted to establish the state of the art in terms of surgical instrument design and to develop an understanding of the design factors specific to medical device design. Through discussion with contacts at UHW a candidate surgical intervention will be identified and the researcher will conduct in-depth research into this procedure. Following the desktop based research the researcher will gather design insights through contextual enquiry and ethnographic investigation. Working through the designCORE method of human centred design these insights will be brought through iterative design steps to develop viable design solutions to true user need. Design iterations will be tested through video analysis and human factors engineering. Design solutions will subsequently be validated through simulation with the identified HCPs.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

From a design perspective the project aims to produce one or more improvements to the instrumentation or workflow of an existing foot and ankle surgical technique. The project will also provide a practice based case study for the application of the human centred design approach to medical device design. The project will also provide a platform to develop a research collaboration with University Hospital Waterford from which may lead to further postgraduate research opportunities. Through continued collaboration a South East regional hub for design in a healthcare setting may ultimately be developed between ITC and WUH. It is anticipated that the study outcomes could be reported in a joint publication between ITC and the participants at WUH.



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Project Objectives. To develop a studio to afford enterprises time to explore creatively within a dynamic peer group. To critically review the needs of enterprises with the aim of streamlining the process to innovation. Read more

Project Objectives

  • To develop a studio to afford enterprises time to explore creatively within a dynamic peer group.
  • To critically review the needs of enterprises with the aim of streamlining the process to innovation
  • To develop a methodology that enhances a multi layered offering into a bespoke approach for regional enterprises.
  • To develop interdisciplinary research in ITC
  • To develop links with potential regional research centres internationally

Methodology proposed

This research is envisaged to be predominantly applied in its nature and project driven (Action Research). It will be focused on a fixed

space, working alongside ERIC’s initiative of ‘the future studio’.

The researcher will work alongside mentors and enterprises developing case studies on various methods and approaches.

The use or design methodologies like prototyping, iteration and conceptualisation will be used to explore variations of the process.

This research will also be aligned with leading research in this field and be informed by international best practice.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

  • A methodology to enhance the development of enterprise in the South East region of Ireland
  • Investigate opportunities for delivery of research findings at an International Conference or Publication of research paper in International peer reviewed journal
  • Recommendations for further research opportunities
  • Network of research and industry collaborative partners
  • The postgraduate will present their research through public exhibition or peer review defence

Strategic Impact

  • The network of research and industry collaborative partners developed through this research project will increase the collaborati ve capabilities of designCORE.
  • Publications, peer review and conferences enhance designCORE, ERIC and ITC’s status of an internationally recognised provider of interdisciplinary research.
  • Create opportunities of commercialisation of a methodology beyond the master’s research project and development of a movement in the region.
  • Recommendations for further research opportunities allow for increased interdisciplinary research activity in ITC


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Interdisciplinary project-based design classes are increasingly common in undergraduate design, engineering, gaming, marketing and business programs. Read more

Interdisciplinary project-based design classes are increasingly common in undergraduate design, engineering, gaming, marketing and business programs. However, there is a paucity of guidelines to support the development, implementation and efficacy evaluation of such new courses. Design projects serve as experiential learning activities for students to appropriately apply a methodical design process to specific design contexts.

Considering this, the objectives of this project are:

  • The development and refinement of a framework for undergraduate interdisciplinary design projects.
  • Understand the desired learning objectives of different fields with regards to an undergraduate team-based design project.
  • Understand student learning of design processes in interdisciplinary design projects.
  • Understand the challenges in implementing and evaluation of interdisciplinary design projects for educators

Methodology proposed

  • Secondary desk research to establish the key elements of professional interdisciplinary design teams, team formation, and experiential learning of design.
  • Interviews of key stakeholders to review their learning objectives for such a design course.
  • Interviews with leaders of professional interdisciplinary design groups for review of the structure and expectations of interdisciplinary design teams.
  • Iterative development of a proposed framework for an interdisciplinary design module. (For the purpose of this research focus, the proposed class cohorts would be third year students from Product Design and Mechanical Engineering students as part of their existing modules in their respective courses).
  • Quantitative data collection on student teams’ design processes will be done using the Design Evaluation and Feedback Tool (DEFT) (attached draft paper submitted to IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies).
  • Qualitative observation of student participation and learning in class activities will be collected.
  • Triangulation interviews with participants and academic stakeholders as part of the iterative development of the framework

Expected outcomes: (e.g.deliverables & strategic impacts)

  • A framework for developing and implementing an interdisciplinary design project in undergraduate programmes
  • Evidence of improved student experiential learning in both product and mechanical engineering design skills.
  • Demonstration of collaborative integration of the Departments of Humanities and Aerospace, Mechanical and Electronic Engineering using designCORE, engCORE and Learning and Teaching methodologies.


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Social Documentary photography is a form of documentary photography that looks at and records how the world looks from a social angle or environmental focus. Read more

Social Documentary photography is a form of documentary photography that looks at and records how the world looks from a social angle or environmental focus. “While each picture then had its own backing of data, its own internal story, it took its meaning ultimately from the larger story” (Trachtenberg, 1981, p.250).

The aim of the research is to look at social documentary style photography through the last century and look at its key practitioners, e.g Lewis’s Hine, Don Mc Cullin, Bill Brandt and understand, the why, the how and its importance in term of photography and design.

Social documentary photography has been used through out design since the early days of advertising, with each image acting as a visual storyteller, weaving a story through visual information and supporting the text it’s accompanying. In her book ‘The Whole truth and nothing but the truth’ Natasha Christopher suggests “the social, political and ameliorative objectives in historical social documentary photography are not dissimilar to some of the imperatives in ‘participatory’ art practice trends. These social and political aspects referred to relate to the desire to work with a social or political cause.”

There is vast academic research and writings into the effect and importance of documentary style photography, this research will look at the effect and use within the advertising and design industry. Christopher goes further to state – “The ameliorative has to do with the wish to correct a situation by drawing attention to it, making it visible, and the desire to ‘correct’ a situation, which, I have suggested, operates within a ‘liberal’ domain, representing a desire to ‘bring good and truth to the world’ -

For example, photographer Marcus Bleasdale has been documenting the consequences of natural resource exploitation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2000. Human Rights Watch worked with Bleasdale to create a report and exhibition that eventually forced a Swiss company, Metalor Technologies, to stop buying Congolese gold in Uganda. As a result of these efforts and the work of other organizations, nearly $100 million in funding for warlords dried up overnight.

This documentary style has changed through the ages, driven by content, technology and societies acceptance or rejection of social issue. The responsibility of meaning still lies with the photographer. Lewis Hine always stated of his work “a responsibility to the truth of his vision” (Trachtenberg, 1981, p.240). Social Documentary photography, plays a major role in design, advertising and propaganda, this has shaped the path of this genre of photography.

This research will look to document the style, look at the influence, examine how the style affects the content its aside, and breakdown its rationale for existing. Look at how design / advertising has influence the style over the years and see where it currently sits.

Methodology proposed

Methodology will be a mixture of qualitative interviews with existing photographers and practitioners to understand the documentary style itself.

It will involve a number of interviews with creative groups and photographers to gauge the reason for the use of certain styles and their effectiveness within the industry. These practitioners will be involved within a certain area of design, usually within social / charity campaigns.

It will involve extensive research through literature and exhibition catalogues to track and trace its origins and evolution.

It will involve a body of experimentation photographic work using various techniques and technologies.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

The outcomes will include a documented report, regarding the influence of social documentary style photography on design and advertising, its uses and effects and impact.

It will also include a body of work that will attempt to emulate the style. Using existing style and applying to a contemporary body of work, which will involve a final exhibition.



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