Creativity in Design

‘Creativity in Design’ is one of the most popular modules among our first year Engineering students. In this module, students develop observation skills, problem solving skills and their lateral thinking abilities through a series of assigned projects. 

This year, as part of this module, over 50 student teams competed for the honour of having their idea for improving student life in the Engineering and Materials Science Centre  become a reality. Each team was asked to survey the building and survey other students to find out what they needed and come up with an idea that was practical and could be implemented within a maximum budget of €5,000. This competition is supported by the College of Engineering and Architecture Student Support Fund.

Enhancing User Experience in the Engineering Building Competition

We recently attended the Grand Final of the “Enhancing User Experience in the Engineering Building” competition, hosted by the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture as part of the Creativity in Design Module taught in stage 1, by the School of Civil Engineering.

There were lots of ideas submitted and three teams were shortlisted to present their ideas to a panel of judges in the grand finale. 

Team 1

The first team to present was “The Bulls”. Their idea was to bring more art and colour to the building by painting murals on the walls. The Bulls stated that their idea was “completely student focused, with student involvement every step of the way including the design and layout of the murals.” They also stressed that their idea was also very practical as “it enhanced rather than just added to the building as it didn’t take up any extra room or restrict spacing”. They believed that the colourful murals would entice students to spend more time inside and make everything look “brighter and happier”.

Team 2 

The second team, “Professor Proton”,  had the idea to create a Self-Watering Plant Wall. Their pitch included the creation of a vertical irrigation system designed to add more plant life to the area. They made the point that their idea not only encompassed several “principles of engineering” but also “purified the air and added nature and colour” to the surroundings. They also emphasized that their solution was on the “cheaper end of the allocated budget”, leaving plenty of space for modifications in the future. This team’s idea sought to improve the building’s atmosphere, both socially and environmentally.

Team 3

The third team to present was “FUSIONably Late”. They presented the idea of adding “tiered seating” in the engineering school’s basement as a way to increase the seating capacity and create more student presence and comfort. FUSIONably Late’s presentation was all about stakeholder engagement. They believed that the tiered seating model best suited student needs as it “addressed all the key variables” found in their student survey. This included lighting, the need for more charging devices and a social area for students to gather. They also noted various other benefits for their design including that it “lies within budget”, will create a sense of community and improve emotional wellbeing”. All things considered, FUSIONably Late believed their space would be “really fun and would attract all the students down to the engineering building”

The Winners!

Finally, after strong presentations by all three competing teams, the judges selected the idea of the ““Self-Watering Plant Wall” presented by Team Professor Proton.  The UCD College of Engineering and Architecture will now work with the winning team to implement and install this idea.