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Live projects

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Birmingham City University can provide research and technical services that are not readily available commercially – providing a bridge between academia and industry. Clients are able to receive current trends and innovative design ideas that can then be developed further by the client at their own timescale.

These projects aim to provide students with real-life learning and practical experience in the industry, collaborating or consulting with an external client. They vary in scale and outcome, from practical completion to public consultation. Where possible, many of the projects are integrated as part of teaching modules.

Advanced Praxis

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The MArch Architecture programme offers a unique opportunity for architecture practices to work with a group of postgraduate students on a live project to test advanced skills of design and collaboration within the context of professional practice. It integrates a live brief provided by leading regional architecture firms in an immersive learning studio environment. Students develop a detailed architectural design proposal, shared with input by the firm, with strategic levels of synthesised technical resolution for presentation back to the partner. It is an ideal opportunity to test new approaches in responding to conventional typologies in architecture.

Design Synthesis

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This module on the BA (Hons) Product & Furniture Design applies the ‘user-needs’ design philosophy as a framework to enable you to build upon and synthesise core design ideas in a new lifestyle or industrial product.

Design Synthesis engages our students to develop user-centred design outcomes with appropriate observational and analytical approaches. The philosophy behind human-centred design challenges conventions of any sector with detailed research and trends in ergonomic and material applications.

Realism and Conceptualism

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Our MA in Product & Furniture Design offers the Realism and Conceptualism module to provide opportunities to engage with both perspectives of commercial markets and existing design processes of design fabrication with alternative (and radical) concept generation. This is achieved through deconstructing, then reconstructing, new design-based narratives for your design brief.

This inter-related module will be defined by using a combination of theoretical and practical analysis applied to specific design sectors and to the challenging expectations or conventions of existing products by looking at alternative directions and product opportunities. In doing this, concepts identify new strategies in the construction and deconstruction of design ideas, mechanisms, and processes as part of your company’s practice.

Collaborative Laboratory

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Co.LAB is an award-winning design and research initiative with a unique teaching process combining undergraduate and postgraduate students working collaboratively with our staff. We co-create and co-produce creative transdisciplinary projects to produce conceptual ideas and experimental design approaches for our partner organisations. This module is designed for more open-ended inquiries that may fit across a number of creative disciplines and industry sectors.

Case Studies

Please view our case studies to explore how organisations collaborated with our taught modules with live projects to generate innovative design outcomes. 

Case Studies