Mechanical Engineering base Product Design Education -: a bridge to sustainable agriculture?

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPosterCommunication


Introducing sustainable agriculture to small-scale farmers whose educational level is low, living condition is harsh with very limited economical and accessible material resources has been reported a challenge. The potential with respect to the mutually beneficial relationships between the Mechanical Engineering base product design education offered in VIA University College (Denmark) and sustainable agriculture was investigated through a collaboration with some local farmers in Northeastern Thailand. The Mechanical engineering undergraduates were engaged in a real-life project with an attempt to innovate some conventional farming devices so that the practice of sustainable farming could be facilitated.
Throughout the product design process, with user-centered design principle was of focus, language barrier and cultural differences were the critical challenges as identifying the user’s requirements was needed. By employing user-centered design tools including persona and mood-board, the undergraduates successfully derived the key design requirements of the project: simple to use, low cost and easy to manufacture, and use of locally accessible materials. CES Edupack was used in the material selection process but was found less feasible when geographical pricing became one of the crucial material selection factors. The first-phase prototypes were tested through implementing the role-play method without getting involved the reals users due to the geographical distance barrier. The prototype tests were video recorded and emailed to the real-users in the rural area of Thailand for a secondary assessment where feedback from the practicality perspective were collected. The received feedback directed a positive development prospect for the prototype thereupon a phase-two could be the next step.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventMaterial Education Symposia 2017 - Cambridge University, Cambridge
Duration: 6 Apr 20177 Apr 2017


OtherMaterial Education Symposia 2017
LocationCambridge University


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