Multidisciplinary Student Project as a Teaching Platform for Package DesignReport as inadecuate

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Successful package design requires knowledge from various fields. Therefore, teaching package design only from one disciplinary perspective is a limited approach. The problem-based learning PBL method combined with a real client brief is a potential way to teach the manifold nature of package design for students. This paper illustrates a package design project that was conducted as part of a multidisciplinary master-level course. A multidisciplinary and -cultural student team was given a task to provide new package design solutions for three wellknown consumer product brands. The project lasted nine months and was supervised both by industry partners and academic teaching staff. The multidisciplinary student team was able to achieve excellent results by using the diversity of their knowledge base. The students had undergraduate degrees in business management, marketing, engineering and graphic design. The team learned not only from the industry partners who gave the briefs, but the interdisciplinary and intercultural learning that happened within the group was the key to the successful end results. The new package design concepts turned out to be realistic solutions comprising various technical, financial, functional, informational and emotional aspects of packaging. The concepts also expressed the brand identity of the clients in a new light. The results of the project were pleasing for all three parties involved: the students, the teachers, and the industry partners. The case shows that teaching package design in multidisciplinary student teams and involving companies in student projects can be very fruitful. The described project illustrates how problem-based learning approach combined with actual packaging briefs can lead to excellent learning results from the university point of view as well as provide companies with new insights on package design.


package design, education, multidisciplinary team, problem-based-learning PBL, industry cooperation

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Author: Sanna Heiniö, Toni-Matti Karjalainen



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