Part of the 4TU.Federation
4TU.
Centre for
Engineering Education

Project introduction and background information

Teaching physical design skills has long been the main building block of the bachelor curriculums at the TU Delft faculties of IDE and A&BE. We observe that our students achieve high level (design) competencies during their study time at TU Delft. But we also observe that design education too often goes together with over-aroused students and (over)ambitious teachers, leading to higher levels of student stress. It goes without saying that this results in (the threat of) underperforming students, increased levels of student drop outs, and increased levels of student burn outs. This project contributes directly to the TUD agenda on study climate and student well-being, in which the executive board is looking for strategies to create both an ambitious and (mentally, physically and socially) healthy learning environment for students.

Objective and expected outcomes

We aim to better understand study stress in design education, so that we as communities of learning and teaching can avoid unnecessary stress for design students in the future. We will in particular explore issues of personal leadership, design pedagogies, assessment strategies, community building and communication, and the social and physical (studio!) environments.

Results and learnings

It is easier said than done to not only have a good discussion about this theme, but also to (re)develop healthy-challenging design education. Stress is something that works differently for different people, and some levels of stress are actually needed to perform well. The most important thing might be to have a well-augmented and well-supported ‘vehicle’ – our pattern book – to talk about this sensitive topic with design students, design tutors and design project coordinators.

Contact details 

Sylvia Mooij                                                      S.C.Mooij@tudelft.nl

Remon Rooij                                                    R.M.Rooij@tudelft.nl

Practical outcomes

The project will deliver a series of teaching guidelines for our staff and learning guidelines for our students in the format of a pattern book for Healthy-Challenging Design Education.