!- Please read the official letter in the Links section to the right for complete information and our proposed solution. -!
On behalf of the Industrial Design students of the TU/e, we hereby formerly protest the recent changes to the Industrial Design Electronics Atelier. The changes involve the relocation of the electronics experts and the relocation / withdrawal of the electronic component stock. These changes have been made without consultation with the students, without consultation with the coaches and the implementation has been initiated without sufficient notification and during the summer vacation. Since there was no consultation with students, the critical elements of this facility have clearly not been understood. To continue to produce the work of the nature that we do now, and to enable us students to incorporate a high technological content in their design work we need the three following elements in close proximity: the lab itself, with soldering stations, adjustable power supply and oscilloscope at each station, the immediate availability of components adjacent to that lab and thirdly, experts available for consultation. ALL of those three elements must be present and present in the same space. As soon as you remove or relocate one of these elements then the value of the facility is diminished. It is not clear what those who have implemented these changes expect if indeed this has been thought about at all. The impact of the fragmentation of this facility will inevitably change the nature of the students design work. More experienced students who have already experienced the Atelier, second years and above, will likely find ways of working around the new obstacles introduced with this decision and continue their work as they have become accustomed to doing. Newer students however will not have the knowledge, nor the resources nor the confidence to do this. The most likely result of removing this facility therefore is a diminishing technical content of the TU/e ID students project and assignment work with each subsequent semester, resulting in students with a reduced understanding of electronics through poorer learning activities, a glaring deficiency in the Integrating Technology competency, a practical obstacle to the Self Directed and Continuous learning competency and the loss of the initiative this department represents as a leader in designing interactive and intelligent systems. Had the ID students and coaches been consulted over this problem not only would the importance and essential elements of the Electronics Atelier been understood, but a better solution might have been proposed in a co-creative spirit. Industrial Designers, even student Industrial Designers solve difficult and contradictory problems creatively. This is what we do. Give us the brief and we will solve it. Please reconsider the dismantling of this facility and the consequences to both department and students alike. The present system is an attribute to the department and has been built up to this state by the dedication of the staff over a six year period. The present solution is unsatisfactory for all and can surely be improved on. Why not convene a co-creative brainstorming session to discuss the problems and possible solutions so all requirements can be addressed constructively.