MADE develops and runs a unique academic course which brings together multidisciplinary teams of students to create novel solutions for people with special needs. A semester-long (14 meetings) course “Design & Engineering meet special needs” invites bachelor students from all faculties for a hands-on introduction to the field of assistive technology & design. Foremost, we engage students from the design, engineering and computer science faculties at HIT. Through project-based learning our students get the chance to build working prototypes and later test them with users. During the semester our students have access to 3D printers, laser cutters, a variety of micro-controllers, sensors, and actuators.
The course exposes students to a range of technologies for building interactive prototypes, as well as to themes of inclusive design, user-centered and interaction design. Students learn the basics of user need identification, human engineering, human-machine interfaces, and usability testing. Throughout the course, students meet with people with special needs, propose new solutions, build, test and elaborate their prototypes.