Healthy challenging design education for engineers

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Teaching design skills to engineering students has long been one of the main building blocks of the bachelor curriculums at the TU Delft faculties of Industrial Design Engineering and Architecture & the Built Environment. We observe that our students achieve high-level (design) competencies during their study time at TU Delft. But we also observe that design education goes together too often with over-aroused students and ambitious teachers, leading too often to higher levels of student stress. With the support of the Dutch 4TU Centre for Engineering
Education, we asked first-year bachelor IDE and ABE design students about their perceived levels of arousal and the factors within the design education learning environment, which contribute to a positive or negative study experience. This paper will show our understanding of our design education pedagogies, our model of spheres of influence, and potential coping strategies for students and tutors. We indicate five spheres of influence for our design students: the student self, design tutors, classmates, the learning environment, and society at large.
Each sphere consists of various potentially stressful factors. The coping strategies we propose focus on helping students to find ways to become aware of their feelings and thoughts, the meaning they give to them, and the kinds of behaviors and (short-term and long-term) consequences which follow from there. We also emphasize the role of the community of teachers and students to help individual students assess those (potentially) stressful situations
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th International CDIO Conference 2022
EditorsMaria Sigridur Gudjonsdottir, Haraldur Audunsson
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-9935-9655-6-1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event18th International CDIO Conference - Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 13 Jun 202216 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International CDIO Conference
ISSN (Electronic)2002-1593


Conference18th International CDIO Conference

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • design education
  • self-leadership
  • workload
  • health
  • coping strategies
  • Standards: 8, 9


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