The open design education approach: An integrative teaching and learning concept for management and engineering

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Construction Management and Engineering students need to acquire managing skills for solving real-world problems that are complex, rarely straightforward and lack 'one right answer'. For this, they need to become 'open designers', capable to be reflective, integrative and creative in- and on action with dynamic and new situations. In this paper, the so-called Open Design Learning Circle (ODLC) will be proposed as an innovative educational concept in which engineering-, management- and pedagogic sciences are integrated. Within this concept the students 'dialogue' with: 1) an objective open glass box model covering engineering products and management processes (outer) and, 2) their subjective open human threefold, reflecting their personal learning (inner). The integration of both human and model dialogues is essential for the emergence of new knowledge and creative insights for open designs, which is essentially distinct from more traditional learning concepts. To enable this emergence, a self-chosen system of interest is the 'experiential vehicle' that forms the basis for a self-created textbook and model. Thereby, the ODLC forms the fundamental basis for creating 'open and persistent learners'. In this paper, it also will be shown how the ODLC can be operationalized into a learning cycle and how it has been implemented in an example course on systems engineering management within the MSc Construction Management Engineering curriculum at the TU Delft. Finally, some preliminary student findings and next steps for further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2020
EditorsAlberto Cardoso, Gustavo R. Alves, Teresa Restivo
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-0930-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event11th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2020 - Porto, Portugal
Duration: 27 Apr 202030 Apr 2020

Publication series

NameIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON
ISSN (Print)2165-9559
ISSN (Electronic)2165-9567


Conference11th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2020

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.


  • Co-creating and co-sensing
  • Co-reflecting
  • Construction Management and Engineering
  • Experiential Learning
  • Integrative Education
  • Management Process/Engineering Product/Learning Person
  • Open Design Learning Circle/ Cycle
  • Problem Solving
  • System of Interest


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