IA20130 Designing the Future

Academic Year 2022/2023


'Designing the Future' at the Innovation Academy will increase your technical ability and teach you authentic design, prototyping and manufacturing skills through hands on exercises, and tasks and challenges using advanced makerspace tools.

This module is suitable for students from any discipline, and for those with little or no prior making experience, as well as those who know the basics but may want practical hands-on experience with technology.

Topics include:

-3D printing
-CAD (Computer Aided Design) Basics for 3D Design & manufacturing
-Vacuum Forming and mould making
-Laser cutting/engraving
-2D Design/Visualisation using online platforms such as Canva

Over the course of the module, you will be introduced to a variety of technology and visualisation tools. You will build skills in ideation, testing, and prototyping while improving your communication skills with non-technical audiences. We will also look at emerging manufacturing and prototyping methods through the lens of sustainability.

Using these skills you will make physical prototypes using 3D printing, wood, acrylic and other materials culminating in a creative project which may be used in a professional portfolio.


This module runs four times in 2022/23

Trimester 1 : Tuesday afternoons, 2-5pm, Sept 13th to Nov 1st (8 weeks)
Trimester 1 : Wednesday afternoons, 2-5pm, Sept 14th to Nov 2nd (8 weeks)

Trimester 2: Tuesday afternoons, 2-5pm, January 24th to March 28th (8 weeks, no class on the 14th or 21st of March during fieldwork weeks)
Trimester 2 : Wednesday afternoons, 2-5pm, Jan 25th to March 29th (8 weeks no class on the 15th or 22nd of March during fieldwork weeks)

This module is offered face-to-face only. There will be a mix of facilitated classes and teamwork and individual tasks to be completed outside of the class time please allow time in your schedule for group work/project work as this must be done within the UCD MakerSpace.


At the UCD Innovation Academy, we are Educator Practitioners with extensive real-world experience as academics, business and social entrepreneurs, tech thinkers, creative professionals and design thinking practitioners.

Our teaching is grounded in academic rigour. Our focus is on ‘learning by doing’ in a real-world context. Classes include a combination of individual and team tasks and activities, along with discussions, presentations and reflection.

Enrolment on an Innovation Academy module means a commitment to active participation and engagement, which necessitates attendance at all scheduled classes.

COVID-19 : Our courses will be run in accordance with good practice, University and Government guidelines around COVID-19. This module is intended to be taught in-person but we may switch to an online or blended format in light of updated guidelines or circumstances.


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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

(1) Understand the safe operation of various tools within the MakerSpace

(2) Develop skills in practical, basic operations of the tools and techniques within the module

(3) Develop skills applying cutting edge technology to rapidly test and prototype innovative ideas

(4) Develop their visual and verbal communication skills in the context of visual story-telling, and intuitive design.

(5) Learn how to give and receive feedback in a team environment and service/client-based scenario.

(6) Practice iterative design through trail, testing, reflection, and revision

(7) Practice personal reflection as a tool for continuous self improvement

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Small Group






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
All Innovation Academy modules take a 'learning by doing' approach, combining individual, and group activities and tasks including projects, discussion and reflection. Guest speakers will share their own experiences and lessons learnt.

• Active/task-based learning
• Peer and Group work
• Reflective Learning
• Enquiry & Problem-based learning
• Student Projects 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Attendance: This module requires active participation and engagement, which necessitates attendance at ALL scheduled classes. (80% attendance is required to pass this component.) Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Group Project: Team project showcasing the learning objectives throughout the trimester. Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Assignment: Reflection report Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
Repeat Within Two Trimesters
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback can be given to students upon request. This may include feedback on their participation during the module and/or their deliverables.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Tues 14:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Wed 14:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29 Tues 14:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29 Wed 14:00 - 16:50