IA20130 Designing the Future

Academic Year 2021/2022


'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, tasks and challenges using advanced makerspace tools. Topics include:

CAD Basics for 3D Design & manufacturing
3D printing
Vacuum Forming and mould making
Laser cutting/engraving

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 between business and engineering following sustainability best practices. Using these skills you will make physical prototypes using 3D printing, wood, acrylic and other materials culminating in a creative and professional portfolio.

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 want to develop further.


This module runs three times in 2021/22

Trimester 1 : Wednesday afternoons, 2-5pm, Oct 27th to Dec 1st (6 weeks)
Trimester 2 : Wednesday afternoons, 2-5pm, Jan 19th to 23rd Feb (6 weeks)
Trimester 2: Tuesday afternoons, 2-5pm, Mar 1st to Apr 19th (6 weeks, no classes 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.


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 and maintenance 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


Small Group




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




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) - Autumn: Weeks 7-12 Wed 14:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Tues 14:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 Wed 14:00 - 16:50