The Summer Design Office: A Work-Learning Experience for Industrial Design Students
The Summer Design Office (SDO) is cooperation between Bedriftsforbundet, Innovation Norway, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) which was initiated in 2006. The aim of the office is to increase the use of design as a competitive advantage within Norwegian Small- Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The means of achieving this goal is by using design students to develop a conceptual design for the participating businesses.  A study has been conducted which attempts to answer the following questions:
• What is possible to learn by work, according to the pedagogical literature?
• Is the potential for learning utilized in the SDO?
• Are there changes that could improve students’ learning within the SDO?
This study contains a literature study of learning by work and an analysis of the SDO in relation to this, with a subsequent discussion. In addition, a survey among the students has been used in this
work. The following paper has a short description of the SDO, a review of important literature, a discussion against these theories, and results from the survey with suggestions for improvements. Finally, areas that have the potential for further exploration within this specific topic and the literature in general are highlighted.