As part of INTRA+ Design & Business, I worked in partnership with students from all over the World on the International Business & Management for Design MSc programme at EUROMED Management Toulon (now KEDGE Business School) in the south of France in 2010.
The course module entitled ‘Design Project Management’ (DPM) aims to give students a perspective on project management issues using traditional methodologies, tools and techniques of engineering of human, natural and technological actors; and INTRA+ provided a live design and practice project for the students to work on. Director of Post Graduate Studies, Dr Hilary Collins, invited the INTRA+ team to come up with a challenging project brief for the students to tackle.
Key project areas
As an organisation interested in modular units (shipping containers) INTRA+ set the students (with Lecturers Ehsan Mobed and Stephan Remy) a project brief within four key areas of interest to us:
- INTRA+ Lounge (bars and restaurants)
- INTRA+ Activity (sports events, festivals, expo’s)
- INTRA+ Pop-up (retail stores)
- INTRA+ Open (for students to choose)
I like projects that can be feasible, so it was good experience to work on this concept.
Teams of between four and five students were set up in these four key areas, with complimentary skills in design (interior, graphic, architecture), engineering, business and management capabilities. Each group assigned themselves a team project manager to be in charge of coordinating the work and to regularly report back on progress to the INTRA+ team. We asked them to come up with a brand to work with in each key area and to come up with design concepts, feasibility testing and analysis with a limitation of using a maximum of two shipping containers for each project.
The INTRA+ team visited the students on various occasions in class and during workshops to act as ‘the client’ in order to oversee the direction and progress of the design concepts and to ensure that the work met our requirements of the brief. This provided us with unique insights into managing the design process as well as developing our team working and communication skills in a very broad and multi-cultural environment and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
INTRA+ were open to different ideas and it was very helpful trying to develop the ideas of others to improve them or to find other solutions.
Once the working project areas were finalised, the students divided work according to their specialist skills within their teams and INTRA+ provided support and client perspectives as questions arose.
Final deliverables included ongoing developmental presentations and a formal presentation of the finished business analysis and design concepts at the end of the course module. Design concepts, business analysis (macro and micro) as well as implementation strategies were required within 5000 word reports to be submitted for examination by professors at EUROMED in May.
You really have to work within a schedule and organise your time really well during the whole project including the people according to their abilities and experience.
We were delighted with the quality of the development of ideas and concepts throughout the phases of development and had an enjoyable few days whilst the final formal presentations were made to us.
For me the goal is to work in a group and be able to manage people and work as a team to cover every area of the project and be sure that the quality of each assignment is high enough for what you need at the end.
A big thank you
INTRA+ would like to thank Dr Hilary Collins, Ehsan Mobed, Colin Wright, Stephan Remy and all the students (especially for the champagne and chocolates in the morning) that took part in the project as it provided valuable insights and developed new skills for all of us involved.
- Ulises Navaro (project manager)
- Carlos Vivanco
- Emilie Le Garf
- Nina Kuznetsova
- Marina Kulakovskaja
- Christophe Charbault (project manager)
- Marie-Agnes Douglas
- Susan Oyieke
- Edita Ivanova
- Maureen Tomio
- Rita Zapata (project manager)
- Piyawan Pinthong
- Charles Boisson
- Sebastien Verdevoye
- Dovile Slavikaite
- Simona Silenskyte
- Maria Fernanda Montoya (project manager)
- Maria Fernandez Cuevas
- Lisette Paget
- Rakesh Sah
- Megumi Yamada