The connectYOU (2013)

connectYOU banner

the text was writtend by Silvia Lopez-de-Lacalle

Connect you was a collaboration project between the Master’s students of the Loughborough Design School and the British Telecom (BT) Research Labs. The students enrolled in the Cross Disciplinary Project module were allocated into three work teams. These teams were made using the Belbin Test, which outlines the role of each person inside a working group, so that each team had all the necessary roles for a group to work well. The students came from very different backgrounds and cultures, which made it a very interesting experience and a challenge to work in teams.

Each team was provided specific design theme to work on:

Team 1 had to design a ‘Smart House’ system

photo of the Team 1

Team 2 had to design a video calling device for ‘Smart TVs’

photo of the Team 2

Team 3 had to design ‘Smart Wiring’ for the house.

Photo of Team 3

The specific design brief's themes informed the identity teams – by creating a team name and designing a team logo to reflect the project theme – was the first part of the project. The teams were given a brief outline of the whole project, and had to write their own design briefs. This was a way of learning how to structure a project that is not very defined at the beginning, as it often happens in a real life when working with companies.

A trip to the research labs of British Telecom at Adastral Park near Ipswich was organised, in which the students were showed around and had the chance to meet the staff that would give them advice for their project.

Photo at the Adastral Part while visting BT Research Labs

The teams had regular meetings and assigned different roles to the different people in the group. Each team had a member of BT to supervise their project and give them advice, with whom they had regular phone calls and Skype meetings.

Each team presented their project in the building of British Telecom. Presenting in front of members of a well-established company, gave them the opportunity to practice in a professional environment. This was the second phase of the project.

Class Photo at Adstral Park to present the final project outcomes

The third and final stage or the project, was writing a report about the whole project. This included reading and writing about working in teams, describing the project and how the team worked together.

Project teams booklets describing process and the outcomes are available form links provided below:





More photos from the trip to BT Research Labs can be access from this link