Design Students Win International Research Project


IT Carlow 3rd Year Industrial Design & Product Design Innovation students have been awarded the top prize in the International "moving education" Research Project.  The EU funded project attracted global entries from the US, Europe & Asia from multi-disciplinary research teams. The project sought engagement in primary research and analysis into secondary level educational pedagogies. The statistical data gathered aimed to inform development of alternative pedagogical strategies in this sector.

An international panel of Judges were enthusiastic when awarding the IT Carlow team as the winning research proposal. They commended the team members Daniel Gillen, Lee Gaynor & Hauke Larche (an Erasmus student from HfG Gmünd) in the extensive primary research data used the development of their 'OPTIMO' proposal.

Programme Director & Year Tutor Colin Deevy said, "this FP7 funded TFE research initiative through the remit of the Marie Curie Academia-Industry Partnerships and Pathways, is a wonderful example of how the enthusiasm & collective drive of third level learner-researchers can be harnessed to meet the needs for primary research in the recently announced EU-Horizon20/20 funding framework". The IT Carlow research groups surveyed systems of schooling in Ireland, Europe & in South East Asia and visited a large range of schools to do in-depth observational study of human behaviours.

Research methodologies were very rigorous, the data gathered was then shared to get a depth & breath of knowledge of the needs of this educational environment. The collaborative & educational methodologies of design programmes at IT Carlow, supported by the academic design team, brought design thinking in the proposal to a range of solutions meeting the TFE (Task Furniture in Education) research brief.

Judges’ Comments on the IT Carlow Project

·        “This is a very robust modular concept with a great scope for further development.”

·        “The modular aspects of this concept are really a great feature. It allows for a lot of flexibility and control over one’s space and also encourages collaboration between students. Excellent.”

·        “I like this; it’s a really interesting outcome and is backed up by some great visualisations of the final product. I want to see more!”

·        “Fantastic work. It’s a great example of a product born from “out of the box” thinking.”

·        “Great body of work supported by a lot of primary and secondary research, very well presented.”

A global map of entries and winners, can be viewed at




For further information contact

Muirghin Brophy. Communications Officer. Institute of Technology Carlow / 059 9175083


Image Details: L – R:  IT Carlow 3rd Year Design students and ‘Moving Education’ winners Daniel Gillen (Galway) and Lee Gaynor (Wexford).