It is always difficult to understand your own true nature, or how others see you. But certainly, one way to find out is to stop just looking in the mirror, screw up your courage and ask someone else to take a look at you, to assess what you are really like and where you can improve.
This is what Avio Aero asked of the young people attending the Design course taught by Professor Marco Vaudetti at the Politecnico in Turin. Two perfectly intersecting needs: on the one hand a teacher looking for a "true" case for his students to engage in, and on the other a company trying to find out what other people at the Polytechnic campus actually thought of it. As well as the brand new laboratory where advanced and additive manufacturing technologies are developed (the TAL), since 2008 the campus has also hosted the Great Lab (Green Engine for Air Transport): a laboratory, also run in partnership with the Politecnico, focusing mainly on 3 areas of research into the eco-compatibility of the aviation engines of the future, where engineers, academics and young researchers all work side by side. “We realized that the level of visibility we were achieving with students on the campus was failing to come up to our expectations, and there was a real need to improve it," explains Marco Moletta, Lab team leader for Avio Aero.
The solution was found in a very successful project thought up by the Politecnico lecturers and our Avio Aero colleagues, which gave the students a "client" and provided Avio Aero with several different "supplier-designers", with multiple points of view. “The opportunity for us, the teaching staff, but above all for the students, was to put their design skills to the test with a real, high-status "client" - in this case, a company - and also to become involved in meeting the needs, in terms of image and presence, of a major industrial player, here inside our own campus," commented Prof. Vaudetti, who teaches Exhibit Design at the Politecnico in Turin.
The design project began with a short brief supplied to the students, who were granted time to acquire an overview of Avio Aero's real identity and status and how this could be communicated within the Campus. Through their case study and design work, the students - under the guidance of the Politecnico's academics - came up with ideas which were interesting, innovative, original, and even just plain fun. Overall, the results we obtained were extremely interesting, and the project extended our understanding of how the academic and corporate worlds can interact with mutual benefits.
Our thanks therefore go to everyone who took part in this interesting experiment, certain to be the start of a new approach to relations between companies and universities. This short video, produced by the Politecnico, outlines the various stages in the project and the students' final impressions.Author: Stefano Rostagno