Yearly interdisciplinary collaborative projects between industrial design students and occupational therapy at our university began in 1998, making it the longest running interdisciplinary collaboration on-campus. Ongoing continual engagement over the years has provided us with ample opportunity to understand the nature of collaboration as well as repeatedly analyze the numerous ways in which these two distinct disciplines complement and learn from each other.
Collaboration began as an initiative between senior faculty and the head of our Industrial Design department and the head of our Occupational Therapy program. The project was embedded in the Spring Semester in Design 6, our Junior Industrial Design studio and the Assistive Technology Design course which is part of our MS Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program. While we continue to refine the details based on current student needs, the basic structure of the project continues to the present day.