Prof. Felix Hardmood Beck shares the interest of New York University Abu Dhabi and it's Engineering Department to strengthen activities in providing undergraduate students an exceptional education, and, specifically, for the Engineering Design Studio (EDS), the Design Minor program, and the fields of Interactive Media and Technology to achieve global acceptance and to become a leading position and a centre of excellence in design, innovation and technology in the MENA region. He plays an active role in the process to offer a Multidisciplinary Minor in the field of Design at NYUAD.
It brings Felix great joy to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of our interconnected world, ensuring they become strong critical thinkers and capable problem-solvers. To achieve these goals, he teaches courses in the fields of design, art and technology (see below), and advises students on competitions, self initiated projects (some examples of projects that Felix mentored in parallel to his course work are shown here), and their Capstone projects, initiating exhibitions with the student’s projects and if adequate to transfer curated results from the courses and the students’ research fields into NYUAD's Entrepreneurial Lifecycle.
In his classes, he creates and sustains a vibrant scholarly and research environment, and emphasizes the close integration of theory and practice, structured in two blocks: The first block (A.) builds the fundamental knowledge about futuristic developments from past to present, with an emphasis on design, art, architecture and technological innovation dealing with questions concerning ethics and values. Students practice and deepen techniques for professional expression (lecture, discussion, reflection), learning and deepening skills in mediation and communication. The second block (B.) focuses on concept and design development, using tools for:
Making use of the design process (looking, learning, asking, prototyping, testing, evaluating, communicating, iterating) the students develop and design innovative prototypes on themes that are announced each semester. Students will be invited to take his courses more than one time.
Using iterative and exploratory investigations of structures and project-based discussions, students will be able to consider conditions and behaviors of existing systems, and to transfer them into short-term projects. Results might be used and merged into future Capstone projects. Felix advises in the realization (content and form, prototyping and production), as well as in practical aspects of project management (organization and time planning).
To further develop the Engineering Design Studio (EDS), Felix loves to create new courses, emphasizing the application aspects of design, prototyping and innovation, through holding workshops, and curating and organizing exhibitions as a presentation platform for the student’s works. To that end, he uses his networking skills and professional contacts and networks to achieve more collaborations and to organize guest lectures. He works on developing the EDS infrastructure to enable interested students to start new projects.
Felix organised internships for several of his students in companies like ART+COM Studios (Germany, Berlin), Teufel (Germany, Berlin), CRVENA Association for Culture and Art (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo) or Dharma Life (India, New Delhi), …
Find Felix's collection of rules for design practice.
Find the full list of courses here.
The course »Design and Innovation« is an intensive introduction to innovation philosophies and practices in the broad realms of engineering and design with a main focus on the Design Process. The majority of the course revolves around hands-on team-based challenges that expose students to multiple engineering domains (electronic, software, mechanical…) as well design domains (research as design, research through design, graphic, product, industrial, experience…). The course culminates in a final innovation and prototyping challenge, the outputs of which are presented in a public exhibition.
“Engineering at NYUAD is designed to create technological leaders with a global perspective, a broad education, and the capacity to think creatively. A distinctive element of the undergraduate programs lie in the integration of design and innovation in every year of the curriculum: students enjoy a learning environment conducive to creativity, which is at the heart of tomorrow’s technological innovations and enterprises.” — NYUAD 2017/01/30 05:56
The Art, Design, and Technology Core Competency Course »Utilitas, Venustas, Firmitas« borrowed its title from the roman artist, architect, and engineer Vitruvius who comprised a first handbook of planning and design over 2000 years ago. He described that a structure must exhibit the three qualities of firmitas, utilitas, venustas – that is, it must be solid, useful, beautiful. These are often termed the Vitruvian Triad. Vitruvius also described that beside an interest in art and science a creative student should be also versed in rhetoric and have a good knowledge of history and philosophy. We will follow his rule. Students will leave the course with a completed project to be displayed in an exhibition and a personal philosophy of about Art, Design and Technology. Students take a global look at the status quo of the use of design in media, objects and architecture, and observe its influence to art and technology from past to present, dealing with questions concerning ethics and values. Design tools and processes will be highlighted. Based on the fusion of readings, study, discussion and experiences, over the course of the semester students will develop an understanding of how mutually reinforcing and beneficiary a mix of Art, Design and Technology can be. Lecture and discussion will be the breeding ground for concept development of the design of a Bricolage: Every student will realise a product prototype of an Audio-Device. The project will be complemented by lectures and case-studies, reading assignments (completed prior to class), class discussions and one-on-one meetings with the instructor. There will be several non-obligatory topic related excursions (weekend trip, evening events, etc.).
The Core Competency Course »Manus Et Machina« connects theory and practice in the overlapping fields of art, design and technology. Intriguing discussions about the influence of technology onto art and design are followed by hands-on sessions in which students learn multiple skills: From stone-age principles of fire-making with branches, to the expertise of rapid prototyping with a laser-cutter or 3D printer – the look onto how technology has shaped human life will be an inspiration for future technological developments.
The course »Design Fundamentals« (Engineering Elective) is designed for engineering students to learn the fundamentals of “good design“ – how to be innovative, while keeping the design useful, aesthetic, understandable, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting, detailed and environmentally friendly, and at the same time focusing on essential aspects. A hands on course about design in the context of history, methodology and function serving the specific needs of engineers in the fields of user-experience, user-interaction and design and innovation in general. The course has four components: a lecture, a case study presentation, a lab and a project colloquium. In the lecture, short crash-courses are presented on specific topics, which are deepened by case study presentations. The lab sessions provide tools to quickly and deeply expose students to new subject matter. During the project colloquium, student groups present their project results and receive feedback in open discussions.
The course »Engineers for Social Impact« (EfSI) supports and complements the mission and goals of the Engineering Division at NYUAD through a co-curricular program that emphasizes experiential learning via field work as well as the development of locally sustainable engineering designs and technologies. The goals of Engineers for Social Impact are to: Immerse students in a culture that promotes invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship through an experiential learning process rooted in the global community. Build a forum for developing and sharing ideas and knowledge towards creating sustainable technological solutions that improve the lives of end users in the Bottom of the Pyramid socio-economic groups. Serve as a platform for exploring technology entrepreneurship models for social impact that are economically self-sustainable. Create long-term partnerships with corporations, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies to provide students with experiential opportunities as well as pathways for future engagements.