DS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2019), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 12th -13th September 2019

Year: 2019
Editor: Bohemia, Erik; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Buck, Lyndon; Brisco, Ross; Evans, Dorothy; Grierson, Hilary; Ion, William; Whitfield, Robert Ian
Author: Whittet, Craig (1); Hale, Mark (1); Callaghan, Monica (2); Sanchez-Jauregui, Lola (2)
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: Glasgow School of Art, United Kingdom; 2: University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Section: Cultural 1
DOI number:
ISBN: 978-1-912254-05-7


This paper will explain the process and background of the Product Design Engineering (PDE) Undergraduate project in collaboration with the Hunterian Museum. The project asked students to engage with the Hunterian, Scotland’s oldest public museum and home to one of the largest public collections outside of the National Museums. The Hunterian is one of the leading university museums in the world and its collections have been recognised as a Collection of National Significance.

The Hunterian continues in its Age of Enlightenment mission to be a central resource for research and teaching in the arts, humanities and natural sciences. This mission was central to the project and provided students with the opportunity to explore a major new exhibition at The Hunterian - William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum. The exhibition celebrated William Hunter Tercentenary – 300 years since the birth of Hunterian founder, Dr William Hunter (1718-1783).

The exhibition not only offered a critical examination of Hunter - a man of exceptional vision who saw no boundaries between art and science, but explored his life, character and career as well as his research, collection and links to Glasgow. In addition to the collection, the students had access to the Hunterian’s new collection study centre, Museum Collection and expert staff to assist them with their project. Hunter’s education in Scotland had taught him the importance of learning through observation and practical experience. This was the basis for the initial project investigation. Students selected items from the collection and completed a ‘Ways of looking’ visual examination with the aim of understanding the context and significance of the artefacts.

The next phase set students the challenge of reinterpreting their chosen object and positioning it as a future vision for a possible Hunter Quincentenary Exhibition in 2218. This future positioning posed a number of discussion topics, including, but not limited to: society, technology and ethics. These topics were to be considered and applied as students explored their visions of the future.

The paper will present examples of the student investigation, concept development and exhibition. It will also provide an evaluation and analysis from PDE and Hunterian staff. Explore next phases of collaborations and present visions of future engagement that will be of potential value to the Museum and Collections community.

Keywords: Museum, Product Design Engineering, Cultural Engagement, Future Vision


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