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Each year students Irish and American Industrial Design students join together to undergo a 24-hour IKEA Hack design challenge. Teams of 6 have are allotted €30 and two hours to identify a potential end user and purchase specific items that will be later used to construct a desirable, cost effective consumer product. They will spend the remaining time making design decisions, creating a working prototype, and constructing a digital presentation to share their developments with the faculty and the student body. It is a project that both the Institute of Technology at Carlow and Auburn University feel gives their students a glimpse at what it means to work in a fast-paced global economy. As soon as our students meet each other they must balance friendliness and inclusivity while simultaneously making pivotal decisions that will directly influence how the remainder of the project will proceed. Once back at IT Carlow the Irish and American design instructors provide critique and encouragement, they, however, do not aid with decision making nor the management of group politics. This project is designed to do more than require the development of a consumer good, it is crafted to create a space where peer disagreements and unforeseen complications can teach important life lessons in a condensed time span. Previous collaborations have proven that collegiality has more impact than the talent of the individual members. The following paper includes the design brief, the inspiration, project structure and execution of the 24-hour IKEA hack project. It details how different groups choose to use their limited time to achieve the best outcome possible. It also includes the design brief and a case study from February 2019 following the decisions and group dynamics of one team.

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Benjamin Bush 4102
Scientific production

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