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Property technology course uses Unleash Space to explore outside the box thinking

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6 August 2021

Property Technology (PropTech) is a University of Auckland course that aims to guide learners to a practical understanding of digital innovation and entrepreneurship in property markets. PropTech students recently participated in experiential workshops at Unleash Space, the innovation hub and maker space run by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), where they explored design-thinking concepts and learned practical design skills.

Leading the course is Business School Associate Professor Edward Yiu, a futurist. Prior to joining the University of Auckland he was an Associate Director of the Institute of Future Cities at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he advocated to build a Maker City in Hong Kong. Edward says “My pedagogy is to apply an experiential learning approach to co-create knowledge with the learners. PropTech is about applying advanced property technologies to solve market problems, as well as innovation and entrepreneurship in property markets. These are all beyond the normal and the course urges them to think outside of the box.”

During one of the Unleash Space workshops, Edward’s students were asked to rethink the gift giving experience. Through a fun and fast-paced design challenge, students were asked to interview a peer to learn about each other’s gift-giving experiences, define a problem around this, and provide a new solution to improve the experience. Students had printed templates to work through and haberdashery was also provided as tools to synthesise ideas and create physical prototypes. Works were shared to gather insights.

CIE Programme Coordinator Jessica Schneider says the workshop explored the importance of a human-centred approach to work. “In design thinking, if you are stuck, you go out and spend time with people whose lives are impacted by what you do. You get insights early, have a deeper understanding of the problem and gain confidence that you are working on the right problem. You learn not to be a salesman and to see the feedback as precious.”

In another workshop, participants used the 3D modelling software TinkerCAD to model a property of their own imagination, with the support of a step-by-step guide. This activity aimed to empower students to learn basic 3D modelling to activate their design skills and create a hands-on way to envision property.

Unleash Space Venue Coordinator Ariel Dannenbring says that the workshops were a great chance to showcase Unleash Space’s potential to enhance curricular learning. “Our Maker Space Coordinator Hayden gave a demo and guided the students to learn the basics of the tools and they then had free reign to create their own models. Through both workshops participants had the ability to be autonomous thinkers, sharing their ideas in the gift-giving session, and then playfully expressing their own vision of a property through 3D modelling. The students really lit up.”

Edward says that the workshops delivered at Unleash Space were a good fit with his approach to teaching and with his students’ learning style. “I got very positive feedback from the students. Many of them showed support of the experiential learning approach as they found it much better to learn some new knowledge by experiencing and practising the concepts, rather than memorising.”

Following the workshop, students were asked to finish an assignment and encouraged to submit ideas to CIE’s Velocity $100k Challenge entrepreneurship competition and they have been encouraged to return to Unleash Space for further projects. Unleash Space has a range of equipment training workshops free for all current students and staff of the University of Auckland. Learn more

University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education
University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education

social media

6 August 2021

Property Technology (PropTech) is a University of Auckland course that aims to guide learners to a practical understanding of digital innovation and entrepreneurship in property markets. PropTech students recently participated in experiential workshops at Unleash Space, the innovation hub and maker space run by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), where they explored design-thinking concepts and learned practical design skills.

Leading the course is Business School Associate Professor Edward Yiu, a futurist. Prior to joining the University of Auckland he was an Associate Director of the Institute of Future Cities at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he advocated to build a Maker City in Hong Kong. Edward says “My pedagogy is to apply an experiential learning approach to co-create knowledge with the learners. PropTech is about applying advanced property technologies to solve market problems, as well as innovation and entrepreneurship in property markets. These are all beyond the normal and the course urges them to think outside of the box.”

During one of the Unleash Space workshops, Edward’s students were asked to rethink the gift giving experience. Through a fun and fast-paced design challenge, students were asked to interview a peer to learn about each other’s gift-giving experiences, define a problem around this, and provide a new solution to improve the experience. Students had printed templates to work through and haberdashery was also provided as tools to synthesise ideas and create physical prototypes. Works were shared to gather insights.

CIE Programme Coordinator Jessica Schneider says the workshop explored the importance of a human-centred approach to work. “In design thinking, if you are stuck, you go out and spend time with people whose lives are impacted by what you do. You get insights early, have a deeper understanding of the problem and gain confidence that you are working on the right problem. You learn not to be a salesman and to see the feedback as precious.”

In another workshop, participants used the 3D modelling software TinkerCAD to model a property of their own imagination, with the support of a step-by-step guide. This activity aimed to empower students to learn basic 3D modelling to activate their design skills and create a hands-on way to envision property.

Unleash Space Venue Coordinator Ariel Dannenbring says that the workshops were a great chance to showcase Unleash Space’s potential to enhance curricular learning. “Our Maker Space Coordinator Hayden gave a demo and guided the students to learn the basics of the tools and they then had free reign to create their own models. Through both workshops participants had the ability to be autonomous thinkers, sharing their ideas in the gift-giving session, and then playfully expressing their own vision of a property through 3D modelling. The students really lit up.”

Edward says that the workshops delivered at Unleash Space were a good fit with his approach to teaching and with his students’ learning style. “I got very positive feedback from the students. Many of them showed support of the experiential learning approach as they found it much better to learn some new knowledge by experiencing and practising the concepts, rather than memorising.”

Following the workshop, students were asked to finish an assignment and encouraged to submit ideas to CIE’s Velocity $100k Challenge entrepreneurship competition and they have been encouraged to return to Unleash Space for further projects. Unleash Space has a range of equipment training workshops free for all current students and staff of the University of Auckland. Learn more


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