The Rise of the Machines: Design Education in the Generative AI Era

We are in the midst of a new stage in engineering and product design education and industry practice, which will profoundly affect how we teach, experience and do design – the era of generative AI. This rapidly accelerating field of machine learning allows machines to generate or create new data and things that did not exist before.

AI should cause all engineering and product design educators to consider how we should respond to this new era, how we can educate our students to flourish in an increasingly uncertain future, and how we can prepare them for careers in fields and roles that do not yet exist. Exploring and understanding these technologies may be the most critical challenge to engineering and product design education in the coming decades.

While generative AI has been part of the digital ecosystem for a decade, it has only recently hit the mainstream. There is huge excitement around generative AI, yet it raises concerns about information integrity and questions our ability to adapt to technological change. Therefore, we would like to dedicate the E&PDE 2024 conference to consider and expand the professional and pedagogic role that product designers and engineers have in engaging with Design Education in the Generative AI Era to ensure that we continue to explore the boundaries of engineering and product design education in an age of fundamental change.


The conference aims to:  

  • Share and improve design and engineering education, teaching and learning experiences
  • Develop educational concepts and strategies to help students and graduates address current and future challenges.
  • Provide a platform to engage a wide and diverse community of participants and explore the various themes from different perspectives.

E&PDE 2024 will bring together students, researchers, professionals and industry from the engineering and product design sector to exchange knowledge and experience, exploring themes such as:

  1. The positive and negatives of AI for product design and engineering education
  2. Responsible innovation in design and engineering education
  3. Professional perspectives for design students in a pluralistic future
  4. International, multi-sectorial and transdisciplinary collaborations
  5. Ethical, social and/or environmental issues in design and engineering education
  6. Design and engineering as agents of regeneration and transformation
  7. Sketching and modelling design futures in the AI era
  8. Design sketching and modelling utilising immersive techniques and technologies
  9. Sustainable design and engineering education working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  10. Established alternative and emerging educational paradigms to equip engineers and designers for future challenges

Highlighted themes are new this year reflecting the theme, but we welcome papers on any topic related to Engineering and Product Design Education in general.

E&PDE 2024 will address many of these issues and more. In keeping with the inclusive ethos of the E&PDE conference and to broaden the opportunities to link design and business with creativity and innovation, other stream proposals are welcomed. We invite you to send your ideas for other relevant topics to

We very much look forward to receiving your contributions and meeting you at E&PDE2024 from 4th to 6th September 2024 in Aston University, Birmingham, UK