As a way to introduce product design to incoming MIT students, mechanical engineering PhD student Justin Lai and MIT alum-turned-employee Josh Velasquez formed the Discover Product Design project, a one-week program where the newbies visit both campus facilities and local design firms with cameras in tow. (The program was sponsored in part by MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering, under the supervision of their advisor, Professor Maria Yang.)
We gave students basic photographic composition tips on the first day. Then, we had them meet twice in small groups to share their best photos from the day and get feedback. Also, the importance of photography was emphasized in other contexts, such as documenting one's work for design portfolios and ethnographic research for understanding existing behavior to inform the design process. On the final day, students submitted 5 photos which they felt represented their past week.
Finally, after looking at all the photos, the coordinators decided to select 3 of the 5 submitted photos from each student, in order to create a narrative of the week from the eyes of the students.
The resultant photos from this year's DPD are posted on their own Flickr page, and Boston.com has more on Lai and the goals of the DPD.