This is a course aimed at making you a better designer. The course marries theory and practice, as both are valuable in improving design performance. Lectures and readings will lay out the fundamental concepts that underpin design as a human activity. Weekly design challenges test your ability to apply those ideas to solve real problems. The course is deliberately broad - spanning all domains of design, including architecture, graphics, services, apparel, engineered goods, and products. The emphasis of the course is the basic design process: define, explore, select, and refine. You, the student, bring to the course your particular interests and expertise related to, for instance, engineering, furniture, fashion, architecture, or products. In prior sessions of the course about half of the participants were novices and about half had prior professional design expertise. Both groups seem to benefit substantially from the course. All project work is evaluated by your peers -- and indeed, you will also be a peer reviewer. This format allows you to see an interesting collection of projects while getting useful feedback on your own project.
- Week 1 - Week #1: Introduction to Design
This module was designed to introduce you to the design process and to reinforce the critical role that user needs play in good design. You'll learn that design is conceiving and giving form to artifacts that solve problems, and also how to recognize and ident...
- Week 2 - Week #2: Customer Needs and Drawing Solutions
In this module, you'll deliver your customer needs and learn the basic principles of drawing for product design: a necessary skill for any designer. The module begins with another peer review, this time on customer needs. This assignment requires you to conduc...
- Week 3 - Week #3: Design Concepts
The goal of this module is to move from defining the problem to designing a solution. You'll begin by learning about the exploration phase, and you will exit this phase with a number of design concepts for peer review. You'll also learn how to decompose a des...
- Week 4 - Week #4: Concept Selection and Prototyping
This module was created to help you understand the selection process so that you can choose one design for prototyping. You'll learn key techniques for evaluating your design concepts, including the selection matrix, and the scoring matrix. And once you've sel...
- Week 5 - Week #5: Aesthetics
Now that you’ve identified what concept you want to explore, this module will explore the aesthetics of design so that you can refine your prototypes to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. You'll learn how aesthetics are used in design, and how they mot...
- Week 6 - Week #6: Final Project Submission
In this module, you will submit your final project for review. You'll then evaluate the work of five (5) of your peers and receive feedback which you can use for the next iteration of your design. By the end of this module, you will have created a reasonable p...
Karl T. Ulrich
Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The Wharton School