DESIGN FOR FLUIDITY

HOW DIFFERENT PROJECT TIMELINES DEVELOP STUDENTS’ PROFICIENCY IN THE DESIGN PROCESS
Author:
Sarah Rottenberg
Company/School:
University of Pennsylvania

 

The Integrated Product Design Programs (IPD) at the University of Pennsylvania teach students from design, engineering, and business backgrounds a human-centered design process to create new products and experiences. The diverse backgrounds of students in the program enable students to learn from each other and creates an environment where teams can draw on deep knowledge from a range of fields to ensure that the products that they create are desirable, feasible and viable (Brown 2009). Teaching students from diverse backgrounds requires program directors and faculty to provide the students with a common language to work with – in this case that language is the human-centered design process. Over the course of two years, students go through the design process multiple times. Over several years of developing in-class and extra-curricular learning experiences, the faculty has found benefit in assigning projects in which students deploy the design process over a range of timelines – from 24-hour sprints to 9 month projects (a full school year). This article describes the different project timelines, and articulates what students learn from each. It also highlights the special support students need to succeed in each timeframe. By engaging in a range of projects with different (...read more).

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