Course Objectives and Topics Covered
Students in this course will appreciate that a “design” results in social action or
interventions that are not limited to new products and new services, but include new
experiences and new narratives. Students will learn to be critical of design’s role in
shaping and transforming social structures that both empower and endanger users.
By critiquing their own designs, and those of the latest social intervention startups,
students will interrogate how power and social justice issues are constituted in design
processes, institutions, and claims of expertise.
Students will learn the following design process techniques:
- Synthesis of user experience research and qualitative research observations.
- Agility in scaling from single-user insights to multiuser design ideas.
- Use of storytelling to frame problems, to communicate ideas, and to understand the ethical, political, and
socioeconomic implications of design in the world.
Students will develop the following design thinking mindsets:
- Human-centeredness – design that is driven by empathy for an articulated “other.”
- Experimental – learning through iteration, learning with materials.
- Collaborative – leadership and joint effort in vision and execution of design tasks.
- Metacognitive – reflective awareness and conscious use of process techniques.