Design Made Personal

The focus of this Interterm course will be a gift-giving experience where students will work collaboratively to design something for someone whose work sustains the college community. IDP 116 is an introduction to design thinking skills emphasizes hands-on, collaborative design driven by user input. Students will critique their own and each others’ designs, and review existing technology designs to evaluate how well design principles are guided by the practices of the intended user. The class will focus on using qualitative research observations to inspire new approaches to design. Students will iteratively design a multimedia approach to framing problems, to communicating ideas, and to exploring the ethical, political, and social implications of design in the world.

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.

We will focus on developing the following design thinking mindsets:
Human-centered – 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.

To get our feet wet, we will start with a design challenge, the Notebook, which was developed to introduce the foundations of design thinking in 60minutes. We will spend the rest of the week building on what we learn in the challenge. 

IDP 116 Starts in



January 2018

16th – 22nd

Click to Download Syllabus

Course Links

There will be two reading responses due on the 17th and 20th respectively. For each of the responses, create a post on the blog and publish it using the category: Reading Response.

Kabayadondo – Prototyping – From Ideas to Agency
The purpose of this fieldwork is to go out with your teammate(s) and to observe your user in their natural environment. Create posts on the blog for each part of this assignment, use the following categories:


for the ethnographic needfinding part;

and the category:

Technology Review

for the review of an existing tool used by your user.

We will use rapid and iterative prototyping to refine a design of a personal object that improves the life of a key user. Create a post on the blog and publish it using the category

Prototype Portfolio
To use the Prototyping Studio outside of class hours, you must complete Level 1 Safety Training.

Link to Level 1 – Safety Training
We will submitting all assignments as individual posts on this blog. Here are some pointers on getting started with posting.

How to Post

Our Studio Design Partners, Matz and Laura will be offering drop-in hours for help with the Prototyping Studio and troubleshooting your designs throughout the week of IDP 116. 

Tuesday 01/16 — Laura, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Wednesday 01/17  Matz, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Thursday 01/18 – Laura, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Friday, 01/19  Matz, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Saturday 01/20 — Laura, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Sunday 01/21  Matz, 1:00 – 3:00 PM