Designing in the designed world
The design of artifacts is addressed from a multidisciplinary perspective that includes engineering, art, psychology, marketing, and economics. Using a decision-making framework, emphasis is placed on understanding basic quantitative methods employed by the different disciplines for making design decisions, building mathematical models, and accounting for interdisciplinary interactions throughout the design development process.
"America's schools and universities must move up to the next level in math and science. And far more people should be graduating in the "soft" sciences of anthropology, sociology, and psychology. Whether it's redesigning hospitals to improve patient stays (and lower costs) or building stores to increase the experience of shopping (and raise profits), the best jobs in the future will be found in the sweet spot where design, customer understanding, and emerging technologies come together for business." - Business Week (March 21, 2005)
Analytical approach to product design
Students work in teams to apply the methods on a design project from concept generation to prototyping and design verification. The course is open to all seniors and graduate students (3 or 4 credits).
The material is studied from provided instructional modules and references. Students work in teams on a design project proposed by the team or by a sponsor. Project work includes: Early prototyping for concept exploration; development of mathematical models for design decisions from engineering, economic, and marketing perspectives; use of engineering analysis tools and software, Excel-based economic analysis, and conjoint analysis via statistical packages; conduct of scientific surveys to support user preference modeling; prototype construction to test design concept prior to finalizing the design.