Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society

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Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society

Coursera (CC)
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Description

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Combine fundamental concepts with hands-on design challenges to become a better designer.

About the Course

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, th…

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Didn't find what you were looking for? See also: Two Dimensional Design (2D Design), Innovation, Leadership, Retail (Management), and Creativity.

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

Combine fundamental concepts with hands-on design challenges to become a better designer.

About the Course

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.

About the Instructor(s)

Karl T. Ulrich is Vice Dean of Innovation and the CIBC Professor of Entrepreneurship and e-Commerce at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds an appointment as Professor of Mechanical Engineering. His research is focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and product development. He is the co-author of Product Design and Development (5th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2011), a textbook used by a quarter of a million students worldwide, and of Innovation Tournaments (Harvard Business Press, 2009). He is the winner of many teaching awards, including the Anvil Award, the Miller-Sherrerd Award, and the Excellence in Teaching Award at The Wharton School. At Penn, he co-founded the Weiss Tech House and the Integrated Product Design Program, two institutions fostering innovation in the university community. In addition to his academic work, Professor Ulrich has led dozens of innovation efforts for medical devices, tools, computer peripherals, food products, web-based services, and sporting goods. As a result of this work, he holds more than 20 patents. Professor Ulrich is a founder of Terrapass Inc. which the New York Times identified as one of the most noteworthy ideas of 2005, and he is a designer of the Xootr scooter, which Business Week recognized as one of the 50 coolest products of the 21st Century. Professor Ulrich holds bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT.

Recommended Background

No specific background is required. Those with strong skills in visual expression (sketching, 3D modeling, model making) will find the design challenges easier than those who struggle a bit more with the mechanics of expressing an idea or building a prototype. Still, anyone with an interest in learning to be a designer (or to be a better designer) will be able to take this course. Indeed, the goal of the course is to reach both professionals as well as those who are just really interested in design. This is definitely not an engineering course. Although engineers who wish to become engineering designers will benefit from the course, this course will not include any specific domain knowledge in engineering (e.g., circuit design, design of structures, and so forth).

Suggested Readings

To get a feel for the style of the instructor and the material in the course, this book is a good place to start: Ulrich, K.T. 2010. Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society. University of Pennsylvania. The free digital book available at http://ulrichbook.org/.

Course Format

The content is delivered via several 3-12 minutes videos created specifically for this course. The videos are typically explanations of concepts, and make liberal use of illustrative artifacts from many different domains (e.g., software, food, technology-based products, services, buildings). The videos are supplemented by readings from the free digital textbook _Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society_. Essentially all of the work for this course is DOING design. Each week will include a design challenge focused on a design problem of your own choosing. By the time you have completed the course, you will have stepped through a sequence of challenges that will result in the creation of a new artifact.

FAQ

  • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

    Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    You will need some physical tools (e.g., marker, razor knife, straight edge, glue, and so forth). However, these tools are readily available for very little money. 

  • What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?

    You will learn a structured process to tackling unstructured challenges of all types. As a designer, you’ll be better able to create traditionally designed artifacts like buildings and products, but also artifacts not usually thought of as created by designers, such as services and business models.

Provided by:

University: University of Pennsylvania

Instructor(s): Karl T. Ulrich

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