ID4843/LCC4803/ME4803 Interdisciplinary Design                                Spring 2013

Design Think, Do, Make


Instructors:  Sabir Khan (ID/Arch), Ali Mazalek (LMC), David Rosen (ME)


Tues/Thurs 1:30 – 3:00, Clough 262


What is design?  How does one do it?  Is doing design similar to doing science, engineering, art, or some combination?  Or is design its own thing?  An activity and a mindset that approaches the world with its own goals, tools, and procedures?


We will explore these questions by doing design – short deep dives and extended engagements with a range of design problems  — and by taking design apart – careful, considered, and speculative unpacking of some everyday products.  You will have the opportunity to work in 3 laboratories for these activities, including:

  • electronic prototyping (microcontrollers, circuits, coding), to occur in the GVU labs,
  • mechanical design and fabrication (mechanisms), to occur in the ME Invention Studio,
  • physical prototyping (materials, finishes, textures), to occur in the Industrial Design laboratories,

Learning Objectives

  • An awareness of how design is conceived and practiced in a wide range of disciplines, professions, and situations;
  • An ability to carry out a design project through all its phases:  select and formulate ‘problem’, design, model/prototype, fabricate, evaluate, modify, propose;
  • An understanding of design processes and how to design them;
  • A preliminary understanding of how to “theorize” or “problematize” interdisciplinary design, its important concepts, concerns, approaches, and goals.


There are two additional larger goals for the class:

  • To explore, debate, and socialize the larger question of “interdisciplinary design” and the proposed institute minor in particular;
  • To sponsor design curiosity and literacy:  to spark an interest in and awareness of design in all its diverse manifestations.



Kiosk Design                    25%

Final Project                      50%

Readings                            10%

In-class Exercises              10%

In-class Participation        5%




T 1/8 Introduction to course, interdisciplinary design
TH 1/10 Reverse engineering exercises
T 1/15 Group reverse engineering
Lab Rotation, Kiosk Design
TH 1/17 Kiosk design introduction
T 1/22 Conceptual design of kiosk in groups
TH 1/24 Sensors & interaction, GVU lab
T 1/29 Interaction design for kiosk
TH 1/31 Mechanical CAD and 3D printing, Invention Studio
T 2/5 Mechanical design for kiosk components
TH 2/7 Industrial Design and prototyping, Industrial Design studio
T 2/12 Kiosk design and fabrication
TH 2/14 Kiosk design and fabrication
T 2/19 Kiosk design and fabrication
TH 2/21 Kiosk design presentations
T 2/26 Reflection on projects
  Guest speaker
Large Group Project
TH 2/28 Project formulation, Conceptual design
T 3/5 Project formulation, Effective team work, Multiple disciplines
TH 3/7 Design of design processes, Discussion of readings
T 3/12 Project progress presentations and critique
TH 3/14 Technology vs. Arts: Impact on your project?
T, TH 19-21 Spring Break
T 3/26 Project progress presentations and critique, User-Centered Design
TH 3/28 Design representations
T 4/2 Project progress presentations and critique
TH 4/4 Role of hands-on exploration in design
T 4/9 Project progress presentations and critique
TH 4/11 TechArts Exhibition
T 4/16 Project progress presentations
TH 4/18 How should disciplines interact?
T 4/23 Project progress presentations
TH 4/25 Capstone Design Expo
TH 5/2


Final project presentations