Facilitating Creative Thinking (DMGT 732)
Successful design managers need to be able to create the conditions for creative thinking and innovation within an organization composed of a wide variety of professionals, most of whom are not familiar with design thinking. This course prepares students to lead teams in the envisioning of new ideas and solutions by developing skills in framing, imaging and group interaction as they apply the process of design conceptualization outside of the familiar domain of studio skills.
Methods of Contextual Research (IDUS 711)
This course presents the technique ssuch as interviews, focus groups, contextual inquiry, surveys and questionnaires and the creation of novel research methods necessary to conduct relevant and useful research. Students gain knowledge and expertise to contribute to the design process of products, services and systems in which goals, users and task needs are given equal importance.
Applied Theory in Design (SDES 704)
Graduate-level design thinking and the management of ideas are the cornerstones of reducing theory to informed practice within organizations. Through a series of presentations, discussions and exemplar projects, students explore current design practices and the role of theory that informs and guides the management of the design process. Project management topics include preparation of comprehensive design briefs, strategic mapping of the design process and contingency planning of the project throughout its execution.
Design Innovation Development + Marketing Strategies (DMGT 720)
This course presents the principles of project planning and implementation critical to forming a profitable and successful new business entity. Business plan development, technology transfer, offshore sourcing and alliances with partners and suppliers are integrated into the student’s design skill set. Students develop original design concepts for commercially marketed and sold products, communications, environments or services.
Drawing is the core skill with which designers create, communicate and collaborate. In order to have a commanding presence in interdisciplinary collaborative sessions, the design manager must be proficient in drawing and diagramming in front of a group of people. The result of this proficiency is the emergence of a culture of rapid prototyping as the images produced become 2-D models of a community of ideas. In this course, the focus is on real-time sketching and diagramming among groups in order to enhance right-brain activity; effectively summarize issues; empower and extract ideas from everyone; and foster collaboration through shared imagery.
The history and interpretation of innovation is an important course for students to understand, define and distinguish from creative conjecture. A variety of case studies throughout human history are used to look at various aspects of innovation and causal triggers such as culture, environment, teamwork, adversity, intuition and ingenuity. I was asked to compare and contrast historical innovation vs. proclaimed innovation. I then applied those findings toward the development of a personal definition of innovation and the role design management plays in creating the potential for innovation to occur.
The Human Factor,
Students explore physical, behavioral and emotional human characteristics as components of the design thinking process. Through a series of projects, students apply human factors and user-centered design methodologies to the diverse fields of design pertaining to products, services and systems.