It all starts with
We teach design innovators to apply a human-centered approach to problem-solving and expand the research frontiers of design. Discover our range of programs featuring hands-on, interdisciplinary projects that solve real problems for real people.
Mindset: Design innovation is serious play. Adopt a designer's mindset: let go of fear of failure and have a solution-focused attitude. You'll be better able to take risks and design what's next.
Process: The design innovation process involves some version of these steps: identify, ideate, and iterate. The goal: allowing you to design with the end user always first in your mind.
Tools: There’s no big prize for correctly solving the wrong problem. Tools like user observation help you understand the people you’re designing for and build empathy for their situation.
Human-Centered Design Projects
At both the graduate and undergraduate level, our students work on projects that produce tangible results and improve the lives of people around the world. Our team-based approach to education encourages students to use design thinking together to solve complex, authentic problems in product, interaction, service, and business design.
A cord management system for smart-devices that easily hides, identifies, and separates cords for storage or transport
As the number of devices increases, so does the number of cords that each consumer must manage.
The 3XD™ puck™ is a cord management system for smart-devices that easily hides, identifies, and separates cords for storage or transport.
Theme-based and open-source curriculum to help children in the world's poorest communities succeed
Bringing the sharing economy to preschools in poor communities.
Four MMM students collaborated to create a sustainable and scalable social enterprise that better connects people, goods, and services to solve an issue for people living in crowded urban spaces.
An app-based service that outsources laundry to Tide's own dry-cleaning facilities
Hate doing laundry? There’s an app for that.
When Procter & Gamble decided to re-imagine laundry, it looked no further than the EDI program to see what its students could design to make laundry a less tedious task.
Who we work with
News and Events
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Anna Petersen, Class of 2017
Current Segal Design Certificate student
While pursuing a Segal Design Certificate, Anna is working with two other Northwestern students to improve rapid HIV testing for infants in collaboration with Center for Innovation in Global Health Technologies at Northwestern Engineering.
See Anna Petersen's project
Israel Oluwasakin, Class of 2020
Current undergraduate student (DTC)
While enrolled in a course called Design Thinking & Communication, Israel collaborated with three other Northwestern students to design a specialized cup for patients at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago who have dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing.
See Israel Oluwasakin's project
Current MMM student
"In my previous role at Proctor & Gamble, I was working on a product from a manufacturing and engineering perspective, but I always wanted to get closer to the decisions that change the product itself. MMM is giving me the chance to gain more experience."
James Wilde ('15)
EDI alumnus, UX Researcher and Designer, DISH Network
"EDI empowered me to shift my focus from physical product design into a broader view of the entire user experience. As a result, I'm a more well-rounded experience designer and am able to have more positive impact on our users."
What we teach
The interdisciplinary academic programs at the Segal Design Institute provide undergraduate and graduate students with collaborative training at the forefront of innovation and human-centered design. Explore our opportunities to find a program that best fits your goals.
The interdisciplinary academic programs at the Segal Design Institute provide undergraduate and graduate students with collaborative training at the forefront of innovation and human-centered design.
Explore our opportunities to find a program that best fits your goals.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF
Design innovation creates value using design-centric tools and frameworks such as empathy, visualization, prototyping, and iteration. By acquiring design innovation skills, we are prepared to find and frame problems, identify opportunities, and innovate across a variety of spaces. We are ready to bring our ideas to life.
Learn more about Design Innovation