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DSGN 300: Designing Your Life

Quarter Offered

Fall : Both sections of the fall 2021 Designing Your Life course are full and no longer accepting enrollments. Sec 1: Tuesday 6 – 9 p.m.; Bruce Ankenman and Joya Fain ; Sec 2: Tuesday & Thursday 3:30 – 4:50 p.m.; Pam Daniels and Ben Blount. Both sections include a weekly team discussion as well; choose a time that suits you in CAESAR when registering for the course.
Winter : Sec 1: Tuesday & Thursday, 9:30-10:50am, Kim Hoffman & Chris Naunheimer ; Sec 2: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:00-3:20 pm, Bruce Ankenman and Pam Daniels
Spring : Sec 1: Tuesday & Thursday 6:00-7:20 pm, Joya Fain and Bruce Ankenman, G.201-G.211 ; Sec 2: Tuesday & Thursday, 9:30-10:50am, Kim Hoffmann & Chris Naunheimer, G.201-G.211




What if you approached your life as a series of design projects? What if there were a class to help you explore the bigger issues of finding your way to a career you’ll love, and space to work on crafting a total life that feels “like you”? Inspired by Stanford’s wildly popular class of the same name, this course includes seminar-style discussions, role-playing, short writing assignments, hands-on making, guest speakers, and individual mentoring and coaching. Small group discussions will be held during a separate lab time of each team’s choosing.

Curious to learn more? Check out this video created by Designing Your Life alums.

Registration Requirements

Open to all juniors and seniors of any major; no prerequisites. Enrollment is limited and we strive to create a robust class across a range of majors and backgrounds. Both sections of the fall 2021 Designing Your Life course are full and no longer accepting enrollments. 

To register, share a quick description of yourself—what classes you have most enjoyed and why, your major, any prior design experience (which is not required), maybe a few hopes & fears about your future, and anything else you'd like to tell us. Feel free to sketch or write or capture a video—whatever helps you best express these things most easily and authentically.

For the fall Tuesday evening section, send to Bruce Ankenman at and Joya Fain at joya.fain@northwestern.eduFor the fall Tu/Th afternoon section, send to Pam Daniels at

Thanks for your interest in Designing Your Life!

Required Texts

There are two required books for the course. They will be available on reserve at the main library if you prefer not to purchase them:

Creative Confidence, by Tom & David Kelley
ISBN: 978-0385349369

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Joyful, Well-lived Life, by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans
ISBN: 978-1101875322

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