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DSGN 384-1: Interdisciplinary Design Projects I

Quarter Offered

Fall : Tuesday and Thursday 3:30-5:20pm , G201/G205/G211 ; John Anderson and John Lake
Winter : Tuesday and Thursday 3:30-5:20pm, Ford G.201/205 ; John Anderson and John Lake


DSGN 106-1,2 or DSGN 208 Enrollment is restricted to junior- and senior-level students. Instructor consent is required.


Winter 2021

DSGN 384 will be remote and synchronous for class sessions in Winter 2021. These sessions will continue to be highly interactive and collaborative, making use of Miro, Basecamp, Google, and of course, Zoom. There will be a mix of working together as a class and working within your teams during these sessions. In-person team meetings and prototyping will be included where feasible, and in accordance with COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Projects will be selected to allow online collaboration and virtual prototyping. While prototyping will include physical building where possible, there will be significant focus on other design and prototyping tools, such as detailed hand sketches, CAD models, renderings, interface prototyping tools, and online analysis tools as appropriate.

In the DSGN 384-1,2 course sequence, students work in teams on interdisciplinary projects in a learn-by-doing format. Each team works on one project across both quarters, for 20 weeks. The first quarter emphasizes project research, concept development, and professional communication, and it includes lectures on advanced topics in design. The quarter culminates in a conceptual design and a design review. The second quarter focuses on project implementation and continued professional communication.

The projects focus on the engineering side of design. While users are still a consideration, they are not the primary focus as in the Design Thinking and Communication (DTC) sequence. Students are expected to apply the discipline-specific knowledge from their upper-level courses.

Learn more about the instructors:

Text books

There are two required text books for this course, listed below.  Reading assignments from each are due on the second class session, so please be sure to have the texts at the beginning of class.  There will be one set of books on reserve in the Main Library.  We also have a few sets available for students to borrow for the duration of the course if purchasing the books is difficult for you.

1)      Product Design and Development (5th or 6th edition) by Steven Eppinger and Karl Ulrich

ISBN 978-0073404776

Available through Norris Bookstore 

2)      Business Communication: Polishing Your Professional Presence (4th or 3rd edition)* by Barbara Shwom and Lisa Gueldenzoph Snyder

ISBN-13: 978-0134740225 (or 978-0134740850 for student value version)

Available through Norris Bookstore

Also available through Coursesmart (wait until first day of class to start 180 day ebook rental)

*Please note - you do NOT need the MyBCommLab addition.

These books will be used for both DSGN 384-1 and 384-2 and there will be no additional books needed for the second quarter.  We strongly encourage you to get the hard copies of the books as they will be valuable resources even after you graduate and begin working.  This is especially true if you expect to be going into the field of product development or if you plan to manage projects.  In addition, the Product Design and Development book is the same text that is used in DSGN 308 and ME 398, though with a different emphasis in each class.

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