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Propose a DTC Project

Project partners are a vital component of our design courses and we seek projects for fall, winter, and spring terms.  We welcome you to submit project ideas at any time, but please know that we set a deadline for projects for each term. These deadlines typically are scheduled at the beginning of September, December, and March for the fall, winter, and spring terms, respectively.

What to Expect

We will partner you with a DTC class and then the faculty and students will schedule meetings with you. During these meetings, they will learn about your problem and test out their potential solutions. Tentative dates for the fall 2020 term are below and will be finalized when you are partnered with a class. 

Initial Meeting (1-2 hours) - Week of January 18

You meet the student teams, present the project, and answer questions to help the students gain an understanding of your problem. Students and faculty will follow up regarding observation of project user and the design challenge if applicable.

User Observation (1-2 hours) – End of January

You connect the teams with users of the project. The teams virtually meet and observe the user as well as the design challenge in action. A prerecorded video can also serve as user observation.

User Testing (1-2 hours) – Early February through Mid February

Teams will share initial design ideas and mock-ups (models) in order to try them out and collect feedback. Testing may be scheduled over one or two meetings with you and/or the project-user you identified. Social distance accommodations will be made.

Final Presentation (1 hour) – Mid March

The final meeting is also the students' final exam, where the students will present their finished prototype, and you will receive it. Final prototypes will demonstrate the design concept and may include a physical device, CAD or graphical sketches, storyboards, videos, or other medium.

Ready to Submit a Project Proposal?

Please have answers ready to these questions:

  • Who will be the primary contact throughout the project?
  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Who are the specific end users who encounter this problem and how will the students reach them during the project?
  • What are the shortcomings of any partial solutions that already exist?

If you have any questions or would like to discuss a project before submitting it, feel free to email DeYandre Thaxton, Project Coordinator, at deyandre@northwestern.edu.

If your proposal is accepted, you will be given a hard copy of the Student & Partner Understandings Form (PDF)  to sign and return. Please read this form before submitting a project proposal so that you clearly understand what is expected of a project partner. 

 


DTC Project Proposal Form

* Required

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