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Design Principles and Process

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This course is no longer being offered.

Course Description

This course aims to deepen student's understanding of design principles and processes. Through substantial projects students will develop their skill at synthesizing artifacts that are appropriate responses to situations in specific contexts. Students will acquire innovative physical and social knowledge and to integrate this new knowledge with their world model to create artifacts that produces a positive change in the context.

Students completing this course will be able to create high fidelity prototypes that enable the transformation of an existing situation to a preferred one (apologies to H. Simon, who expressed the current -> preferred transformation in his book “The Science of the Artificial”(Simon, 1996). By high fidelity, we mean clear expression of vision, with few (if any) distractions. The goal implies that students will be able to assess a situation, imagine preferred situations, create products, processes, policies or other means that enable a transformation to a preferred situation, and to evaluate the effectiveness of said transformation.

Along the way, students will deepen their understanding of design principles and processes and develop associated skills that enhance their ability to explore and communicate their ideas. We recognize that students will have a range of backgrounds and efforts will be made to develop individual goals and to find harmonious ways to achieve at least some of those individual goals.

We take design principles to be a set of rules (not all of which need to be obeyed) that inform design decisions. These rules may be heuristic, derived from designer’s experiences (e.g. “Universal Principles of Design”, (Lidwell, 2010), they may be derived from engineering, computer science, cognitive science, and the natural sciences as well.

We take design process to be sets of actions that one takes to understand a current situation, envision preferred situations, to devise and implement transformations, and to evaluate the effect of those transformations.

Course Information

  • Course Code: ENGN 1855
  • Length: 7 weeks

Program Information

Pre-Baccalaureate Program

The University’s seven-week Summer Session, offering credit-bearing courses drawn from across the Brown curriculum and open to rising and graduated high school seniors.

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