Design Advisory

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The Design Advisory

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Students will craft their innovation skills through participation in a four-year design-thinking advisory course, leveraging the latest educational research and technology throughout to prepare themselves for the next generation of challenges: students learn design thinking, engineering and entrepreneurial skills with low-tech materials, such as cardboard and foil, as well as high-tech tools in the fabrication lab: 3D printers, laser cutters, routers, and programming tools.

This approach, as we use it, was conceptualized by the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford - affectionately called 'the d.school'. It can be used to create solutions that might be physical or digital products, or experiences, that are applied to problems in many fields including social work, environmental science, education, medicine, and business.

First year, students take a course called Foundations in Design Thinking to learn the elements of design thinking, and apply them to design challenges.  In subsequent years, students will be encouraged to identify and address problems in their community. d.tech teachers will mentor student groups, connecting them to experts and users who can help them develop their ideas. Simultaneously, students will build up engineering and entrepreneurship skills in order to design, build, share, and implement real solutions.

As students deepen their understanding of design thinking, they may have the opportunity to teach design thinking to others and to participate in design internships within organizations that use design thinking.  We are already establishing partnerships local companies like Citrix and the Hyatt, who have been using design thinking for years and can show our students what it looks like inside a successful organization.