Design Methods & Research

Design Methods & Research introduces the strategies and techniques that designers use to understand the products, users, materials and markets for which they are designing. It is typically taken the first semester of the student's first year in the program (sophomore year). A variety of design-related research methods are addressed including: observational techniques, documentation, developing and running a study, interviewing, analysis of data, interpreting and applying results. Students develop an awareness of the varying needs, interests and concerns of different cultures, perspectives, and user groups by developing research plans and conducting in-person interviews. They learn how to communicate the results of their research through oral and visual presentations. The material introduced in DMR will continue to be used throughout every step of the Industrial Design program. Skills and knowledge introduced: storytelling, visual presentation, oral presentation, sustainability, design research, observational research, brainstorming, design strategy, energetics/life of a product, ethics.