Design Innovation Courses

Design Innovation courses are the entry point to collaborative, design-infused problem-solving. Our goal is to grow our cross-disciplinary course offerings to include project-based learning that relies on multiple perspectives and studios that will engage stakeholders and industry (and may include travel components).

  • Design Thinking to Design Innovation Courses: Opens ways to imagine and create and think critically.
  • Design Innovation studio(s) + Electives: The history and techniques of Design Innovation.
  • Grand Challenge Project Studios: Interdisciplinary teams of students and faculty take on complex challenges both small and large.

Fall 2022 Course Offerings

Introduction to Design Innovation (DI_20100)

This course blends analytical skills, intuition and creative thinking to develop practical solutions to real world problems. Gain a high-level understanding of the design process through team- based projects tackling challenges. Design thinking, methods and strategies offer novel ways to discover market opportunities, experiment to validate concepts and mitigate risk, and deliver value to all. This will be a reflective lecture and small project-based course that addresses the programmatic, technical, business, social and human factors of design in a way that leads to innovation(s) in the development of integrated solutions. Learn how to engage with end users, effectively frame problems, identify potential solutions, build prototypes to test assumptions and learn what works (and doesn’t). Then dive into a range of ways large and small to bring design innovation into your daily life.

Past DI Course Offerings

Hacking for Defense (DI 49999)

Hacking for Defense (H4D) is a course sponsored by the department of defense to rapidly address the nation’s emerging threats and security challenges. H4D is a cross disciplinary project-based capstone course that collaboratively focuses on a single grand challenge.

Learn more about Hacking for Defense

The "Immobileyes" Project (DI_30100)

This Challenge Based Innovation (CBI) course section utilizes a holistic multidisciplinary approach to address the product development needs for the Medusa Security System for Immobileyes, Inc.

Learn More

Reframing Experience (EMAT 40999 / DI 30100)

Offered in Kent State’s new Design Innovation Hub, Reframing Experience is a hands-on, project-based, experiential learning course in which students will engage a range of local communities in Northeast Ohio in order to gain a deeper understanding of the social and ecological fabric that makes the region unique. Over the course of the semester, students will work together in interdisciplinary teams to create an immersive, public-facing exhibition in Kent State’s brand-new Design Innovation Hub that blends live performance, new media storytelling and immersive media technologies aimed at helping viewers to get in touch with the limitations of their own experience by learning about the experience of others.

Learn More About Reframing Experience

Survey of Design Innovation Nodes (DI_10010)

Develop awareness and actively utilize the wide array of shared-resource laboratories and environments across Kent State University’s eight campus system that are connected as part of the Design Innovation (DI) Ecosystem. Explore the context of maker-communities, emerging technologies and social innovation resources while working in collaborative cross-disciplinary teams to tackle projects that intentionally connect the capabilities of multiple DI NODES.

Be Smarter Than Your Smart Phone (DI_20020)

This course uses the development of the smart phone to illustrate the multi-disciplinary nature of design and innovation. It provides an understanding of the technologies that make the smart phone possible, how the smart phone has changed the patterns and nature of our communications, the role of research and design in product development, and the implications for marketing and business. The aim of this course is to introduce the multidisciplinary nature of innovation using the smartphone as an example.  It presents the complexities, challenges, and opportunities that the smartphone has created.

Challenge Based Innovation (DI_30100)

Challenge Based Innovation (CBI) is a project and problem-based learning course, where multidisciplinary student teams and their instructors collaborate with faculty researchers, community and industry partners to discover novel solutions for the future of humankind. The projects are an elaborate mixture, proposed by cross-disciplinary faculty teams and derived from using research to tackle messy/complex problems to meet societal, human-driven needs. The multidisciplinary student teams act as catalysts in creating novel solutions to pressing problems.

Workshop in Design Innovation (DI_49993)

This course supports brief, intensive and interactive activities that address a narrowly defined range of problems in which the content is practical and concentrates on the acquisition of specific information and skills related to practices in design innovation. The variable credit format allows for intensive challenges that might occur in short periods, and that it might be focused on a single problem.

Special Topics in Design Innovation Studio (DI_49095)

Analysis and cross-disciplinary problem-solving of significant and current issues in design innovation not covered in regular courses. This studio course is offered when opportunities and resources permit; the topic is announced when the course is scheduled.

Special Topics in Design Innovation (DI_49995)

Analysis and cross disciplinary problem-solving of significant and current issues in design innovation not covered in existing design innovation courses. This course is offered when opportunities and resources permit; the topic is announced when the course is scheduled.

Design Innovation Grand Challenges Studio (DI_49999)

A cross disciplinary project-based capstone course that collaboratively focuses on a single grand challenge. Challenges range from those Global Grand Challenges identified by Grand, “solving global health and development problems for those most in need” to one of the “Grand Challenges for Engineering”, to one from the list regularly updated by the National Science Foundation, to a pressing challenge identified by the faculty. Taught by a multidisciplinary team of primary instructors with input from faculty and industry leaders with complementary expertise, the collaborative effort of students, faculty members, industry partners and/or community leaders, focuses on developing robust multi- perspective, actionable solutions considering multiple criteria including but not limited to technical, socio- cultural and economic dimensions. Outcomes will range from early designs, to physical prototypes and/or policy solutions with an understanding of how to take them to a next phase and/or realize them. An associated travel component may be included.