Class Syllabus: Innovative Product Design Class

(ENGR 489C-68)


Level: Upper level undergraduate students

Prerequisite: Permission from instructors

Times: MTWRF 9:30-12:15, 2-5

Class Materials:

  1. The Art of Innovation: lessons in creativity from IDEO, America’s leading design firm, Tom Kelley with Jonathan Littman,  Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-49984-1
  2. The Deep Dive (ABC Nightline): the DVD, narrated by Ted Koppel, Jack Smith, 1999
  3. Real-life observations


This pilot multidisciplinary course is aimed to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in information technologies.  Intrigued by the world most renowned product design firm, IDEO, the course will adopt a team approach in problem understanding and solving. The design and prototype development philosophy is presented in the course text. This is an intensive 3 credit hour course spanning a 3 week period. From day one, students will be given a real-world IT related problem to solve. Students will be organized into a hot team which consists of individual students from diverse disciplines. The hot team concept is to synergize ideas and the different perspectives from which the students may see problem and solutions. An interdisciplinary team of professors will act as mentors, facilitators and subject-matter experts from whom students can seek advice. The course focuses on a team-oriented problem-solving paradigm from which students have to conduct their activities throughout their innovative product design and prototype development. They will learn how to effectively use the following team concepts/strategies to solve the problem:

            Effective teamwork

            Research and understanding


            Time, resource and project management




This course is a hands-on experience. At the end of the class, students are expected to present their design solution and prototype. Successful projects may continue and seek additional support for product development and commercialization.