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Final Presentation - Wednesday May 20, 2009

Homework 8 - due Wednesday May 6, 2009

Preliminary user manual

Homework 7 - due Wednesday April 15, 2009

Final report on your radical product

Homework 6 - due Wednesday April 8, 2009

Read the MicroAPI paper

  1. Radical Design: From Pencils to Software to Processes to Clothing

Presentation and Report

  1. Present a 1 minute radical presentation to the class with one surprise to be presented Wednesday April 8
  2. Flesh out your draft report on your radical product (final report due the April 15) which will contain
    • Executive overview (summary)
    • Goals
    • Background (history)
    • Product description
    • Advantages and limitations
    • Environmental sustainability, universal design
    • Social responsibility
    • Example of unexpected application
    • Your process
    • UML use cases and sequence diagrams
    • Preliminary MicroAPI discussion and specification
    • Appendices (previous homeworks and exercises, especially discussions of how your product, process, ideas, ..., tie in to the various papers you read)

Homework 5 - due Wednesday March 11, 2009


  1. University of Cambridge Engineering Department - Material Selection and Processing Page
  2. Understanding the Spectrum of Human Abilities
  3. A Brief History of Universal Design
  4. WickedProblems.pdf
  5. In the Bubble.doc
  6. The Green Imperative (review)

After reading Goldenberg and Mazursky

  1. Identify the components
  2. Evaluate your product based on some of the above papers or items discussed in class (incorporate this in your final report)
  3. Prepare a 1 minute presentation to VCs and Environmentalists
  4. Prepare a draft report on your radical product (final report due the March 18)
    • Executive overview (summary)
    • Goals
    • Background (history)
    • Product description
    • Advantages and limitations
    • Environmental sustainability, universal design
    • Social responsibility
    • Example of unexpected application
    • Your process
    • Appendices (previous homeworks and exercises)

Optional reading and references

  1. Any of Papanek's books (Design for the Real World, Design responsibility, ...)
  2. Smart Internet 2010 Summary

Useful and interesting web sites

  1. Computer Society for Social Responsibility

Homework 4 - due Wednesday March 4, 2009

After reading Goldenberg and Mazursky

  1. Identify the components and both internal and external variables of your product
  2. Build a forecasting matrix for your product
  3. See if you can find connections between variables that appear interesting and could potentially evolve your product
  4. For each variable you may use IDEO or TRIZ techniques and briefly identify which you used, whether it worked, and results

Read Goldenberg and Mazursky

  1. Introduction (pages 1-10)
  2. Chapter 2 (pages 29-41)
  3. Chapter 4 (pages 59-75)
  4. Chapter 5 (pages 76-98)

Optional reading and references

  1. NSF 2005 Creativity Workshop Report, Papers, and Presentations
  2. CREATE Reference Document
  3. David Weeks Consultant and web page

Useful and interesting web sites

  1. Designing for Humans
  2. David Weeks Consultant and web page

Homework 3 - due Wednesday February 25, 2009

Over the next 3 weeks you are to design a concept for your radical new product One requirement for TRIZ or other template approaches is to find the characteristics that you want improved or revolutionized in the product you're designing This is one place where IDEO's techniques can help. Each group is to do the following:

  1. Learn - Competitive Product Survey
    • HOW: Collect, compare, and conduct evaluation of the product’s competition
    • WHY: This is a useful way to establish functional requirements, performance standards, and other benchmarks
  2. Look – Still Photo Survey
    • HOW: Follow a planned shooting script and capture pictures of specific objects, activities, etc..
    • WHY: The team can use this visual evidence to uncover patterns of behavior and perceptions related to a particular product or context, as well as structure and inspire design ideas
  3. Ask – Extreme User Interviews
    • HOW: Identify individuals who are extremely familiar or completely unfamiliar with the product and ask them to evaluate their experience using it
    • WHY: These individuals are often able to highlight the key issues of the design problem and provide insights for design improvements
  4. Try – Bodystorming
    • HOW: Set up a scenario and act out roles, with or without props, focusing on the intuitive responses prompted by the physical enactment
    • WHY: This method helps to quickly generate and test many context- and behavior-based concepts
  • You can do some others if you wish
  • Integrate the four topics into one describing what, how, when, where, and the results.

We will discuss these in class next week.


  1. Bubbles and balloons
  2. Genrich Altshuller’s brief biography
  3. 40 Inventive Principles with examples at


  1. The TRIZ homepage

Homework 2 - due Wednesday February 18, 2009

  1. Read up on 5 of the previous topics from the IDEO Learn, Look, Ask and Try list
  2. Using your selected product (homework 1) use one of the methods for an evaluation for that product – you will present one slide on your evaluation
  3. Pick a hat color and discuss your product from that perspective – you will present one slide on that perspective
  4. Start to read the Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley
  5. Read the Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono pages 1-70 (introduction, white hat, and red hat) OR an online summary
  6. Watch the Deep Dive movie if you haven’t seen it (the google version in 4 parts is at

Optional article reading

  1. The Anatomy of an Iteration by Jared M. Spool
  2. 6th Sense
  3. Human Factors of Imaginary Objects

Optional book reading

  1. Fast Co - Strategy By Design by Tim Brown
  2. Creating Breakthrough Innovations at 3M by Eric von Hippel, Stefan Thomke and Mary Sonnack

Interesting web site to visit often Doors of Perception

Homework 1 - due Friday February 13, 2009

  1. Browse and experience the web for “radical materials” (around 6 hours)
  2. Answer: Who talks about radical design? Who teaches it? Where does radical design fit, how do people think about radical design, the process, product design, how do people work with design?
  3. Select a field of interest and after some experiences with web pages in the field, attempt to select a specific product of interest (eyeglasses, a can, a watch, a living room, a table, a computer, a book, a theory). Don’t rush it. It should be an object you are interested in and perhaps related to your state (are you renovating, are you looking to purchase a car, is your teenager going to get braces, are you getting married, …)
  4. Critically examine the product: how do people use it? What is the object’s relationship to the its use? How do people relate to the object (aesthetic, usability, utility, engagement, …)?
  5. Explore its past, its evolution, its design, its future, and whether there is the potential for a radical step. This is important before we break into groups for a single product/object activity
  6. We will set up a wiki for you to place your personal wiki for the course. Place your first HW assignment there. Place any additional resources, papers, pictures, etc… you deem related in a universally understandable (possibly hierarchical) manner
  7. Read Paul Graham – Hackers and Painters
  8. Read Paul Graham – Why Nerds are Unpopular

Optional article reading

  1. Radical Design: From Pencils to Software to Processes to Clothing
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