Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 hours / session, 2 sessions / week


Learn to produce great designs, be a more effective engineer, and communicate with high emotional and intellectual impact. This project based course gives students the ability to understand, contextualize, and analyze engineering designs and systems. By learning and applying design thinking, students will more effectively solve problems in any domain. Lectures focus on teaching a tested, iterative design process as well as techniques to sharpen creative analysis. Guest lectures from all disciplines illustrate different approaches to design thinking. This course develops students' skills to conceive, organize, lead, implement, and evaluate successful projects in any engineering discipline. Additionally, students learn how to give compelling in-person presentations. Open to all majors, all years.

This course is the core requirement in the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program.

Recommended Reading

Buy at Amazon Kotelly, Blade. The Art and Business of Speech Recognition: Creating the Noble Voice. Addison-Wesley Professional, 2003. ISBN: 9780321154927. [Preview with Google Books]

Grading Policy

Pop Quizzes 10%
Homework 25%
Projects 55%
Attendance, Participation 10%


Module 1: Principles of Design (1–10)
1 Introduction HW1 out
2 10 Step Design Process; Dieter Rams HW2 out; HW1 due
3 Research; Stakeholder Analysis HW3 out
4 Articulating Design HW4 out; HW2 and HW3 due
5 Psychology  
6 Usability HW5 out; HW4 due
7 Dialogue Systems Technology (Siri+) HW6 out; HW5 due
8 Dialogue System Design (Questions/Feedbacks) HW7 out; HW6 due
9 Dialogue System Design 2 HW8 out; HW7 due
10 Branding HW9 out; HW8 due
Module 2: Design is Everywhere (11–18)
11 Creativity HW10 out; HW9 due
12 Project Management HW10 due
13 Guest Lecture  
14 Presentation Skills  
15 Group Project Success  
16 Innovation and Ethics; Build a Company  
17 Individual Presentations  
18 Individual Presentations (cont.)  
Module 3: Group Project/Interdisciplinary Design (19–27)
19 Buy or Build; Process Improvement  
20 Group Project Review Session  
21 Helvetica  
22 Guest Lecture  
23 Guest Lecture/Work-Class  
24 Guest Lecture (cont.)  
25 Guest Lecture/Work-Class (cont.)  
26 Group Project Preso.  
27 Group Project Preso. (cont.)