From Idea To Thing Reading Group About Design and Development

Note: This reading group has decided to combine with the Biomimicry group, so contact the Biomimicry group to join.

From Idea to Thing: Let’s learn and talk about design, and let’s design and develop!

Teacher: Maida Tilchen

Do you have something you want to design and develop, such as a tool, Google Ap, gadget, machine, artwork, novel, screenplay, recipe, craft project, fashion, music?

Do you want to design something that will improve the world?For your individual project, my hope is that this course will give you some useful methods for designing it, encourage you to design it, and support you in your efforts.

As a group, can we design something, hopefully of social value? I am especially inspired by Project H These people set out to design tools for developing countries and their project has evolved from their experiences. I also like that they are teaching design skills to a population that might not otherwise get them.

I’m also inspired by the Lab at Harvard and similar projects worldwide which bring together artists and scientists to develop projects with positive social impact. The Harvard site is I wish I could take that course, but why can’t we try to reach these goals on our own?

Some issues I want to discuss:
• who gets encouraged and educated to be a designer?
• what design processes and models are they taught?
• how can more people get these skills, especially the educationally disadvantaged?
• How can design skills lead to higher employability?

I am hoping you will contribute readings and other resources. Here are some we might look at, and I’ll be adding more:

• Invention By Design: How Engineers Get From Thought to Thing by Henry Petroski

  • Women Builders and Designers: Making Ourselves at Home by Janice Goldfrank

• Imagine Design Create: How Designers, Architects, and Engineers Are Creating Our World edited by Tom Wujec

- The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman

• TED Talks - let’s explore what they have

HCD Toolkit

Innovative Problem Solving Guide

Design For Empowerment -Syllabus of an MIT course

I don’t have the answers, but I’m willing to facilitate this group.

Who should take this: anyone who would like to get better at bringing their great ideas into reality. Also, anyone who has a great idea they would like to design with the support of a group. Also anyone who would like to see design skills spread around to more people.

When: My plan is to meet biweekly for two hours for at least three sessions, and then decide if we want to continue. Day and Time will be worked out with students, but probably Mondays or Wednesdays from 6-8. I'm also open to meeting on weekends.I want to start in late June.

Where: We will meet near Davis Square at an air-conditioned place and time to be chosen with your input.

Cost: The only cost will be your donation directly to Corvid College for their operating expenses.

In preparation for the course, please consider attending the Artists in Context free conference at Northeastern on June 10-12: If you’re going, let me know and let’s get together!

Feel free to contact me via email to discuss this further. This is a draft proposal – I’m open to your ideas for how to do the group. (I will not be able to attend the June 5 hoedown, sorry.)

To enroll in this course

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