Project Design Related Course Listings 

DES 50: Three-dimensional Object Design
DES 127 A: Sustainable Design
DES 127 B: Studio Practice in Sustainable Design
DES 135 A: Furniture Design and Detailing
DES 165: Studio Practices in Industrial Design
DES 166: Human Centered Design
DES 167: Prototyping: From Objects to Systems

DES 127 A Introduction to Sustainable Design
This course is intended for students interested in exploring the principles, practice and materials of sustainable design in the context of the environmental and climate crisis. Through lectures, reading, case studies, field trips, and group projects this course will explore sustainable design in the fields of material science, product design, energy, transportation, the built environment, and visual communication. We will investigate how designers, architects and engineers use ecological and socially responsible design to address complex systems related to climate change, resource limitations, and ecosystem degradation. The intention is to create a solid understanding of sustainable design methods and their potential to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

DES 127B, Studio Practice in Sustainable Design
In this studio course, we use inquiry, research, and data to inform work that makes environmental impact visible and known, and that inspires behavioral change. We will further investigate many of the concepts from 127A (Lifecycle Analysis, humanitarian design, material processes, environmental justice, green energy, and more) both locally on the UC Davis campus and beyond. For designers of any medium, this course will ask you to use your voice to make visible and actionable the environmental behaviors of humans.

DES 135A Furniture Design
In this course, students learn how to conceptualize and build furniture and three dimensional objects. The course provides a brief historical overview of furniture and objects, including furniture as components of interior and/or exterior environments, human factors in design, the process of designing furniture and objects, from defining a problem to evaluating the results. The course will prompt students to explore sustainable design, design for disassembly, lifecycle analysis, low cost construction and utilize a variety of standard, ecological and recycled materials, including wood, metal, plastic and non-traditional materials. The studio practice will reinforce students’ understanding of traditional and emerging construction techniques, design for a full range of users with varying abilities and a variety of environments and contexts.

DES 165 Studio Practices in Industrial Design
This studio course will explore core elements of industrial design through concept ideation, material selection, model making and fabrication processes. Historic, contemporary, and future developments in industrial design along with industry awareness and sustainability will be covered. Innovation in new material and fabrication technology related to everyday objects, soft goods, portable structures, electronics, furniture, and transportation will be explored in this studio. Applications for common materials such as metals, plastics, wood, ceramics, and composites will be tested. Industrial design processes such as forming, casting, cutting, joining, and finishing will be demonstrated. Practice based course assignments will cover sketching, 3-D form, 3-D rendering, and prototype making. Presentations will highlight social entrepreneurship, environmental responsibility, ethics, and real-world problem solving.

DES166 Human-Centered Design
This course introduces students to a human-centered approach to problem solving (often referred to as design thinking). During the course, students will work on real world projects that will help them to develop an understanding of design thinking and various methods of creative problem solving. The course will include fundamental readings in design thinking, interactive design methods and processes, and hands-on projects. Students will learn how to conduct design research, focus on meaningful interventions, and create products, Services, and/or experiences to address user needs.

DES167 How to Prototype Anything
This course teaches students how to use a prototyping mindset to quickly explore a wide range of potential ideas with minimal time and risk. Students will be expected to use prototypes as learning tools for projects including physical products, digital experiences, relationships, and more complex systems. This course does not promote a single prototyping method, but rather stresses the creative approach to learning about unexpected questions. During this course, students will get an overview of prototyping tools and methods from both academia and industry. The projects will provide a opportunities for students to explore and test these methodologies. Materials and tools that will be introduced include, foam core, low-resolution prototyping materials, interactive “click-through” prototyping software, 3D-printing and other rapid prototyping technologies, business model canvas, and additional tools. In addition to these tools, students will hone the mindsets that are critical for effective prototyping. They will practice flexible thinking, conceptualiztion, the ability to focus on a the central theme of a product/service, the ability to isolate variables, identify critical risks, and construct scenarios that offer learning about potential challenges, and finally, the ability to conduct effective “tests” with imperfect offerings.