ME397 Design Theory & Methodology Seminar

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This is the homepage for the ME397 Design Theory & Methodology Seminar. 

Instructors: Greg Kress & Martin Steinert, Ph.D. 

Location: Center for Design Research (Bldg. 560), first floor common area

Session: Wednesdays, 3:15-5:05PM

Credits: 1-3

Term: Autumn Quarter, 2011

Overview: This course will explore several factors that help designers and design teams from cognitive and educational perspectives. In particular we will explore the meaning and manifestations of factors like empathy, "social sensitivity" and "extraverted feeling," which have been shown in practice and prior research to impact design performance. Students will participate in reflective design activities to understand and model the cognitive processes behind design. We will explore links to other schools of thought, including the Taoist concept of "human-heartedness." 


  • Woolley, A.W. et al. "Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups." Science 29 October 2010: Vol. 330 no. 6004 pp. 686-688.
  • Kress, G. & Schar, M. "Initial Conditions: The Structure and Composition of Effective Design Teams." Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED) 2011, Copenhagen. 
  • Selections from Teamology
  • Selections from Psychological Types
  • Selections from Tao: The Watercourse Way (A.W. Watts)

Credit Breakdown: Participation in in-class discussions, activities and reading assignments is required for 1 credit. Students wishing to take the course for 2 or 3 credits should expect additional requirements to be discussed with the instructors.

Enrollment: Enrollment to this class will be limited. It is recommended that interested students attend the first class session on Sept. 28th.

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