This engaged learning course applies design strategies to real-world problems in a business context; in other words, we take a human-centered approach to innovation. You’ll act as a business design consultant working directly with a social enterprise client on a set of challenges throughout the semester, applying design tools, theories and overall process to a project that results in a portfolio-ready deliverable. Working in multidisciplinary teams with real deadlines and deliverables, you will use a design toolkit and mindset for creative problem solving. This collaboration will allow you to immerse yourself in a professional setting in which you explore business opportunities; develop innovative concepts; and propose and prototype innovative and entrepreneurial solutions. You’ll tackle issues and challenges such as new product, service or business model development; organizational structure and growth; and external threats and opportunities. Past clients include the City of Ithaca Economic Development and Finger Lakes ReUse.
Students will be able to apply qualitative and ethnographic design research techniques in a client-based project.
Students will be able to hone visualization and storytelling methods to synthesize and communicate data and concepts.
Students will be able to use the iterative process for problem solving: generating, testing, and refining ideas, products, business models, etc.
Students will be able to practice working collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams.
Students will be able to model innovative concepts at the intersection of design and business.