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Innovation Methods




Systems & Innovation

Credit Hours


A broad look at innovation in design processes, methods, frameworks, and key principles.

Based on the book 101 Design Methods: A Structured Approach for Driving Innovation in Your Organization, this course will cover seven modes of innovation: sense intent, know context, know users, frame insights, explore concepts, frame solutions, and realize offerings. The course will also discuss how design innovators and innovation leaders in organizations can effectively use this learning for research, training, project, and strategic applications.

Learning Objectives

Students will go through all stages of the innovation process and practice the use of several structured methods. By applying these methods on a project students will learn about the benefits and limitations of each method. This learning will help them make decisions about which method to use as they encounter various innovation challenges. They will also learn about the kind of information needed as inputs for using these methods as well as the nature of outputs generated.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the value of using structured methods for an innovation process
  • Articulate a variety of methods for innovation, their benefits and limitations in practice
  • Select the most appropriate methods for specific innovation challenges at hand

Format & Grading

The course is intended as a series of presentations mixed with hands-on exercises and discussions. Teams of 3–5 students will be formed at the beginning of the course. Each team will select a project topic and work on the application of key methods introduced in the class.

Active participation contributing to the topic discussion is encouraged. Students are expected to take a proactive role in defining their work plan and activities throughout the course. Half of the grade will be based on in-class performance, particularly on contribution to discussions and application of methods during hands-on exercises. The other half will be based on the student’s contribution to the project. For this, the emphasis will be on innovative approaches, quality of results, and teamwork. Evaluation of project contribution might also include reviews by teammates.

Enrollment Restrictions

No prerequisites. This course is open to all Institute of Design students.