Skip to Main Content
of desiGn

Introduction to Design Practice





Credit Hours


Builds a contextual basis for the field and profession of design

Designers of the highest caliber offer not only excellent formal skills and conceptual rigor, but also an intellectual grasp of the professional practice of design, including evolution through history, current state and future direction. Broad knowledge of the field of design, and the different areas of practice, will help students more effectively pursue opportunities of the greatest interest. The practical requirements for pursuing design-oriented roles will be addressed, including basic portfolio expectations. Supplementary assignments and a few exercises will be woven into the course.

Learning Objectives

  • The course will help students become more fluent in matters of design practice and cultures. Students will develop a more grounded perspective on design disciplines (or areas of practice) of greatest interest.
  • Students will complete readings, light research work and build their skills and confidence addressing their colleagues. Assignments will be both individual and team-based.
  • Activities will help foster a practical appreciation of the basic formal design skills that complement the conceptual thinking at the core of ID’s curriculum.
  • Ideally, students will also participate in field trips and dialogs with active professionals as source of input for the professional practice content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop a better design vocabulary
  • Students will demonstrate a more grounded knowledge of the state of professional practice
  • Deeper perspective on where to focus individual energy in the balance of time at ID
  • Improved grasp of the most basic design tools and building blocks

Format & Grading

Grading is based approximately weighted as follows: 40% constructive class participation, 40% completion and quality of assignments, 20% demonstrated resourcefulness; regular, active participation is crucial. Absences must be excused; for each unexcused absence a single letter grade reduction penalty is applied.

Enrollment Restrictions

No prerequisites. This course is only available to Institute of Design Foundation students