Form and Materials

This course explores a fundamental challenge of embodying a solution in a physical form: what materials and forms are the best choices?

While many technical requirements for creating products define the materials to use and drive product form, designers are also actively defining a company’s brand expression through form and materials. This course looks to examine influences of advanced technology, environmental concerns, and competitive positioning on material and form choices. Topics discussed include: products and performance, craft and maker movement, emotion and brand, and form and material futures.

Learning Objectives
Students will gain a strong understanding for the role materials play in the design of products, the influences on those choices, and how the interplay of form and materials create significant user experiences and beautiful products. Students will gain knowledge of material use as it affects form, brand identity, technology expression, ergonomics, manufacturing methods, and cultural preferences.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Understand how desired performance drives materials and form
  • Articulate fundamentals of 20th century product form and materials
  • Evaluate the cultural and social implications of product form and material choices
  • Effectively conduct form trends and materials research
Managing Interdisciplinary Teams Design Connoisseurship Engaging Stakeholders in Innovation Special Topics Faculty Research Design Process and Knowledge Making the User Centered Case
Modeling Complexity Theories of Communication Fundamentals of Visual Communication Advanced Diagramming Metaphor and Analogy in Design Diagram Development Communication Strategies Communication Design Workshop
Extensions of Media and Technology Interactive Space Interaction Design for Embedded Systems Interaction Design for Immersive Systems Prototyping Interactions Persuasive Interaction Design History of Interaction Design Interaction Design Methods Digital Development Workshop Interaction Design Workshop
Planning + Strategy
Designing Futures Adaptive Leadership Strategies for Open Innovation Organizational Models for Innovation Social and Economic Context of Design New Venture Design Innovation Methods Planning Implementation Business Models and Value Webs Business Frameworks and Strategy Design Planning Workshop Introduction to Portfolio Planning
Design Development & Implementation Product Architecture and Platforms Form and Materials New Product Definition Product Design Workshop
Systems and Systems Theory in Design Networked Objects Networked Cities Human System Integration Systems Modeling and Prototyping Platform-based Design Strategy Systems Approach to Design Information Structuring and Management Structured Planning Workshop Service Systems Workshop
User Research
Stimulus in Design Research Behavioral Economics Online Research Methods Principles and Methods of User Research Coding and Analysis Co-Design and Participatory Research Methods Survey Methods Cultural Probes Experience Modeling Interview Methods Research Photography Research Planning & Execution