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MBA/MA Design Leadership Courses

View titles & descriptions for the Design Leadership (MBA/MA) program's courses offered.

Click a Course's Title to read its description .

Course # Course Title Credits
DESLD5000 Found. of Design Leadership 4.00 credits
A rapidly changing market place demands leaders who must be intellectually dexterous and possess a range of skills and knowledge reflecting a multitude of creative disciplines. Foundations of Design Leadership surveys the language, tools, principles, and theories of the fields of design, engineering, and business as they apply to the generation of innovative design solutions. Focus is on a synthesis of design, technology, and business goals through the development of basic knowledge related to a range of topics including, aesthetics, ergonomics, finance, marketing, prototyping, creativity, accounting, manufacturing, economics, etc. Students with varied backgrounds representing the fields of business, engineering, and design, share their experience through seminars, lectures, and projects while gaining new knowledge about industries in which they have limited background. The goal of Foundations of Design Leadership is to establish a common set of knowledge among the programs diverse cohort.

Design Leadership Program Only

DESLD5510 Collaboration 2.00 credits
Central to this course is an acknowledgement of the intrinsic limitations of individuals and individual disciplines and the need for collaboration among and between disciplines. Students in Collaboration, Interdisciplinarity, and Multidisciplinarity explore the possibilities presented by design activity and perspectives that fall between multiple disciplines and those that are shared among disciplines. Focus is on the development of a shared base of knowledge, methodology, context, and language, and on creating systems of shared accountability and coordination. Projects are designed to provide students with the opportunity to share their knowledge and approaches to design solutions with their colleagues through small teams which create cooperative structures and processes that operate nimbly to assess the dimensions of a design problem, measure the resources represented by the group’s heterogeneity, and conceive pioneering design outcomes.

Design Leadership students only

DESLD5520 Creativity and Innovation 2.00 credits
Catalyst to meet, interact and learn from a wide variety of creative entrepreneurs and design professionals. Guest-presenters will discuss the risks, endured setbacks, and the rewards as independent business people in a variety of creative fields. Conversations and class projects will focus on conceiving design solutions through analyzing fundamental assumptions, assessing intuition, and working through iterative sequences that generate unexpected outcomes. Students’ work will culminate in independent multimedia projects that blend research, documented interviews, and innovative design.

Design Leadership students only

DESLD5530 Cultural Relevance & Awareness 2.00 credits
Conventions of what makes a well-designed product vary greatly from group to group. In Cultural Relevance and Awareness assumptions about good design are contextualized from distinct cultural perspectives and the nature of “good design” is challenged.Students investigate principles of cultural variance, Universal Design, Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT), as well as inclusive approaches to design that focus on design consumers of various ages,abilities, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Rather than the promotion of design approaches that reflect cultural diversity via embellishment emphasis is on a more encompassing macro-level of design that is more holistic and inclusive. This class will not just be the “study of.” We will balance thinking and making.

Design Leadership students only

DESLD5540 Forecasting and Realization 2.00 credits
What problem are you solving? This is the first and most critical question entrepreneurs grapple with when designing a new product or service and one we will explore in depth in this eight week studio class. Emphasis is placed on identifying complex or ‘wicked’ problems and market opportunities through user research, rapid prototyping, and measurement. Students engage in research focused on identifying market opportunities through a deep understanding the user and market maturity, which is the foundation for creating products and services that solve real problems and create long term impact. Led by continuous research cycles, students will test and prototype their designs, create a market entry strategy, and employ methods for testing their assumptions and insights.

Design Leadership students only

DESLD5550 The Competitive Advantage I 3.00 credits
The Competitive Advantage consists of two eight-week ateliers scheduled sequentially during the final two academic terms of the program and designed to synthesize all the various concepts explored throughout the program. Projects in these courses are based on real world challenges or case studies. Students work in teams with diverse membership representing the diversity of the students’ academic and professional backgrounds to fully realize original solutions. Members of the program faculty evaluate team progress and project quality and innovation through regular presentations by student teams. Learning and project evaluation is enhanced through a program of visiting scholars engaging students in regular discussions of student progress through critiques and seminars. Critical themes for The Competitive Advantage are the overarching themes of the degree: the synthesis of the two or more contrasting concepts or all together new ideas, creativity/innovation, iterative processes, and tolerance for new ideas, rationality, praxis, research, intuition, collaboration, synthesis, and empathy.

Design Leadership students only

DESLD5560 Prototyping 2.00 credits
Students in Prototyping assess scenarios and outcomes while illustrating and modeling outcomes and prototypes. Application research, system feasibility, risk assessment, product lifecycle management (PLM) design and styling to sales and marketing, and the use of visual analytics are all methodically employed as the class explores a variety of approaches including proof-of-principle, form study, user experience, visual, and functional prototyping. Additional emphasis is placed on design methods to combine, expand, and refine ideas, and the creation of multiple drafts while seeking feedback from diverse groups of people, including end users, clients, etc. Students have access to MICA’s prototyping resources and investigate commercial prototyping resources as well.

Design Leadership students only

DESLD5570 Sustainability/Social Respons. 2.00 credits
Emphasis is on the way design impacts our world. Methods of design in Sustainability and Social Responsiveness include tangible projects centering on community focused collaboration, civic engagement, research focused on cultural, social, political and economic factors, advancement in public policy, changes in lifestyle habits, or mass awareness of important issues. Students also investigate design strategies that use low-impact, non-toxic, sustainably produced, or recycled materials. Design concepts that emphasize energy efficiency, durability, product longevity, reuse and recycling, carbon footprint and life-cycle sensitivity, biomimicry, service substitution, and other such sustainable approaches are investigated.

Design Leadership students only

DESLD5580 The Competitive Advantage II 3.00 credits
The Competitive Advantage consists of two eight-week ateliers scheduled sequentially during the final two academic terms of the program and designed to synthesize all the various concepts explored throughout the program. Projects in these courses are based on real world challenges or case studies. Students work in teams with diverse membership representing the diversity of the students’ academic and professional backgrounds to fully realize original solutions. Members of the program faculty evaluate team progress and project quality and innovation through regular presentations by student teams. Learning and project evaluation is enhanced through a program of visiting scholars engaging students in regular discussions of student progress through critiques and seminars. Critical themes for The Competitive Advantage are the overarching themes of the degree: the synthesis of the two or more contrasting concepts or all together new ideas, creativity/innovation, iterative processes, and tolerance for new ideas, rationality, praxis, research, intuition, collaboration, synthesis, and empathy.

Design Leadership students only