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Spring 2012 - 62025 - PA388L - Advanced Topics in Management

Introduction to Design for Social Innovation

Unique Number: 62025
Day & Time: M 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.220
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Students desiring additional exposure to public management issues may select from seminars on such topics as managing diversity, principles and practices of effective leadership, and social entrepreneurship. 

Section Description
Over the past decade, the field of design and the field of business have become increasingly fascinated by one another’s practices, methods and objectives. Today, many smart business people know the vocabulary and thinking of design, and vice versa. Nowhere is this combination of the two fields more powerful than in social entrepreneurship – smart, passionate people starting businesses of meaning. This course is for individuals interested in learning how to put the tools of design toward their passion for changing the world.
“Design Thinking” has emerged as a popular term to describe the application of design theory to any number of problems. This course is both design thinking and design doing. Students will use the principles of design research, research synthesis, ideation, prototyping and storytelling to develop a thoughtful and compelling idea for a new product or service that has genuine impact and human value. The tool kit learned during this course is a problem solving tool kit, applicable to problems outside the traditional boundaries of design. In fact, some argue that “Design Thinking” is a set of tools applicable to almost any problem, from the traditional design form-giving to large systemic and social problems. (Hence, its exciting application to social innovation.) The reason Design Thinking works so well for systemic social problems is its focus on understanding the human needs, motivations and behaviors that underlie a design challenge first. Design Thinking then responds explicitly to those needs
The spirit of the course lies in a now-famous interview with Charles Eames from the late 1960’s. Eames was arguably one of the most famous designers of all time, giving us, in partnership with his wife, Ray, some of the most iconic shapes and forms of modern culture. 


Students will leave this course with 1) an understanding of design process, 2) a methodology for researching human needs at the heart of a problem, 3) frameworks for interpreting those needs into opportunities for a social business, 4) skills and confidence in rapid visualization and making ideas tangible through drawing and prototyping, 5) the thick skin required to take critique, and 6) techniques for making ideas resonate with potential funders and potential customers.

 This course is scheduled to be taught by Katherine Canales, Creative Director of Frog Design.