Teoria e Processos de Design - Design - Sem Ramos - Especialidades

ECTS / Credit Units
Year: 2 / 1º Semestre
Plan: 2016/17
Scientific Area: CAT
Level: Básico

Semestral Hour Load

Theorical: 32.00
Theorical-Pratical: 32.00
Pratical and Laboratorial:


Assigned Internship Hours:
Assigned Projects Hours:
Assigned Fieldwork Hours:
Assigned Study Hours:
Assigned Evaluation Hours:

Degree having this Course

Degree - Branch Degree Plan Year
Design - Sem Ramos - Especialidades 2016/17

Teaching Staff

Shujoy Chakraborty
Shujoy Chakraborty

Responsável pelas Pautas
Ensino teórico
Ensino teórico-prático
Valentina Vezzani
Valentina Vezzani

Ensino teórico
Ensino teórico-prático

Course Information

Course Objectivs

General Objectives

The primary theoretical component of this CU is to give scientific knowledge of the phases of project development that a designer follows to design a product. A stretegic oversight is given by summarising these phases as process models. The theory will introduce the students to various Process Models, starting from traditional models, academic models, consultancy models to contemporary models.

The secondary component is to throw light on design thinking theory by discussing the underlying mentality which a designer must develop to bring to bear the creativity necessary to overcome the challenges faced while developing a design project.

The third component is to discuss design driven innovation and the different forms in which it manifests itself in the design profession. Different cases of innovation will be crossed with the discussion on design thinking and process models to give a deeper insight on final form and shape of an innovative product. 

The overall teaching strategy is to direct discussion of design theory starting from the emergence of commonly accepted definitions of design as an activity and a descipline, widely postulated process models, design thinking, design innovation and the application of these concepts to popular/successful product examples.  

Expected Outcomes

At the end of this CU students will be able to independently analyse the challenges of a specific design project, analyse its challenges and opportunities, and strategically apply a process model for a successful outcome.

Evaluation Criteria

General Structure:

This subject will follow the Evaluation Model 'B' according to the UMa evaluation regulations. 
The course will consist of 2main evaluation components: continous evaluation (20%) and discreet evaluation - projects + assignment + theory test (80%).
Students are expected to attend the theory lectures regularly, and participate in all the classroom group discussions. 
Continous evaluation will be judged through the students' regular attendance plus proactive participation in the classroom discussions.
The students' grasp of the CU theoretical concepts will be judged by a theory test administered at the end of the semester.
The students' ability to apply the theory will be judged by development of projects and practical assignments- individually or in groups as directed by the teacher.

The Evaluation Model:

  1. Continous Evaluation= 20% (attendance, +participation). This component cannot be recovered through melhoria nor recurso.
  2. Theory Test + Projects + Assignments = 80% (cumpolsory component in order to clear the curricular unit)
  3. Recurso: 80% recovery possible (theory test + mini project). Recurso exam allows the eligible students to recover the entire design project and theory test components. Recurso exam will consist of a theory test and a mini project to be delivered.
  4. Melhoria: Melhoria exam component will have a weightage of 30% in the final grade calculation. 70% of the weightage will be given to the original score obtained at the semester ending. The melhoria component will consist of either a major semester project or the theory test+assignment, as per the student's choice.

Working students Policy: 

Worker Students are subject to a mandatory minimum attendance of 50%. They are elgible to take the recurso (theory test+ mini project) or the melhoria exam (1> theory test+practical assignment or 2> major semester project) which are worth 80% and 30% respectively of the final grade obtained at the CU conclusion. The continous evaluation component cannot be recovered.

Melhoria Exam Policy:

For those students who pass the subject but want to improve their score, they can make a melhoria exam.  A Melhoria exam permits 30% recovery of final grade evaluation. 70% of the weightage will be given to the original grade obtained at the semester ending. The melhoria component will consist of either a semester project (30%) or a theory test(20%) + practical assignment (10%).

Recurso Exam Policy: 

Only those students obtaining less than 10 as final semester grade but respecting the minimum attendance requirement can be eligible for the recurso exam.  A Recurso exam permits 80% recovery of final grade evaluation. Recurso exam allows the eligible students to recover the entire design project and theory test components.

Recurso exam will consist of a theory test (20%) and a mini project (50%) to be delivered.

Attendance Policy:

To pass the course, regualar students are expected to maintain 75% attendance (maximum of 8 absences). Working studenyts are allowed to maintain a 50% attendance. Absence excused for sickness are to be accompanied by a doctor's certificate submitted to the academic office. Only those students who meet the minimum attendance criteria will be allowed to appear for the melhoria or the recurso exams.  

Program Resume (get program detail)

1) Course Introduction

2) How is design defined? What are the accepted definitions?

3) Introduction to Process Models.

4) Insigts into the Designer mentality- patterns of thinking phases in a design project.

5) What is Design Thinking? Designerly ways of thinking and knowing.

6) What are the phases of thinking underlying the designers mind while following a tradiotional design process (incubation, insight, transformation)?

7) Insights into thinking patterns of top designers- case study proces models of top designers.

8) Problem Space Vs Solution Space - appropriate tools to be applied. 

9) Proposing value in Design - Introduction to Tim Brown's perspective on design thinking / Value Vs Utility / Viability-Desirability-Feasibility

10) Tools for creativity - Crit / Evidence / Proove. Natasha Jen on Design Thinking.

11) Human Centred Design vs Machine Centred Design- Compare and contrast between Design as an Expert and Participatory Design approaches. 

12) Introduction to Product Innovation. An insight into the underlying relation between design thinking and design driven innovation.

13) Introduction to GigaMapping- Visualising techniques for Process Models. 

14) How do you Design? Importance of applying a process to design. An introduction to traditional design process models.

15) Introduction to research methods and tools: basic research, action research, qualitative research, quantitative research.

16) Introduction to the Double Diamond Process Model: an academic process model, and its stages of application to a design project. 

17) Introduction to the IDEO Process Model: a consultancy process model, and its stages of application to a design project.

18) Intoduction to IDEO Method Cards 

19) Introduction to Biomimicry: Innovation through nature inspired design. Insights into a contemporary process model.

20) Participatory Design- Introduction to Model, Methods and Tools. 

Main Bibliography

1) Reswick, James. "What constitutes valid research? qualitative vs. quantitative research." Journal of Rehabilitation research and development 31.2 (1994): 7-9. Web. Guest editorial

2) Brown, Tim. "Design thinking." Harvard Business Review June (2008): 1-9. Web.

3) Mendel, Joanne. "A taxonomy of models used in the design process." Interactions 19.1 (2012): 81. Web.

4) A study of the design process: eleven lessons- managing design in eleven global brands. Rep. Design council, n.d. Web. <>.

5) Dubberly, Hugh. How do you design? A compendium of models. Rep. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

6) Jones, J. Christopher. Design methods. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992. Print.

7) Benyus, Janine M. Biomimicry: innovation inspired by nature. New York: Perennial, 2002. Print.
8) IDSA (Industrial Design Soceity of America): Design secrets: 50 real life projects uncovered. Rockport Publishers (2001).

Other Biographical Sources / Support Documents

Website URL References: 

1) Tim Brown (IDEO) on Why Design/Design Thinking is most important concern in company: 

2) The Innovation ?S-Curve? Model (A business community insight to relationship of innovation & design thinking) 

3) Natasha Jen?s talk why design thinking is misused and overrated (99U Adobe Conference 2017): 

Student Support

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