13 March 2006

Designing for Stanford’s d-school

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Design is not just about solving technical challenges. Stanford’s multidisciplinary d-school teaches students to change human behavior, including markets, with empathy and creativity.

For nearly 30 years, product design has been taught at Stanford University through the School of Engineering. Today that topic has been expanded via an organization nicknamed the d-school , which through its multidisciplinary approach brings together seven core faculty members from the Business School and the departments of computer science, mechanical engineering, and management science and engineering in the School of Engineering to help graduate students from across the University address design issues in new ways. In October the d-school formally became the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, named for the co-founder of the business-process software giant SAP who provided a $35 million gift.

“We do not see design as a discipline, but as a way of life,” said David Kelley, chairman emeritus of IDEO, the design firm that gave us the computer mouse. A professor of mechanical engineering, Kelley heads the Institute. “We hope we can teach our students to have confidence in a methodology of how to innovate routinely.”

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