Teaching Human-Centered Design Innovation Across Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences

Lora Oehlberg
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA 94708
Email: lora@berkeley.edu

Alice Merner Agogino
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA 94708
Email: agogino@berkeley.edu

Ian Leighton
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA 94708
Email: l8on@berkeley.edu

Björn Hartmann
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA 94708
Email: bjoern@eecs.berkeley.edu

Abstract
Tomorrow’s engineers must be able to work effectively in multidisciplinary teams. In response to this challenge, universities are broadening engineering design curricula. This paper describes two educational programs at the University of California, Berkeley, which engage undergraduates from multiple disciplines in design education: 1. {design.}, a student-initiated course on the basic human-centered design process and philosophy; and 2. the Human-Centered Design Course Thread, a certificate program in which students take multiple courses across departments that are thematically linked to human-centered design. We present the organization and management of these programs along with descriptive statistics on student participation. We also explore the impacts these programs have had on participating students’ multidisciplinary design education, particularly: pursuing design as a career, participating in the multidisciplinary design community, and broadening perspectives of design.

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