fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Fall Quarter

Fall Quarter Underway
Late-Start Classes
Still Available
shopping cart icon0


« Back to Liberal Arts & Sciences

DSN 101 — The History and Theory of Design: An Introduction to the Design Cycle

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 25—Dec 4
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 8
Units: 2
Tuition: $460
Instructor(s): Barry Katz
Limit: 125
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 20
On-campus course
7:00—8:50 pm
Sep 25—Dec 4
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 8
2 Units
Barry Katz
Please Note: No class on November 20
In the first of this three-course sequence, we will explore the nature of design and the ever-expanding scope of design practice in the modern world. From the impassioned campaigns of the English Arts and Crafts movement to the spectacular rise of “design thinking” in Silicon Valley today, design offers a compelling lens through which to understand our past achievements, present challenges, and future prospects.

Drawing upon the century-long history of modern design, we will look for the sources of inspiration that have enabled designers to bring us the products, services, environments, and interfaces that form the fabric of everyday life. Readings will be drawn from major figures in modern design, lectures will place them in context, and weekly exercises will challenge students to test these approaches for themselves. By the end of the course, students will have learned what it means to think like a designer, and will be prepared to plunge into hands-on practice (Winter) and to apply their newly acquired skills to a real-life plan of action (Spring).

Design is now recognized as a major force in businesses, governments, and universities, nowhere more than in our own Bay Area backyard. In this three-quarter sequence, we will explore the nature of design and its relevance both within and beyond the realm of the design professional. The Fall course will serve as a general introduction to the history and diverse philosophies of design. In the Winter, students will learn a set of practical design methodologies. In the Spring, students will be guided through a process of translating theory and practice into a viable business strategy. While these courses build upon one another, each course can be taken independently as well.

Barry Katz, Consulting Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Design Group), Stanford; Professor, Industrial and Interaction Design, California College of the Arts

Barry Katz is the author of six books, including most recently, Make It New: The History of Silicon Valley Design. He is also a Fellow at IDEO, Inc. He received a PhD from UC Santa Cruz.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Tim Brown, Change By Design (ISBN 978-0-06-176608-4)
(Recommended) Barry Katz, Make it New (ISBN 978-0-262-533591)