Design and Innovation Minor

Design and Innovation Minor

Design and Innovation Minor

The Design and Innovation minor provides a continuous pathway for students to scope problems and generate ideas, and then fabricate, optimize and prepare innovative technological solutions for people – from idea formation to functional prototype – ready for launching into the marketplace.

Students will:

  • Identify opportunities for innovation in alignment with their major
  • Design and develop technological solutions across multiple years of study

This minor incorporates:

  • Functional performance through engineering and technology applications
  • Human interface of design thinking and ethnography
  • Economic values through the entrepreneurial mindset
  • Global and cultural experiences

Students learn by:

  • Doing
  • Working in teams
  • Teaching each other

Core Courses

TECH 12000 (Design Thinking in Technology): Idea formation
Students write a focused problem statement addressing open-ended or ill-defined global challenges. Students are expected to manage design projects, develop project timelines and negotiate individual responsibilities and accountability in the team environment.

TECH 22000 (Designing Technology for People): Human-centered design application
Students engage in ethnographic studies of human and technology interaction to identify opportunities for innovation that emerge when designers observe and listen to humans interacting with technology.

TECH 34000 (Prototyping Technology for People): Functional prototype and business model creation
Students develop a functional prototype, which is expected to use analytical modeling and optimization of material properties. Students compartmentalize prototype designs to isolate and enable testing of specific components and functions of the design. During repeated tests, students recognize failures, refine the prototype and advance toward a solution. The refinement of prototypes also is guided by the application of entrepreneurial strategies and the establishment a business model.

Students bring ideas to reality by:

  • Applying design thinking methodologies
  • Engaging in ethnographic studies of people
  • Prototyping technological solutions
  • Conducting user tests with target groups
  • Developing an entrepreneurial mindset


Innovative Classrooms

Students use Purdue’s hands-on labs to learn from instructors, collaborate with classmates and create prototypes.