Design and Education Tools and Workshops

Tool and Educational Materials Downloads and Links

Design Heuristic Cards

Design Heuristics provide 77 specific strategies to help you generate novel designs that are different from each other, leading to innovative concepts.

Presentation           Handout

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Design Heuristics for Initiating Ideas (Lesson)

This concept generation lesson emphasizes the ability to continue generating new and different ideas, and allows students to see how possible it is to generate a large quantity and variety of ideas for any design task.


Design Heuristics for Subcomponent Design (Lesson)

In this lesson, students generate ideas for subcomponents of a design artifact and recombine them to create design ideas.


Design Heuristics for Transforming Ideas (Lesson)

This lesson emphasizes that a single idea can be the source of many interesting novel ideas through transformations suggested by the Design Heuristics, and that ideas can continue to evolve throughout a design process.


Design Strategies for Microfluidic Device Design

36 distinct design strategies of generating ideas for microfluidic devices based on analysis of the features and functions of 235 microfluidic device patents

Microfluidic Design Strategies

Exploring Emphases on Engineering Practices Card Sort Protocol

This interview tool facilitates the exploration of individuals’ perceptions of the most and least emphasized aspects of engineering practice in a given setting, as well as how those emphases align with the aspects of engineering they personally consider most important.

Interview Tool

Graduate Student Experiences and Motivations Survey (GSEMS)

The GSEMS includes questions on students’ decisions to pursue graduate study, the costs and values they associate with earning a degree, and their plans upon graduation.


Paradigm-Relatedness Problem-Framing Tool

A framing tool to help users generate ideas that are incremental and radical innovations.

Incremental Framing Strategies Tool

Radical Framing Strategies Tool

Problem Exploration Perspectives Tool

Problem Exploration Perspectives provide 27 specific strategies to help you explore design problems.

Problem Exploration Perspectives Tool

Socially-Engaged Design Academy

An on-demand online learning platform coupled with an in-person, hands-on skills training with learning block coaches.

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Workshops can be tailored to instructors, practitioners, or students.

Cognitive Style and Ideation

Learn about Kirton’s Adaption-Innovation Theory and how cognitive style impacts your individual and team’s ideation processes and outcomes.

Creative Process and Pedagogy

Discover a variety of ways to incorporate opportunities for creative skill development into all types of courses.

Design Ethnography: Interviewing and Observing Users and Stakeholders

Learn about best practices in design ethnography, practice applying them to a design scenario, and strategize ways to gather quality data for your own projects.

Design Heuristics

Recognize common struggles with idea generation, understand and apply the Design Heuristics method, an evidence-based idea generation tool for individuals and groups, and plan ways to integrate Design Heuristics into your courses and practice.

Front-End Design Best Pracitces

Examine processes of front-end of design, including opportunity discovery, problem definition, developing mechanisms to gather data from users and other stakeholders, translating user data into design requirements, creating innovative solutions during concept generation, representing design ideas, and evaluating possible solutions.

Idea Generation Tools

Develop a repertoire of idea generation strategies to support diverse and creative idea development through the practice and application of a variety of idea generation tools.

Problem Exploration

Take multiple perspectives on a design problem by applying strategies designers use to restructure problems. Explore the impact of these problem versions on the creativity and diversity of solution ideas.