Social Studio I - Design Process

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSdE2SD1138

Semester and Year Offered: Semester 1 (Monsoon)

Course Coordinator and Team: Khushbu Dublish, Silky Arora

Email of course coordinator:


Must have completed other courses of the first semester, namely, Learning to See, Social Design and Design Research Methods

Course Objectives/Description:

The Design Process emphasizes the introduction of a fundamental approach towards creative problem solving that is intrinsic to the larger context of design. The problem solving approach in its many forms and interpretations, evolved over time has remained one of the most unique and core strengths of the design discipline. It is thus directly related as an essential component and building block of the concerned programme in Social Design.

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Apply a process and method oriented approach towards creative problem solving.
  2. Evolve a practical understanding and appreciation of the significance of various parts and stages of the Design Process.
  3. Understand and practice various tools and techniques related to drawing of useful insights,
  4. generation of innovative ideas and taking the same towards implementation with concrete and fully conceived plan of action.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Knowing and Establishing the Context

Early on in the Design Process knowing and establishing the context – the circumstances or events that affect the environment in which our innovation offering exists or could exist, is necessary.

We study the trends that can affect our topic area. We pa attention to what is transforming our innovation context including society, environment, industry, technology, business, culture, politics and economics. It helps us think of an initial intent about where we should be moving.

Observations to Insights

An insight, according to common definition, is the act of ‘seeing into’ a situation or understanding the ‘inner nature’ of what we observe. Research produces a number of observations about people and context. Observations need to be systematically thought through to extract valuable insights. It is our learning from an observation through our interpretation by asking the question why. It encapsulates a point of view, a generally acceptable interpretation that we can somewhat objectively rationalize.


The mindset for ideation is to be creative and open to new, perhaps radical ideas and ways of thinking; but at the same time, keeping sight of human-centered and context driven principles. The ideation is primarily concerned with challenging prevailing assumptions about where solution concepts will be found; then with reframing the boundaries to anew solution space; exploring ideas most relevant to the insights gained; generating concepts of clear value in that space; and continually communicating those explorations both internally and externally through effective storytelling.

Visual Thinking

Drawing practice is not so much in order to illustrate ideas; instead designers learn to draw so that they can express their ideas. Words and numbers are fine, but only drawing can simultaneously reveal both the functional characteristics of an idea and its emotional content. To draw an idea accurately, decisions have to be made that can be avoided by even the most precise language. Weather the task at hand is a product, a service or a project, drawing forces decisions.


The shift from physical to abstract and back again is one of the most fundamental processes by which we explore the universe, unlock our imaginations and open our minds to new possibilities.

Anything tangible that lets us explore an idea, evaluate it and push it forward is a prototype. A successful prototype is not one that works flawlessly; it is one that teaches us something – about our objectives, our process and ourselves.

Assessment Details with weights:

The final grade would be composed of the following:

  • Class participation and attendance: 10%
  • Quality of Insights and Extent of Research: 20%
  • Diversity and Quality of Ideas Generated: 20%
  • Prototyping: 10%
  • Final intervention: 20%
  • End- semester jury: 20%

Reading List:

  • Change by Design, Tim Brown, Harper Business
  • Teach Yourself to Think, Edward De Bono
  • The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelly, Jonathan Littman
  • Design of Everyday Things, Don Norman
  • 101 Design Methods, Vijay Kumar

Additional Reference: