University of Wisconsin–Madison

Summer 2018: Design & Make (almost) Anything

Spend your summer:

[-] Working on interdisciplinary teams.

[-] Learning to design and make (almost) anything using high-tech fabrication equipment.

[-] Spending a lot of time outside at farms and farmers’ markets.

Course Summary:

Students will work on an interdisciplinary team to prototype a product that addresses a market and/or societal need. The course is extremely hands-on, team-based, interactive and will provide students with a broad set of skills for creating innovative products. There will be a significant field component where students will explore the Madison area to identify needs and test prototypes.

The course will involve learning and implementing:

[1] Design Thinking, which is a set of techniques used to enhance creative analysis and problem solving.

[2] Methods for creating physical prototypes with high-tech tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters, mills and lathes.

[3] Basic analytical tools used by engineers to design products.  

[4] Business and entrepreneurial strategies.

More details:

The draft syllabus can be found here.

Project Theme for Summer 2018

Farm to Table

Students will spend a significant amount of time outside at local farms and farmers’ markets seeking to identify product opportunities / innovations within this market segment.

Registration Details

There are two course registration options depending on your major, preference and/or degree requirements:

Engineering: InterEGR 601 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Design and Innovation (click here)

SoHE: DS 341 Design Thinking for Transformation (click here)

The above courses will be taught together and identical in terms of course content.


Lead Instructors

Lennon Rodgers, PhD

Mechanical Engineering, Director

College of Engineering

Karl Williamson

Industrial Designer, Shop Manager

College of Engineering

Lesley Hayman Sager

Director of the Design Thinking Initiative

School of Human Ecology

Meeting Location

The course will be based out of the new Grainger Engineering Design Innovation Lab (Makerspace).

Location is here.

Take a virtual tour of the facility here.