“The collaborative innovation minor is a program that allows students at Notre Dame who are outside of design to be fully engaged in design thinking,” said Scott Shim, professor of industrial design at Notre Dame.
Students in the five-course minor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design gain foundational knowledge in design research methods, visualization, visual communication, and product development. In the final class, Collaborative Design Development, the students work on industry-sponsored projects addressing real problems.
In spring 2017, students in the capstone class worked with Kenmore on multi-culinary cooking experiences.
“When Kenmore first approached us, it was really all about essentially how their market right now is an older generation and they really want to grab millennials' attention,” said Shawn Fotsch, a computer engineering major in the class.
Students broke into teams to research and develop cooking products, including talking to cooks at local restaurants as well as cooking for their classmates. At the end of the semester, students presented their ideas to Kenmore directors and received feedback.
Students who complete the minor will be able to employ in-demand design thinking methodologies in their careers, no matter what path they pursue.
“The scale that you think in this class or in this minor allows you to really go beyond your expertise. And for you to have the ability to facilitate and engage with people from outside of your discipline, I think it gives them a competitive edge,” Shim said. “They can thrive beyond just a skill set.”