Integrated Design Minor now available at University of Delaware

Integrated Design@UD

     A new interdisciplinary minor for undergraduates at the University of Delaware is now available for all students with an interest in design thinking and learning.

     Courses for the new minor reflect the transdisciplinary nature of design, and are offered in the departments of Art, Communication, Computer Science, Entrepreneurship, Landscape Design, Mechanical Engineering, and Urban Affairs & Public Policy.

For more information about the Integrated Design minor, see the DDI Resource page or click here.

DDI Spring Event Highlighted Integrated Design Across Campus


     The Delaware Design Institute Spring Event “Integrated Design” was a success!

     The event had a record turnout of participants and guests,
including University of Delaware faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduates students from across the campus.
Over 150 people were in attendance to hear and see the impact of design research.

     University of Delaware Provost Domenico Grasso and Dean Kathleen Matt of the College of Health Sciences stressed the importance and relevance of design research at UD.  Panel Presenters James Cole Galloway of the UD Physical Therapy Department and Ralph & Steve Cope of Accudyne, LLC. shared their stories of design research having high impact for various communities and populations, such as children & adults with limited mobility.

     The Design Showcase featured research from UD faculty and students, including transdisciplinary courses led by Terry Harvey (Computer & Information Science) & Tony Richards (Art), and by Tony Middlebrooks (Public Policy & Administration), Jules Bruck (Plant & Soil Science), & Jon Cox (Art); UD student research projects, such as the First Step participants from Health Sciences, Mechanical Engineering Senior Design teams; and UD student clubs like the Assistive Medical Technologies Club, Design & ArtiCulture Club, and TEDxUD.

We look forward to next year

and another high-impact event featuring design at UD!

The Design Studio Celebrates Grand Opening


This week, The Design Studio celebrated the official grand opening of this interdisciplinary design space. Housed in Spencer Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware, The Design Studio is a hub for design thinking, innovation, and collaboration across disciplines.

Design Studio Wall

Design Studio Wall


The Design Studio consists of 3,500 square feet of rooms on the first floor of Spencer Lab.  The rooms offer various materials and project resources, including computers, 3D printers, sewing machines, and lumber.  The Design Studio layout is across several rooms, with such names as “The Pit”, “The Fab Lab”, and “The Hack-A-Torium.”


Design Studio Layout

Design Studio Layout

The Grand Opening ceremony included several esteemed UD speakers, including an introduction by Delaware Design Institute Steering Committee member and Mechanical Engineering professor Dr. Jenni Buckley.  Dr. Buckley spoke about the excitement and energy in the creation of The Design Studio and recognized the many supporters, from the students renovating the facility to the financial support from the College of Engineering, The Office of Economic Innovation & Partnerships, and the Delaware Design Institute.

Dr. Suresh Advani, Chairperson and George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Babatunde A. Ogunnaike, Dean of the College of Engineering and William L. Friend Chaired Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Dr. David Weir, Director of Office of Economic Innovation & Partnerships all spoke of the unique learning opportunity represented by The Design Studio.  The space will be a student-centered place for design innovation, economic partnerships, and community outreach.  As noted by Dr. Ogunnaike, The Design Studio will become a symbol for design, distinctive to the University of Delaware.

Dr. Babatunde A. Ogunnaike, David Burns, and Dr. Jenni Buckey

Dr. Babatunde A. Ogunnaike, David Burns, and Dr. Jenni Buckey


The Design Studio

Screen shot 2014-03-14 at 3.27.36 PM

The Mechanical Engineering Department is proud to announce the opening of The Design Studio, a unique learning environment for our students that fosters interdisciplinary collaboration and hands-on learning.

The Design Studio is a 3,500 square foot “hacker-space” on the first floor of Spencer Laboratory that includes space for group projects, computer-aided design, prototyping, and design validation. It is a community space that is open 24-7 for mechanical engineering students and their collaborators.

Like any good “hacker-space,” the Design Studio is constantly evolving based on the needs of our community of young inventors. Current renovation projects include the redesign of “The Hive” (collaboration room), acquisition of new Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) equipment, and creation of a mechanical testing core facility within The Studio.

Video montage by Sarah Minnich.

Mechanical Engineering Team Wins Design and Social Innovation Contest 2013

Members of the winning design, Team YesUCan, with Design Challenge judges.

On University of Delaware’s Reading Day this May, a team of judges from across disciplines witnessed presentations by 5 teams competing in the Delaware Design Institute’s First Annual Social Innovation and Design Challenge.

The Design Challenge, set forth by the Delaware Design Institute for the 2012/2013 academic year, asked students to identify a “wicked” problem and work together as a team to design a product or program to address that problem.  Teams were granted one brainstorming session with a contest judge and were asked to articulate not only their problem and solution, but to also describe their design (and re-design) process.

Teams of students from multiple departments came together to present their ideas and research innovations, all vying for the $500 Grand Prize.  Congratulations to all of this year’s teams for a job well-done!

Grand Prize Winners: Team YesUCan

Team YesUCan: Matt Klixbull and Mike Pfeiffer
Not Pictured: Matt Durst

University of Delaware seniors Mike Pfeifer, Matt Klixbull and Matt Durst began their project as senior mechanical engineering students this past fall.  Their objective was to retrofit a full-sized tricycle with a steering mechanism and braking system that would allow an adult with limited mobility to still enjoy the benefits of biking.  This grand prize winning project was undertaken to benefit YesUCan USA – Center for Adapted Sports, Fitness and Recreation, a Delaware-based nonprofit promoting mobility for persons of all abilities.

First Runner-Up: ADHD: An opportunity for creativity

Members of the ADHD: Opportunity for Creativity Team – Andrew Beauchemin, Courtney Colegrove, Kyle Drury, Stephanie Leon and Ally Turkheimer

Recognizing a relatively recent increase in the number of children diagnosed with ADHD and the resultant struggles faced by both parents and teachers, this team sought an inexpensive solution that would allow integration of ADHD students into the mainstream classroom and benefit both ADHD children and those without ADHD.  The team put together a Teacher Toolkit complete with: exercise balls (to be used as chairs), Classical Music, dry erase board and markers, paper clips (for math work) and letter tiles (for spelling work) as well as a list of hand signals commonly used in classroom management.  The team also developed a sample lesson plan to be used in an early elementary classroom.  Using tangible items like tiles, paper clips and dry erase boards were presented as well-researched methods of connecting with and learning in all students.  Exercise balls as chairs have been shown to effectively allow for some literal “wiggle-room” that is non-distracting in the classroom environment.  In assembling this kit, the team hopes that all classrooms could be inexpensively transformed into ADHD-friendly environments that benefit all students.

Additional Entries

Members of the Energy Conservation Team: Shelby Brightbill, Laura Maxant, Melissa Healion, and Daniel Kaplan

The Energy Conservation team proposed the addition of a three-way switch in University of Delaware dorm rooms that would automatically turn off lights when the door was locked from the outside.  As proposed, these switches would reduce energy usage without requiring a large change in habit on the part of the student.  In addition, this team was able to troubleshoot a solution to a roommate leaving the room while the other remained.

Members of the Lower Divorce Rate Team: Joseph Zarraga, Sara Feldman, Roberto Carrasco, Kara Kurk and Chaz Yancey

After identifying as their “wicked problem” this relatively high rate of divorce in the United States, this team proposed the inclusion of a “Healthy Relationships” class in the standard curriculum for all high school students.  This course would pair students together to practice open communication skills and problem solving methods.  Not afraid of a challenge, this team also drafted a piece of legislation that, if adopted, would raise the age of consent for marriage.

Not Pictured: Team High School Triathalon

This team proposed the development of a club team for Red Clay School District High Schools that would encourage at-risk youth to train for and participate in triathalon events.  Participation in training and events was proposed as a means of building team camaraderie and self-confidence in participants from a wide range of backgrounds.

DDI Panel Discussion on Design and Social Innovation

On April 29, 2013, the Delaware Design Institute held a very successful panel discussion event on design and social innovation. Members of the University of Delaware community listened to invited speakers present on their recent work as well as their “design process.”  After their presentations, the floor was opened to audience questions.  The video of the FULL event is available on our YouTube channel or can be found below:

Invited Speakers included:

Dave Franchino – Design Concepts

Colleen Macklin – Parsons New School

Cole Galloway – University of Delaware Department of Physical Therapy

Thank you to all of our invited speakers and audience participants for coming together for this wonderful event!

Panel Event: Social Innovation and Design

You’re invited to join the Delaware Design Institute for a Panel Discussion on Social Innovation and Design on April 29, 2013.   Invited speakers will present on their recent projects during the first hour.  The second hour will be devoted to audience questions and engaging discussion.  We have an excellent line up of speakers and hope you will join us for this exciting event!

Invited speakers:







Colleen Macklin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Design and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City and Director of PETLab (Prototyping Evaluation, Teaching and Learning lab), a joint project of Games for Change and Parsons, supported by funding from the MacArthur Foundation, focused on developing new games, simulations, and play experiences which encourage experimental learning and investigation into social and global issues. She has led social media projects and programs with partners such as the UN and Open Society Institute (OSI), including a design fieldwork program connecting Parsons students with OSI’s Public Health programs in Africa and the former Soviet Union. In 2006-2007 Colleen was a fellow at the India China Institute at the New School investigating the use of mobile phones and location-based media in urban design with support from Nokia. In the days prior to the bubble, Colleen designed websites and interactive applications for clients such Citibank, France Telecom and Moet, and dj’ed and vj’ed at site-specific venues and for cultural institutions such as SoundLab, The Whiney Museum for American Art and Creative Time. BFA, Media Arts Pratt Institute, graduate studies in Computer Science, CUNY and International Affairs, The New School.







Dave Francino is the president and principal of Design Concepts. In Dave’s words, “We help our clients envision the future. To do this, we use the principles of design thinking to uncover, articulate and refine product, service and business opportunities. Our team of strategists, researchers, and designers provide insights and information to help our clients visualize a compelling future.”

I share my passion for innovation and experience in business to move our company forward. I am the link between design thinking and business strategy. I challenge myself to see both the forest and the trees as I lead the strategic and day-to-day business of our firm.

University of Wisconsin-Madison: Lecturer, Engineering Design Projects
General Motors/Saturn: Project Manager and Lead Engineer on the team that designed the first line of Saturn automobiles 
IDEO: Product Development Engineer
Stanford University: MS, Mechanical Engineering, first in class.

It is a tremendous rush to work here with these incredible people. They leave me inspired and humbled daily.

: I’m designing a sailboat with my father — because the world needs another mediocre sailboat.







Cole Galloway is an Associate Professor at University of Delaware. Instrumental in the project “Go Baby Go!,” he desires to “provide mobility and sociability to kids with disabilities.”  While, best known for his high tech “babies driving robots” research with Sunil Agrawal, Cole Galloway has recently added a low tech version – off-the-shelf toy racecars to provide mobility to children with crawling and walking problems, empowering them to be part of the action at home, in the daycare center, or on the playground. Dr. Galloway’s research focuses on the development of exploratory behaviors of infants and young children with and without special needs. He and his academic and industry collaborators are especially interested in creating technology and training that is designed to provide radical improvement in the daily lives of children and their families.

The panel with take place in Gore Hall, Room 116, April 29 from 5pm-7pm and admission is free to the public.