The course series engages students from several disciplines at Georgia Tech – architecture, industrial design, human-centered computing, health systems, etc. in research and design activities. Research components include observation, literature survey and site visits to culminate synthesis, brainstorming and artifact design. Students build full-scale working models in order to perform usage scenario simulation and user testing (to inform and improve the design).
Students in the class are divided into teams (typically a 25 student class with 2-3 students per team). Each team then selects a topic of interest to engage in for research and design exercises. The semester has 16 weeks that are broken into four phases. Phase one (1) is used to set up the research agenda, identify problems in current practice, collect data through site visits/observation and literature search and a design charrette. Phase two (2) is used to review and revise the phase 1 prototype through discussion and lecture. Phase three (3) consits of a deployment test during in which students invite visitors and observe their use and response of the design. Phase four (4) is a revision and refinement of design to be presented to the public during an Open House event.