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Twin Cities Campus

Product Design Minor

Design, Housing & Apparel
College of Design
  • Program Type: Undergraduate free-standing minor
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2016
  • Required credits in this minor: 16
Product design is inherently creative and interdisciplinary, blending design, engineering, business, art, and other humanities. The program focuses on physically crafting the future in the form of new objects, systems and services. This minor will provide students with a tool set for innovation that can be applied to their major area of study.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
A GPA above 2.0 is preferred for the following:
  • 2.80 already admitted to the degree-granting college
  • 2.80 transferring from another University of Minnesota college
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
Minor Requirements
The product design minor requires a minimum of 16 credits.
Required core
PDES 2701 - Creative Design Methods (3.0 cr)
or PDES 5701 - Creativity, Idea Generation, and Innovation (3.0 cr)
PDES 2702 - Concept Sketching (3.0 cr)
or PDES 5702 - Concept Sketching and Rendering (3.0 cr)
PDES 3711 - Toy Product Design (4.0 cr)
or PDES 5711 - Toy Product Design (4.0 cr)
Select from the following to reach 16 total credits for the minor.
ANTH 4121 - Business Anthropology (3.0 cr)
or CEGE 5571 {Inactive} [GP] (3.0-4.0 cr)
or DES 3131 - User Experience in Design (4.0 cr)
or DES 3321 - Furniture Design: Exploration (3.0 cr)
or DES 5185 - Human Factors in Design (3.0 cr)
or EE 4951W - Senior Design Project [WI] (4.0 cr)
or ESPM 3603 - Environmental Life Cycle Analysis (3.0 cr)
or GCC 5005 - Global Venture Design: What Impact Will You Make? [GP] (3.0 cr)
or MGMT 3010 - Introduction to Entrepreneurship (4.0 cr)
or MGMT 4171W - Entrepreneurship in Action I [WI] (4.0 cr)
or MGMT 4172 - Entrepreneurship in Action II (4.0 cr)
or PDES 3170 {Inactive} (1.0-4.0 cr)
or PDES 2777 - Product Form and Model Making (2.0 cr)
or PDES 3704 - Computer-Aided Design Methods (3.0 cr)
or PDES 3705 - History and Future of Product Design (3.0 cr)
or PDES 3706 - Designing for Manufacture (4.0 cr)
or PDES 3715 - Design and Food (4.0 cr)
or PDES 4193 - Directed Study in Product Design (1.0-4.0 cr)
or PDES 5703 - Product Form and Model Making (4.0 cr)
or PDES 5704 - Computer-Aided Design Methods (3.0 cr)
or PDES 5705 - History and Future of Product Design (3.0 cr)
or PDES 5706 - Designing for Manufacture (4.0 cr)
or EE 4981H - Senior Honors Project I (2.0 cr)
EE 4982V - Senior Honors Project II [WI] (2.0 cr)
or ME 2011 - Introduction to Engineering (4.0 cr)
or ME 4054W - Design Projects [WI] (4.0 cr)
 
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· College of Design

View future requirement(s):
· Fall 2018
· Summer 2017
· Spring 2017


View checkpoint chart:
· Product Design Minor
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PDES 2701 - Creative Design Methods
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This class is an introduction to a variety of tools and methods used in developing new product concepts. The focus of the class is on the early stage of product development which includes user research, market research, idea generation methods, concept evaluation, concept selection, intellectual property, and idea presentation. Students work individually applying the content taught in lecture to a semester-long design project. Students meet in teams bi-weekly to present and critique their work.
PDES 5701 - Creativity, Idea Generation, and Innovation
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to a variety of creativity and idea generation tools with an emphasis on innovative product concept development. Students apply different toolsets to an ongoing project. Starting with a general theme, students explore problems and concepts, practice using a variety of idea generation tools, and learn methods of evaluating/selecting concepts. Customer needs, benchmarking, and intellectual property.
PDES 2702 - Concept Sketching
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This class is an introduction to manual sketching techniques, specifically for the communication of conceptual product ideas. The focus of this class is on free-hand perspective drawing. Students begin with basic principles, simple shapes, light and shadow, and later learn how to combine forms to create conceptual objects with realistic perspective. In this class, there are weekly drawing assignments and presentations.
PDES 5702 - Concept Sketching and Rendering
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Sketching and marker rendering for communication of conceptual product design. Free-hand 2-point perspective. Weekly drawing assignments/presentations. Students keep a sketchbook to develop ideas/drawings.
PDES 3711 - Toy Product Design
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02649 - PDes 3711/PDes 5711
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Toy Product Design is an introduction to integrated product design process in which elements of industrial design, engineering, business, and humanities are combined and applied to a semester-long design project. Cross-functional teams of six students work together to design and prototype new toy product concepts with help from industry mentors.
PDES 5711 - Toy Product Design
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02649 - PDes 3711/PDes 5711
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Toy Product Design is an introduction to integrated product design process in which elements of industrial design, engineering, business, and humanities are combined and applied to a semester-long design project. Cross-functional teams of six students work together to design and prototype new toy product concepts with help from industry mentors.
ANTH 4121 - Business Anthropology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01996
Typically offered: Every Spring
Anthropological/ethnographic understandings/research techniques.
DES 3131 - User Experience in Design
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to theories/principles of human interaction with designed objects. Focuses on affect/emotional quality of designs. Objects, interfaces, environments. Digitally mediated experiences.
DES 3321 - Furniture Design: Exploration
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01644
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Furniture design as discipline, not as method. Material. Objects that mediate our environment. History, design criteria, technology, craft. Group case study, research presentation, individual making/presenting of concept-prototype.
DES 5185 - Human Factors in Design
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Theories/methods that influence the assessment of physical, social, and psychological human factors. Development of user needs with application to designed products that interact with human body. prereq: Grad student or sr or instr consent
EE 4951W - Senior Design Project (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Team participation in formulating/solving open-ended design problems. Oral/written presentations. prereq: 3015, 3115, 3102, attendance first day of class
ESPM 3603 - Environmental Life Cycle Analysis
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01075
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Concepts/issues relating to inventory, subsequent analysis of production systems. Production system from holistic point of view, using term commonly used in industrial ecology: "metabolic system."
GCC 5005 - Global Venture Design: What Impact Will You Make? (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02315 - CEGE 5571/GCC 3005/GCC 5005
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Students will work in teams developing sustainable business and technical solutions to address an environmental or social challenge in India. Teams may address a challenge related to water supply, energy availability, food/agriculture production, waste management, public health or a topic mutually agreed upon by the instructor and student teams. During the semester, a product or service must be designed, and a sustainable business model must be created around it. Technical and business development professionals based in the US and India will act as mentors to provide advice to each team. Each team will have one US-based mentor and one India-based mentor. The teams are expected to use a discovery process, design thinking, ideation and input from field research in solving the challenge. A primary focus of the course is up-front work to identify the "right" problem to solve. The model should be built around the customer's needs and wants, as they will need to pay for the product or service to achieve a scalable model. prereq: sophomore, junior, senior, graduate student
MGMT 3010 - Introduction to Entrepreneurship
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02347
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Fundamentals of entrepreneurship. Career paths, including new business start-ups, franchising, acquisitions (including family business succession), corporate venturing, and entre-preneurial services. Legal structures for new business formation. Aspects of business law/ethics.
MGMT 4171W - Entrepreneurship in Action I (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Two-semester course. In fall, students identify a business oportunity, develop concept, determine resources required, and launch the business. In spring, students implement business plan, manage business, and determine exit strategy. prereq: 3010, [4008 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 4008], completed coursework in business core, CSOM upper division, approved application
MGMT 4172 - Entrepreneurship in Action II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Second of two-semester sequence. In fall, students identify business opportunity, develop concept, determine resources required, and launch business. In spring, students implement busienss plan, manage business, and determine exit strategy. prereq: 4171
PDES 2777 - Product Form and Model Making
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This class is a hands-on introduction to prototyping tools, materials, and techniques for product design. Students learn the basics of working with foam-board, foam, and wood to create physical models and will be introduced to different surface treatments and finishes. Assignments are designed to build a sense of craftsmanship and attention to detail. There are multiple individual projects focusing on different materials and techniques. Each project involves practicing oral presentation and group critique.
PDES 3704 - Computer-Aided Design Methods
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02062 - PDes 3704/PDes 5704
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This class provides an overview of computer-aided design (CAD) methods for product designers. The primary software covered in this course include Solidworks and Keyshot. These programs are used to make three-dimensional computer generated models of product concepts and render the models to appear photo-realistic. This class may also cover additional 2D and interaction design software.
PDES 3705 - History and Future of Product Design
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This class covers critical milestones in the history, evolution, and trajectory of modern product design as well as the human relationships to consumer goods, including production and consumption. In some assignments, students have the opportunity to apply the topics discussed towards imagining the future of the product design industry.
PDES 3706 - Designing for Manufacture
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This class is a hands-on overview of common manufacturing methods, tools, and considerations for product designers. The focus is placed on plastic and metal related processes specifically machining, forming, casting, and molding. Throughout the course students apply the theory of design for manufacturing (DFM) and design for assembly (DFA) to a series of design projects. This course also covers related topics such as material identification, bill of material, cost estimation, part drawings, tolerances, fasteners, part finishing, and sourcing parts.
PDES 3715 - Design and Food
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This class is a hands-on introduction to principles of design applied to the food industry. Students develop new food concepts working in a kitchen classroom with regular advising from local chefs and food industry experts. The class is structured into four modules: creative design process, flavor and texture, visual aesthetics, and user experience. In each module students learn different design and food preparation methods and apply them to a design challenge. Several restaurant outings are incorporated into the curriculum.
PDES 4193 - Directed Study in Product Design
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Independent study in product design under tutorial guidance. prereq: Undergrad, instr consent
PDES 5703 - Product Form and Model Making
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Principles of 3D design. Applications to visual expression and product design. Model making tools/techniques. Elements of visual communication. Function/form development. Projects, exercises. Individual reviews, group critiques.
PDES 5704 - Computer-Aided Design Methods
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02062 - PDes 3704/PDes 5704
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Overview of how to make well-modeled, properly illuminated, and carefully composed digital models of existing/conceptual objects. prereq: Senior or grad student
PDES 5705 - History and Future of Product Design
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This class covers critical milestones in the history, evolution, and trajectory of modern product design as well as the human relationships to consumer goods, including production and consumption. In some assignments, students have the opportunity to apply the topics discussed towards imagining the future of the product design industry.
PDES 5706 - Designing for Manufacture
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: PDes 5704 or CAD experience.
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Hands-on exposure to a number of common manufacturing methods and the considerations in product design. Students will be able to apply the theory of design for manufacturing (DFM) and design for assembly (DFA) to other methods that may not be taught in this course. prereq: PDes 5704 or CAD experience.
EE 4981H - Senior Honors Project I
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Experience in research/design for electrical/computer engineering. Oral/written reports. prereq: ECE honors, sr, instr consent
EE 4982V - Senior Honors Project II (WI)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Experience in research/design for electrical/computer engineering. Oral/written reports. prereq: 4981
ME 2011 - Introduction to Engineering
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Skills critical for practicing engineers. Mechanical engineering, engineering design. Visual, written, and oral communication forms. Computer-based design tools. Substantial design projects, including prototype construction. prereq: CSE lower div
ME 4054W - Design Projects (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Students work in teams and undertake single, substantial design project. Design problems are open-ended. Product design process. Teams give formal presentation of progress at mid-semester design review, show completed work at design show. prereq: 2011, 3221, 3222, 3281, 3331, 3332, 3333, 4031W, AEM 2021, AEM 3031, EE 3005, ME upper div