Site Navigation

DESI6031 - AEC Design Thinking

Title:AEC Design Thinking
Long Title:AEC Design Thinking
Module Code:DESI6031
Duration:1 Semester
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Fundamental
Field of Study: Design Studies
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2021/22 ( September 2021 )
Module Delivered in 4 programme(s)
Module Coordinator: DES WALSH
Module Author: TED MC KENNA
Module Description: In this module learners will be introduced to design thinking and in particular how it may be applied within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector. Through a series of exercises students' knowledge and skills will be developed particularly in the context of the following: observation, empathy, problem definition, problem solving, lateral thinking, critical and creative thinking. Learners will be encouraged to actively engage in the development and evaluation of creative design solutions to assigned problems. Communication of design intent will be explore through a variety of approaches and media.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 Identify and describe modes of design thinking.
LO2 Apply design thinking to develop and evaluate creative solutions to project-based problems.
LO3 Communicate ideas, concepts and solutions via a combination of media.
LO4 Apply the skills required for team members in design thinking projects.
LO5 Develop abilities to reflect on student's own learning from the application of design thinking methodologies.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named MTU module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).

Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module. You may not earn additional credit for the same learning and therefore you may not enrol in this module if you have successfully completed any modules in the incompatible list.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed. You may not enrol on this module if you have not acquired the learning specified in this section.

No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Introduction to Design Thinking
Overview of design thinking and its use in multiple discipline/sector contexts (e.g. product design, business, education). The built environment will then form a particular focus for how design thinking may be implemented.
Overview of the various design thinking methodologies, including comparisons of same. Application of design thinking throughout the various phases of process including empathise, define, ideate, prototype, test, and implement. Discussion on the non-linear nature of the process and how reflection, evaluation and iteration are fundamental aspects.
Exploration of various means of communicating design intent at various stages in the design process and their importance in achieving successful outcomes. Methods considered include verbal, sketching, infographics, posters, 3D digital models, physical models, immersive experiences including virtual and augmented reality.
Individual and team work
Identify and experience the role of blending autonomous work with teamwork in achieving optimum project goals.
Explore the potential benefits of adopting reflection as a means of understanding and evaluating the learner's own perspectives of particular knowledge or experiences.
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work100.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Critique Group-based Project: In response to a project brief, develop and evaluate design options prior to selecting a preferred solution. Present the design evolution in a visual graphic format for use in a combined tutor/peer critique in the form of a presentation followed by a questions and answers session. 1,2,3,4 20.0 Week 3
Project Group-based Project: Execute a design thinking mindset and methodology in designing innovative solutions in response to a project brief. Present project work in a manner that clearly demonstrates the design evolution for the entire project. Presentation of design intent may comprise the following: Sketches; Infographic; Physical model; Virtual experience. With the support of tutors, groups will be required to develop and execute a strategy to monitor accountability of individuals in completing project work within a group context. 1,2,3,4,5 55.0 Week 12
Reflective Journal Individual Learner Reflection: Learner reflections to be completed on an individual basis and will focus on the individual's learning experience. Online/hardcopy reflective journal to be maintained on a weekly basis and used to inform reflective writing assignments based on driving questions set by module tutors. 5 25.0 Every Week
No End of Module Formal Examination
Reassessment Requirement
Coursework Only
This module is reassessed solely on the basis of re-submitted coursework. There is no repeat written examination.

The institute reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Delivery of module content. 1.0 Every Week 1.00
Lecturer-Supervised Learning (Contact) Group based design workshops and project work. 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Review of course material. Project work. 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 4.00
Workload: Part Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Delivery of module content. 1.0 Every Week 1.00
Lecturer-Supervised Learning (Contact) Group based design workshops and project work. 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Review of course material. Project work. 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 4.00

Module Resources

Recommended Book Resources
  • Michael Lewrick, Patrick Link, Larry Leifer 2018, The Design Thinking Playbook: Mindful Digital Transformation of Teams, Products, Services, Businesses and Ecosystems, First Ed., John Wiley & Sons [ISBN: 9781119467472]
  • Michael Lewrick, Patrick Link, Larry Leifer 2020, The Design Thinking Toolbox: A Guide to Mastering the Most Popular and Valuable Innovation Methods, First Ed., John Wiley & Sons New York, United States [ISBN: 9781119629191]
  • University of Portsmouth 2015, Reflective writing: a basic introduction, https://capstone.unst.pdx.edu/sites/default/files/Reflective-writing---a-basic-intro_0.pdf
  • University of Birmingham 2014, A short guide to reflective writing, https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/libraryservices/library/asc/documents/public/Short-Guide-Reflective-Writing.pdf
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Dubberly, Hugh 2008, How do you design? A Compendium of Models, First Ed., Dubberly Design Office www.dubberly.com/articles/how-do-you-design.html
  • Tim Brown 2009, Change by Design - How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation, First Ed., HarperCollins [ISBN: 9780061766084]
  • Robert Curedale 2016, Design Thinking Process and Methods, Third Ed., Design Community College Inc. [ISBN: 9781940805498]
  • Dan Roam 2009, The Back Of The Napkin : Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, First Ed., Penguin Putnam Inc New York, United States [ISBN: 9781591843061]
  • Kurt Hanks 2006, Rapid Viz: A New Method for the Rapid Visualization of Ideas, Third Ed., Thomson Course Technology [ISBN: 9781598632682]
  • Thomas Lockwood 2009, Design Thinking: Integrating Innovation, Customer Experience, and Brand Value, First Ed., Allworth Press [ISBN: 9781581156683]
  • Michael G. Luchs, Scott Swan, Abbie Griffin 2015, Design Thinking: New Product Development Essentials from the PDMA, First Ed., Wiley [ISBN: 9781118971]
  • Edward de Bono 2009, Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity, Penguin Life [ISBN: 9780241257548]
  • Tom Kelley 2001, The Art Of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm, First Ed., Profile Books [ISBN: 9781781256145]
Supplementary Article/Paper Resources
  • Jon Kolko 2015, Design Thinking Comes of Age, Harvard Business Review, 66-71
  • Tim Brown 2008, Design Thinking, Harvard Business Review, 84-95
  • Katja Thoring, Roland Mueller 2011, Understanding design thinking: A process model based on method engineering, International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CR_CSTRU_8 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Structural Engineering 2 Mandatory
CR_EOMNI_8 Engineering Common Entry (Level 8) 2 Elective
CR_CCEEE_9 Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering (Environment and Energy) 2 Mandatory
CR_CSTEN_9 Master of Engineering in Structural Engineering 2 Mandatory

Cork Institute of Technology
Rossa Avenue, Bishopstown, Cork

Tel: 021-4326100     Fax: 021-4545343
Email: help@cit.edu.ie