TPD4121 - Design 3 - Human Centered Design & Innovation


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment 100/100

Course content

This course introduces fundamental knowledge into complex problem solving in design by use of Human centered design process. It focuses on impact-based design and innovation of new products and services. The course is embedded in UNSDG Goals # 3 & 9 by focusing on improving, health and well-being and sustainable development of services to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. The course will include basic in design methods focusing on critical thinking and complex problem-solving. Human-Centered Design process including (contextual inquiry, User interviews, affinity mapping, personas and scenarios, ideation, concept development, prototyping and testing). The course combines theoretical learning with project work. These projects are done in groups and mentored regularly. This implies that the course participants applying the lecture learning directly to the real-life problem solving and create impact-based design and learn to be design innovators and changemakers.

Learning outcome


Students learn

  • The knowledge to apply Human Centered Design /Design Thinking Process to solve complex problems and innovate new solutions
  • Being capable of discovering opportunities by viewing challenges and situations with a user-centered mindset and by framing the "right" problem that needs to be solved
  • The knowledge to connect with the end used and stakeholders in the field to identify problems and co create solutions
  • Embracing an experimental attitude to iteratively discover and early testing of what is valuable, feasible and viable.
  • Knowledge of key design thinking methods for analysis of the context of use, including ethnographic analysis, problem framing, affinity mapping, concept development, prototype development, and testing
  • Knowledge of working in teams and peer critiquing and peer learning


  • Critical thinking techniques of complex problem solving and user centered design which includes the field research, analysis of users, user problems activities, usage context, ideation prototyping and user testing.
  • Be able to convert knowledge about people to design the product, activity and user experience.

General qualifications:

  • The candidate should have practical experience with human centered product design, critical thinking and complex problem solving and innovation

Learning methods and activities

The pedagogy for the course is highly interactive, Personalized mentoring, encourages peer learning, group working and hands on experience in working with a real life design complex problem solving

1. One main project will give students practical experience with the main themes which will be related to Health and well being (UN sustainable development goals no 3):

  • Human-centered design for complex problem solving
  • Innovation of new solution
  • Lectures will present the theory and methods that can be directly application to the project.

2. Student lecture seminars mandatory - The course literature will be discussed in student driven literature seminars

Further on evaluation

This course will be graded on project work.

Re-sit examinations will be held in the next ordinary exam period.

Due to the highly interactive nature of the course, the students are advised to attend the course regularly and participate actively in the group project and class exercise.

Specific conditions

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Industrial Design Engineering (MTDESIG)

Required previous knowledge

Limited to students in the Industrial Design studyprogram.

Course materials

"The Design of Everyday Things (Revised and expanded edition)", D. Norman, 2013. Basic Books "Universal Methods of Design" B. Marting & B Hanington, 2012, Rockport. Further literature will be announced at the start of the course.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Product Design - Man/Machine
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Design


Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 100/100



Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS Assignment 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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