This action-oriented course is focused on prototyping new products or services. The course will cover key processes and frameworks involved in prototyping and product development. Throughout the course, students will learn how to convert ideas into tangible representations of products or services. The learning process is tailored to each individual project as students work in groups to develop a series of prototypes to guide the development of a new product or service. Each team of students will identify an untapped market need, identify alternative solution concepts to meet this need, prototype and test solution concepts, and gather results. Based on their own results students will work through the challenges of deciding whether they need to pivot to a new objective or continue with their next set of concepts for the same objective. Each team will be provided a budget to spend on their project on a reimbursement basis. Final working prototypes will be presented at a design fair open to the broader Darden community as well as product-development practitioners, innovation experts, and members of the University of Virginia community. Classes will be a mix of group exercises, selected readings, and guest speakers. A significant portion of class time will be devoted to project work to help teams complete their projects.


Academic course objectives:


        Use the basic tools of prototyping and product development in the context of a hands-on, team-based, product or service development project.

        Generate new ideas, decompose ideas into their constituent functions and attributes, and develop them into working prototypes through concept generation and selection and iterative prototyping and experimentation.

        Incorporate feedback from potential users and investors via a design fair held at the end of the course.


Elements of the course grade:


Class participation                               40%

Project-related deliverables                  60%