This course is a workshop that applies the Structured Planning process to large and complex problems.

Specifically, this workshop considers the ways in which design and systems thinking can help model our future. Through this course we rigorously explore new industries, businesses, services, and categories of products that might appear in a topic area of choice.

The course examines a different topic each year. Students develop integrated plans for responding to complex problems and approach these problems with confidence and optimism. The goal for each project is to develop contextual information thoroughly, propose innovative solutions that take maximum advantage of that information, and integrate those ideas into system concepts that can both be evaluated in their own right and (in a real situation) be a used as strategic guidance for a follow-on, more detailed development project.

Learning Objectives
Three major learning goals set the direction of this course:

  • What is the nature of “systems concepts” where policies, products, processes, activities, events, services and communications act together to achieve multiple goals? What can be done to ensure that a system as devised is as complete as possible, covering all required functions and attaining a high degree of “wholeness” and organic reliability?
  • Systematic Methods. What is Structured Planning and how can its tool-kit of systematic methods be used to collect, structure, and synthesize information in projects of greater complexity than can be comfortably dealt with intuitively?
  • How do individuals with different backgrounds work together successfully on teams? What behavioral characteristics are important and what principles of group action need to be put into practice?


Learning Outcomes

  • Students will become versant in the tools and steps of Structured Planning and how best to apply them towards complex and real world problems
  • Students will develop confidence and leadership through a structured approach to complicated problems
  • Students will be able to develop Collections of meaningful concepts and express them as a coherent and grounded system.