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Course Information

Instructor Info:Donna Cohn
Office Extension x6032
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Lemelson Center for Design 113
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Lemelson Center for Design 113

Students will investigate “intermediate” or “appropriate” technologies traditionally used by people in resource poor parts of the world.  We will consider factors that make for their abandonment or successful adoption and widespread use.

We will consider how we might apply some of these tools and techniques to our own local surroundings, to generally do more with less.

Class projects will focus on conservation of the earth’s non-renewable resources; poverty alleviation around the world; access to water, healthcare, mobility and transportation. 


Course Objectives:
  • To learn about the design process
  • To function as part of a collaborative effort
  • To develop technical solutions for underserved communities
  • To practice creative design in a real-world context
  • To learn hands-on prototyping and manufacturing skills
  • To develop problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • To acquire and apply basic metal fabrication skills 

Evaluation Criteria:

In order to receive academic credit for this class, you are expected to complete all assignments. You must participate fully in all aspects of the final project, complete and post a self-evaluation on the HUB (5-College students can email this). In writing your evaluation, I will consider the following:


Class participation | Did you contribute to class discussions and activities, show up to class regularly and on time? Did you do the readings, digest and reflect on them? Did you do the complete and present your work, in sync with the rest of the class? Were you a reliable and contributing team member?

Quality of Effort and Degree of Resourcefulness | Did you put in the time and practice necessary to learn new skills? Did you work to overcome any particular challenges or push yourself to work in a new way? Were your efforts thoughtful, careful, inspired and/or compelling?

Additional Info:

Additional Information There is a $60 lab fee.

Let me know in advance when you need to miss a class. Students who miss more than 3 classes will not receive academic credit for this class, negotiable with a confirmed medical excuse.

You are expected to complete all assignments as they are assigned, complete and post a self-evaluation on the HUB. 

In order to use the Center for Design facilities, students must attend a 1-hour Shop Safety Session and sign a waiver form. It is not necessary to repeat the training if you've done it before. The deadline for attending a session is Sept 27th. Safety Training sessions will be held on Thurday nights at 7pm or by special arrangement. For more information on Shop Safety Trainings contact shop manager Glen Armitage ( or 413-559-5869).