Free course


Free statement of participation on completion

This free course looks at the process of design, from assessing the complexity of design as an activity to exposing the difficulty in making general conclusions about how designers work. You will be able to identify innovation in a wide variety of designed objects and evaluate the impact of this innovation.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • recognise that functional artefacts have had input from a designer, with greater and lesser degrees of engineering input
  • identify that engineering designers work within constraints of finance, materials properties, desired functionality, human factors, etc.
  • understand that design exploits models of the product being designed, whether those models are physical mock-ups, computer-based models, or mathematical models which explore an element of the product’s performance
  • understand that there is rarely a unique solution to any design problem. Part of the skill of a designer is in finding a problem–solution pair, and the best compromise
  • understand how models of the design process are formulated, and how they can be applied to understand the development of a particular product or product family.

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content