New architecture class offered

By By Jamie Bowen, Staff Writer

By Jamie Bowen, Staff Writer

The call has been made, but it’s not the “call of duty” or “call to serve.”

“The call (is) for innovators, future thinkers and interdisciplinary explorers,” said Jim Agutter, a research assistant professor for the College of Architecture and Planning.

Agutter will be teaching a new class called Introduction to Design Thinking beginning in the Spring Semester of 2009.

“This class will explore issues about how designers solve problems and how this approach to problem solving can be extended to other areas such as business and engineering,” Agutter said.

The course will also cover design process, visual thinking, rapid prototyping, human-centered design, needs assessment, multidisciplinary team dynamics and human factors, Agutter said in a statement.

During the past five years, there has been a buzz in business, said Brenda Scheer, dean of the College of Architecture and Planning. “People are thinking about problems that are not only complex, but indeterminable.”

Design thinking is the only way to solve such problems, Scheer said. Agutter said design thinking is the process by which one thinks in other ways than just the obvious8212;it is having empathy for the computer users and what they need.

“You need to have an understanding of the broad range of users,” Agutter said.

Students taking this course will benefit because they are exposed to design thinking skills, Agutter said.

“In the real world, you have much broader thinking and you have to understand where they are coming from,” he said.

Kevin Khong, a senior in international relations, said taking the class would be beneficial for anybody in any major.

The class will be an interactive and fun way to prepare us for the storms of the future, especially in the economy of today, said Agutter in a statement.

“We must be entrepreneurs and innovate,” he said. “Are you ready?”

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