Many of the skills associated with Integrated Product Design can only be developed through practice. Practice happens through work on projects both in and outside of the classroom. IPD students work on a variety of projects throughout their time at Penn. Some are executed over the course of days or weeks; others span two semesters. Some are solo endeavors; others are team exercises. While pursuing their degrees, students work on both design problems that follow their passions and on real world problems provided by our partners in academia, industry, or the non-profit world.
As a part of the courses that they take across the design, engineering and business schools, students get to learn from a wide variety of faculty. Through the courses that they choose, and the projects that they pursue within those courses, students get the opportunity to further develop the skills that they're most interested in mastering.
The second year of the IPD studio sequence consists of the IPD Final Project. Students put the skills that they have developed in engineering, design arts and business into practice during these projects, following the process from initial opportunity identification into the development of a working product with a complementary business plan. Final Projects provide students with ample opportunity to learn leadership and collaboration skills that are invaluable in today's workplace.
IPD students and faculty are keenly interested in exploring the ways in which integrated product design can have an impact on the world, creating social value as well as commercial value. During the summer, we partner with international companies, non-profits and NGOs to collaboratively address challenges in developing countries. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1033014.