Product, Brand, and Experience

Faculty: Johan Liden and Rinat Aruh



COURSE Description

Products are increasingly seen as the embodiments of brands and consumer experiences, with product design playing a critical role in reflecting a brand’s personality. In this course, students discover how product design, consumer experience and branding interrelate, and how addressing the needs of both users and markets from different perspectives can provide a more holistic approach to the creation of designed objects. We will work through a complete design process, defining an opportunity within a specified consumer space, performing research, developing insights and strategy, concepting and refining. Throughout the process, students concentrate on creating a cohesive and viable brand campaign, including final design, identity and packaging.


Course objectives

The objectives of the course are to help students appreciate the various cultural and market forces on products, and to provide insight into how those products comes into being, live, and thrive. Students will go through a complete design process in this course: defining an opportunity within a specified consumer space, undertaking research, deriving insights, and defining design opportunities. These insights will then be converted into a meaningful design strategy, whereupon students will generate design concepts, develop and refine them, and arrive at a final design. Since much of contemporary product design and development includes the participation of a number of specialists, part of the challenge will be to identify and collaborate with appropriate partners to complete their fully-realized designs.


Class experience

Students will each develop their own project, but at critical points students will team up for activities such as Group Research and Synthesis, Concept Brainstorming and Design, and Critique and Evaluation. Concurrent to the Research Phase, students will complete an intensive sketching “crash course,” encouraging them to visually express their ideas with a repeatable, confidence-building methodology. After each phase, results will be presented and critiqued in order to share experiences and insights, and to find ways to build upon them. The majority of classes will be held in the classroom or studio, but occasional meetings will take place in locations specific to each project context or specialist. 


course deliverables

Students in this course will come away with a set of tools to:

  • Understand various research methodologies
  • Perform consolidated research and create a design strategy document
  • Learn to define and prioritize design opportunities
  • Build a brand design DNA and accompanying design language
  • Learn to prototype concepts
  • Build final models
  • Create an edited process document