3.007 Design Thinking and Innovation

The goal of this course is to introduce all students to a design thinking mindset that will guide them through the multiple design courses they will take in SUTD.

It introduces concepts of design at a variety of scales and design disciplines. Participants will be exposed to core technology and design themes including design principles, processes, modes of thinking and analysis, and social and cultural aspects of design.

The subject introduces essential skills and mindset of innovation, entrepreneurship, and methodologies in design including teamwork and workflow organization, team building and leadership, written and oral communication, graphic and analytical representation, and fabrication techniques. 

The subject introduces essential skills and mindset of innovation, entrepreneurship, and methodologies in design including teamwork and workflow organization, team building and leadership, written and oral communication, graphic and analytical representation, and fabrication techniques.


The weekly learning content is structured as follows:
– eLecture input video that will be provided one week in advance
– a one hour cohort dialogue on Mondays between 3.30 and 4.30pm (or as arranged between cohort instructors and students)
– a one hour skills input session on Mondays between 5 and 6pm; also provided as a video in advance, with the opportunity to raise questions during the session on Monday
– two cohort sessions with two and a half hours each (held in cohort classrooms).

The eLectures will be provided by the course coordinators, partly in collaboration with invited lecturers. The cohort dialogues and the cohort classes will be guided by the respective cohort instructors: one from EPD and one from ASD. During the cohort classes, students will have project discussions with instructors and TAs, conduct design activities and will develop their project deliverables. Activities will centre around various design methods, which the students can apply to their projects. The design projects will have defined milestones throughout the term, in which the instructors will review the work and provide feedback. Overall, students will go through the four phases of design: discover, define, develop and deliver.

Building on the team design project, the students will have to complete a 2D project which consists of explicitly showing the links of their projects to the other subjects they are taking concurrently in term 2.

Specific software and collaboration skills will be imparted in a parallel session running for the entire term, open to all students to attend.

There will be a hybrid final exhibition if the situation allows (physical exhibits and content on website) in which the students will showcase their team design projects via a prototype, 3d models, text and a video. Their work will be graded by instructors of 3.007. The 2D project will be graded by the respective subject instructors during the final exhibition.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify concepts, themes and skills related to design
  • Conduct a design process by applying those concepts, themes and skills
  • Identify and apply the basics of a design process in a variety of contexts, scales and functions
  • Plan and execute effective teamwork
  • Formulate and produce effective communication media


First assignment :: Individual Activity
Discover, study and analyse a site
– Design goals, Site drawings, and Macro AEIOU
– 2 pages A3
Submission Project Part 1 :: Friday 10/02/2023

Second assignment :: Team Activity
a problem scope how to transform the site
– Project scope and statement,
– Site drawing intended scenario
– 2 pages A3
Submission Project Part 2 :: Friday 24/02/2023

Third Assignment :: Idea Generation, Storyline and Contextualisation (Individual)
the newly envisioned scenario, specify interactions between users and site and embed them in the site by providing a contextualisation drawing
– Tree diagram of ideas (organise five or more different ideas in a diagram, reveal the pathway of how they were generated, and illustrate their connections and differences)
– Functional diagram of one proposed solution
– Storyline describing the proposal
– Contextualisation drawing, focusing on a solution (so far, we have pointed our attention to problems and problem scoping)
– 2 pages A3
Submission Project Part 3 :: Friday 17/03/2023

Fourth assignment: Prototypes, Video, Project Presentation
– Storyline
– Illustrations necessary to describe the project
– 1-min Video
– 2D integration
Submission Project Part 4 Friday 19/04/2023

Content Overview

Go to Lectures
Go to Skills
Go to Assignments
Go to Projects

Course Instructors

Course Leads: Prof. Michael Alexander Reeves and Prof. Mohan Rajesh Elara

Course Details

PillarASD + EPD
GradingA+ to F

Weekly Schedule

Assessment Criteria

Each final grade will be calculated on the basis of timely and complete submission of assignments, examinations, projects (including in-class presentations), attendance and participation. The weighting of the elements that constitute the grade are as follows. The 2D Project will be a common project that involves all freshmore courses.

Team assignments60% + 10%
Project Part 1
Project Part 2
Project Part 3
Project Part 4
15% individual
15% team
20% individual
30% team
2D Component10% team
Participation8% individual
End of term survey2% individual completion of end-of-term-survey
Individual tasks45% 
Team tasks45% + 10% (2D)

Course Policies

Attendance will be taken at the instructors own discretion, but participation will be graded. Coursework submitted within a grace period of 6 hours will have a 25% penalty, a 50% penalty within 24 hours after the deadline, thereafter there will be a 100% penalty.

During class sessions all personal communication devices should be switched to silent mode. The use of social media unrelated to classroom activities (such as for private mail, instant messaging, surfing the internet, reading the news, or playing games) is considered inappropriate and distracting to other people.

For all submitted material, scholarly citations must be used for all printed and digital sources. This is applied to both text and visual material. For citations consult Chicago Manual of Style or Modern Language Association.