KAUST Theory and Methods in Product Design (Spring 2010)

This design course was a joint program between UC Berkeley and KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) in Saudi Arabia. I instructed and coached student design teams at KAUST while Prof. Alice Agogino taught teams at UC Berkeley.

My two takeaways from KAUST were a rising social interest of designing products for women, which had not been highly considered previously, and a great attention on solar products. For instance, some students were highly interested in innovating and adapting Western world toys to customer needs in the Middle East. Aware that fossil fuels are nonrenewable, students were passionate in designing alternative energy products and leading the alternative energy movement despite the abundance of fossil fuels in their nation.

One of the most impressive things to me was that we were able to invite a few female design faculty members and design professionals as judges for the final presentation. In Saudi Arabia, it is quite rare to invite females to a co-ed classroom, so I appreciated their efforts to join our final tradeshow.