University of Technology Sydney

84611 Integrated Product Design

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


In the 21st century, products are increasingly encountered as integrated elements within larger systems. Two important contexts within which products are thought of as integrated, rather than independent, are the Internet of Things and product-service systems. As smart technologies become more ubiquitous, the Internet of Things and product-service systems are often blended in smart, product-based systems that support the delivery of essential and everyday services. Within a service economy, the design of smart and integrated product-service systems is a significant part of product design practice.

This subject introduces students to the challenges of designing an integrated product-service system. Building on experience of product design and service design (introduced through separate studios in 84610 Inside Design), this subject steps students through a design process to meet the requirements of an integrated product design brief.

The focus of this subject is the process of designing to meet an integrated product design brief. The process taught is based on the double-diamond design thinking process articulated by the British Design Council. As this is an introductory subject, designs produced are propositional rather than resolved. The subject does not provide a technical training in the design of integrated products. Rather, students are introduced to the thinking process of the designer that supports the generation of propositions for an integrated product design.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Apply design thinking processes within an Integrated Product Design context.
2. Undertake research to inform the development of design propositions.
3. Think creatively and flexibly in proliferating different possibilities for design
4. Prototype and test design ideas
5. Critically reflect on, and iteratively improve, design propositions.
6. Effectively communicate design propositions

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrated engagement with ideas and learning (A.1)
  • Effective visual communication skills (C.2)
  • Demonstration of versatility, curiosity and imagination (I.2)
  • Demonstration of aesthetic sensibility (I.3)
  • Ability to propose, develop and rethink ideas (I.4)
  • Identify and execute research methods appropriate to the project (R.1)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The term CAPRI is used for the five Design, Architecture and Building faculty graduate attribute categories where:

C = communication and groupwork

A = attitudes and values

P = practical and professional

R = research and critique

I = innovation and creativity.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs) are linked to these categories using codes (e.g. C-1, A-3, P-4, etc.).

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject uses an inquiry-based learning strategy that involves students researching and developing their own solutions to complex design challenges. The design process and strategies taught in this subject are relevant to current professional practice in a global context. Students work in collaborative teams to develop research-based understandings of product user contexts and experiences, drawing on material developed within and between classes. Individual design propositions that reference these research-based understandings, are iteratively developed by students over the course of the semester. Studio leaders offer ongoing, in-class support and guidance for the development of these integrated product design propositions. It is therefore imperative that students attend all classes. Regular verbal feedback is provided in class by peers and studio leaders. Feedback on collaborative work will be given via the SPARK Self and Peer Assessment system. More formal feedback will be provided by studio leaders in response to student in-class presentations of task-work. This formal feedback will be delivered via the Review Online Feedback System.

It shall be the students' responsibility to record any feedback provided in studio. During presentations students will be expected to actively participate in collaborative peer review feedback exercises. Students will also be supported by the level 2, Faculty Workshop in the construction of presentation models and/or prototypes. Grades, marks and feedback on task submissions will be provided through Review.

Content (topics)

This subject addresses the following issues and topics:

  • designing integrated product systems
  • design thinking
  • user research
  • design problem analysis – problem framing
  • concept development, prototyping and testing
  • product and product system affordances
  • evaluation of design propositions


Assessment task 1: Understanding possibilities and constraints for design


Understanding possibilities and constraints for design

This task is a groupwork project. It covers the research and problem finding phases of the design thinking process. Each week students will need to complete work prior to class and bring this material to class to workshop with fellow group members. A detailed task sheet will be made available online during Orientation Week.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2 and 3

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

A.1, I.2 and R.1

Type: Exercises
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 35%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Understanding of, and engagement with, each group-work focus 33 1 A.1
Ability to creatively explore possibilities for design 33 3 I.2
Ability to gain insight into users through research, mapping, and synthesis of insights into behavioural archetypes 34 2 R.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Design Project


This task is an individual design project. It covers the conceptualisation, design development, prototyping, testing, reflection and refinement phases of the design thinking process. Each week students will need to complete work prior to class and prepare a 3 minute presentation of progress on their developing design for their studio leader. A detailed task sheet will be made available online during Orientation Week.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

3, 4, 5 and 6

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.2, I.3, I.4 and R.1

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 65%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Richness of engagement with the concept generation process 20 3 I.4
Ability to creatively propose, critically explore and develop ideas for design 20 5 I.4
Good judgment and craft in developing prototypes to test affordances and user experiences 20 4 R.1
Ability to propose an imaginative, engaging, delightful and credible product design 30 5 I.3
Effective communication of design ideas 10 6 C.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

The DAB attendance policy requires students to attend no less than 80% of formal teaching sessions (lectures and tutorials) for each class they are enrolled in to remain eligible for assessment.

Recommended texts

Alesina, I. and Lupton, E. 2010, Exploring Materials: Creative Design for Everyday Objects, Princeton Architectural Press, New York.

Cooper, A. 2014, About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design, Wiley, Indianapolis, IN.

Cross, N. 2011, Design Thinking: Understanding How Designers Think and Work, Berg, Oxford and New York.

Dent, A.H. and Sherr, L. 2014, Material Innovation: Product Design, Thames & Hudson, London, U.K.

Neumeier, M. 2013, Metaskills: Five Talents for the Robotic Age, New Riders, Berkeley, CA.

Nixon, N.W. 2016, Strategic Design Thinking: Innovation in Products, Services, Experiences and Beyond, Bloomsbury, New York and London.

Weinschenk, S.M. 2011, 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, New Riders, Berkeley, CA.


Bonsiepe, G. 1999, Interface: an approach to design, Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, the Nethelands.

Crouch, C. 2007, 'Praxis and the reflexive creative practitioner', Journal of Visual Art Practice, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 105-114.

Dorst, K. 2006, Understanding Design, 2 edn, BIS, Amsterdam.

Heufler, G. 2005, Design basics : from ideas to products, Niggli Verlag, Zurich.

Kimbell, L. 2012, 'Rethinking Design Thinking: Part 2', Design and Culture, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 129-148.

Kolko, J. 2014, Well-designed: how to use empathy to create products people love, Harvard Business Review Press, Boston, MA.

Kumar, V. 2013, 101 Design Methods, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey.

Lawson, B. 2004, What Designers Know, Elsevier / Architectural Press, Boston, MA.

Norman, D.A. 2006, The design of future things, Basic Books, New York.

Paton, B. & Dorst, K. 2011, 'Briefing and reframing: a situated practice', Design Studies, vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 573-587.

Romme, A.G.L. 2004, 'Action research, emancipation and design thinking', Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, vol. 14, pp. 495-499.

Schon, D. 1983, The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action, Basic Books.

Sennett, R. 2008, The craftsman, Yale University Press, New Haven.

Verbeek, P.-P. & Slob, A. (eds) 2006, User behaviour and technology development: shaping sustainable relations between consumers and technologies, Springer, Dordrecht.