This semester, Gary and I are teaching the Entrepreneurial Design class the School of Visual Arts’ Interaction Design department. The class is required of first year students in SVA’s two-year MFA program.
In many ways – all practical ways? – our class isn’t a design class. There’s some stellar design classes at SVA, but there seemed to be less awareness of entrepreneurship, or entrepreneurial-ish things, among students.
And so our fairly-explicit goal is to maximize the number of students who will start companies. We’re using stories from founders, which we call love letters, to humanize “the mythic entrepreneur,” and we’ve tried to use the projects to give experience and quick wins. The final project is literal ramen (or cereal) profitability.
Gary and I are very bullish on designers’ ability to create transformative products and services.
While our views have been informed by working at USV, we’re not assuming the “end goal” is or should be a venture-backed company. We are assuming the internet will be relevant to whatever one does.
We’ve also designed for openness: the syllabus and assignments are available online. We’ll be tumblr’ing about the classes and posting audio recordings of many guest speakers. The students will be sharing their work online as well. Please do follow along if you’re interested.