OER – Design Engineering 1A

a Course in BE II

The Open Education Resource is a collection of power point presentation slides, video and texts along with supplementary reading and examples that are useful to understand the concept of design thinking and its application in engineering as pedagogically developed at the Gujarat Technological University.

The course, at present, is in the curriculum across all the branches of engineering that the GTU offers through its affiliated colleges.

The Design Thinking approach is so very powerful tool that it has been made ‘A Must’ through allocation of subject credits. The Subject of Design Engineering 1-A is a basic and beginning course which ignites creativity and lateral thinking abilities among the students. At present, I am conducting the course which can be accessed in DE-1A tab under Academics in Top Menu.

Please have a broad idea about Design Engineering spine at present and its module and course abstracts (cum syllabus) for,

Design Engineering 1A (Semester-III) – Understanding Design Thinking;

DE 1B (Semester-IV) – Applying Design Thinking ;

DE 2A (Semester-V) Applying Design Thinking (exploring more of details) and;

DE 2B (Semester-VI) Building the Solution.



Get the background of Design Engineering explained by the then Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Dr Akshai Aggarwal. Why and how about the course.  The talk was delivered on 28th October 2014 at his office in GTU-GIC, ACPC Building.

Click here to Watch the video, if it does not play properly below.



Course work for DE 1A

All learners are advised to watch an introductory video on the subject. – Video (Duration 03:41 min). The video of the professor (Master trainer during some of the initial FDPs) teaching the course explains the brief about the subject as an approach.


 Step 01 – Watch the video on Design Thinking – Video (Duration – 1:51 min – inserted below)

It is an out-of-class segment activity. The video shortly explains the design thinking concept which can make an engineering student to think where he can apply the technique and how. In the BE II, he is not much aware of core engineering subjects related to any of the specialisations. The in-class segment will be including the discussion and TPS activity with examples.

(Video Shared Courtesy: Sean VanGenderen, via YouTube, Standard YouTube License)


Step 02 – Go through the presentation on Design Thinking in Engineering

The presentation is aimed to break the convention of thinking – vertical thinking in the engineering. Step-by-step it explains the concept of design thinking and its processes to be in the subject of Design Engineering. From the generation of an idea to product launching as a business. (Text explanation to be uploaded soon)


 Step 03 – Refer to a Lemon Lesson Case and perform Lemon activity in a group of 5 students

As the first task, the learner needs to put one’s all sense to understand and identify relevant parameters as we call it “observations”. A very preliminary, fun-filled yet senses awakening exercise is explained through paper. The lemon-lesson based practice is an in-class segment.


Step 04 – Perform and submit Assignment 01 to the tutor.

Based on the exercise performed for Lemon-lesson, learner needs to answer a few simple questions as their out-of-class segment activity. The assignment question will help the student understand their strength and weaknesses while performing the lemon-lesson.


Step 05 – Refer to content of web page Week 02

In this out-of-class segment, the learner will be learning about maintaining a log-book of their involvement and in-class, they will build a team (includes construction of a balloon tower activity), group portfolio preparation and domain selection.

Team building exercise – Construct Baloon Tower Example.

Here, the domain is Civil Engineering hence the themes under the Domain will be as below:

  • Infrastructure design
  • Urban and regional planning
  • Building planning
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Traffic and transportation engineering
  • Environmental engineering
  • Structural engineering and so on.

Within the selected theme, the learner is to identify a set of sub-themes. For example, under urban and regional planning, sub-themes may include, housing, slum rehabilitation, urban green spaces, public place development and so on.

Competition: Team Profile Page Creation (Work in progress..!)

Prior moving ahead, we need to understand some inspirations from nature. Nature inspired engineering applications i.e. bio-mimicry.

Bio-mimicry Examples. Now, let us find some cases under our selected theme and sub-themes.


Step 06 – Watch a screencast on observation skills (Screencast 1 – 09:04 min and Screencast 2 – 10:26 min)

Out-of-class segment: After selection of domain and themes, the learner needs to perform field observation for the particular sub-theme selected. Here, the video explains about putting all the senses on work and observe minutely. Ethnography using A-E-I-O-U framework of observation system is to be employed by the learner. The in-class activity involves the discussion of sub-them based cases of representation along with a presentation as in step 7 below.


Step 07 – Refer to a presentation on Observation

            Learners are involved in the discussion for observation technique (the AEIOU Framework) and clarification on doubts (an advanced level of learning) is to be included as the in-class activity using the presentation. Learner may go through the presentation in advance prior attending the class so that one arrives with confusions and doubts to discuss. (Detailed explanation is to be supplemented soon)

AEIOU Framework Examples


Step 08 – Once the observation technique is learned, download the observation sheets, make observations in the community (for the selected domain & theme) and submit the same to the tutor.

            It includes the formats for employing AEIOU framework in making observations on the field. The filled observation sheets are provided by learner and evaluation based summary of observation is to be worked out by the student.


Creative Commons License
OER in Design Engineering 1A by Bhasker V. Bhatt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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