Skip Navigation
search: People Opens New Window | Departments Opens New Window | Penn State Opens New Window | Web Opens New Window
Penn State mark
Penn State mark
University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Engineering Design (EDSGN)

EDSGN 453 Design for Developing Communities (1) A seminar series related to the context and integrated design of Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship ventures in developing communities.

EDSGN 453 Design for Developing Communities (1)

The Design for Developing Communities seminar course grounds students in EDSGN 452, BIOE 401, and other related courses in the basics of user-centered / context-driven design, extreme affordability, systems thinking, research ethics, privilege systems, travel and fieldwork, and related issues for technology-based social ventures in developing communities. These seminars directly help students across various classes and professional programs with their Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE)-related ventures. Typically, three sections of this course are offered: one focusing on international ventures, one on local ventures and an honors section focusing on international ventures.

Designing appropriate products for customers inherently requires a thorough understanding of their needs. However, what happens when your target customers live in a developing country and have radically different needs than what you are accustomed to? Similarly, what happens when your audience lives in the United States, but in an unfamiliar environment? How do you know your product will be used by your intended customers? What pre-existing systems must your product work in harmony with?

Open to students of all majors, the seminar class prepares students working on HESE ventures to create sustainable enterprises in resource-constrained environments. Students are introduced to the contextual factors that must be taken into consideration throughout their design process. Relevant philosophies and methodologies that relate to the integrated design, business and implementation strategy development of social enterprises are introduced to the students in the seminar class. The objective is to light a fire and not fill a pail. The relevant methodologies and philosophies are then reinforced in an experiential manner in the concurrent design classes (like EDSGN 452, BIOE 401, etc.) where students work on their ventures.

Through the use of open discussion, videos, pictures, stories, and lectures, the course covers concepts such as systems-thinking, user-centered design, value creation, and effective communication. The seminar is highly interactive; students are encouraged to ask questions and provide examples of real-world situations that relate to the topics of conversation.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2013
Prerequisite: 5th semester standing

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


Look up course abbreviations

Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

Skip Popular Searches
  1. Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
  2. General Education: United States Cultures and International Cultures
  3. Course Index
  4. Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin
  5. General Education: Arts
  6. General Education: Humanities
  7. General Education: Health and Physical Activity
  8. General Education: Natural Sciences
  9. General Education: Social and Behavioral Sciences
  10. General Education: Writing/Speaking