D-Lab Art + Engineering Spring 2020: Design, Build, Test

Application for Spring 2020: https://forms.gle/gyR4cmAAiv4tCm3J8

ABT 289A 002 D-Lab Art + Engineering: Design, Build, Test

Quarter: Spring 2020
Units: 4 units, graded
Instructors: Dr. Kurt Kornbluth
Mtg. times: Tuesday, Thursday 10:00am-11:50am
Location: Student Farm Shop
Prerequisite: No engineering background required, creative, free thinking, upper division undergraduates and graduates from all disciplines welcome.
Registration: Space is limited thus, admission is competitive and with instructor’s permission. For more info contact Ian Phillips at irphillips@ucdavis.edu.


Course Description

D-Lab Pro II is the follow-on to D-Lab Pro I. This is a hands-on studio-style class focusing on problem farming design methodology as well as prototyping skills. Using a structured, mentored approach, student teams work as consultants for their clients to design, prototype, and test scalable solutions.

From radical experimentation to professional applications, students will explore the intersection of Art and Engineering, with the goal of producing fully realized projects for clients. The client guides the D-Lab team in all phases. Teams present their findings with regard to scale, context, market or financial analysis, and possible alternatives.

Practical labs, case studies, and guest speakers will focus on user-centered and market-based design approaches. Deliverables include a working prototype, 2 design reviews, and design notebook as a deliverable.

Current and past D-Lab projects can be seen HERE.


D-Lab II is taught in the Student Farm Shop, where students will be trained with hand tools, power tools, and welding. We ask that you are comfortable with hands-on environments and fabrication.


Readings will be posted on Canvas or as links in syllabus.

Course Website

The Canvas Files section will have course information, including reading, assignments, and powerpoints.

All assignments will be turned in as hard copies to the class period they are due. Late work will not be accepted without prior arrangements.

Attendance Policy

As a significant portion of the activities occur in class, attendance is mandatory. Only one unexcused absence is allowed. An unexcused absence is one without prior arrangements or valid explanation/documentation. Grades will be lowered for each absence.

Grading & Assignments

Assignments for this course are summarized in a "design notebook", where design tools, research, and project progress will be documented and grading. Deliverables include a working prototype, 2 design reviews (whiteboard presentations), and the design notebook.

As this is a class where your work has the potential to impact the lives of people around the world and we expect an appropriate level of commitment.

Class participation, attendance: 25%

Homework assignments, labs: 25%

Design reviews: 20%

Design Notebook, Video: 30%