Innovation by Design

Innovation by Design (IBD) is an interdisciplinary course that teaches introductory conceptual and practical approaches to ‘design thinking.’ Innovation by Design is open to McMaster University students in ANY faculty. 

Design thinking focuses on solving ‘wicked problems’ by using a human-centered methodology to effectively define challenges people face, collect meaningful qualitative data, iterate alternative design options, and build and iterate prototype solutions.

The Process of Design Squiggle by Damien Newman, thedesignsquiggle.com

Design thinking is moving to wide application in many settings and the methodology will be useful for students who wish to develop their own problem solving and group facilitation/teamwork skills in multidisciplinary settings.

  • This project-based course is built around 6 virtual live sessions as well as learning modules and videos that guide you and your team through the stages of a design process 
  • Interdisciplinary teams use the latest collaborative technology to tackle a real challenge from a community partner
  • The course is open to undergraduate students (level 3 or higher)
  • The course has no final exam
  • See the Fall 2021 course outline for more information
Students smiling and working together at a board with sticky notes.

IBD I Schedule

Course Code:              HTH SCI 4ID3
Time: Thursdays, 1:30-4:30 
Note: Open to Level 3 students and above in any undergraduate McMaster program. (Year 3 students require permission to enroll. Contact HLA staff for permission.)


Past Students and Projects

Innovation By Design students consistently rise to the challenges put to them by their instructor, community stakeholders, and mentors.

Check out some of their profiles and excellent work here.

Past Project Sponsors

To leverage design thinking approaches while addressing community needs, project sponsors have worked with IBD students to identify and source plausible solutions that could be applied to real world challenges. Past project sponsors include:


Testimonials