Design Initiative at Dartmouth

The Design Initiative at Dartmouth (DIAD) is building interdepartmental collaborations to bring more design tools and mindsets to all corners of campus.

From new courses and collaborative programs, to interdisciplinary research efforts and off-campus projects, DIAD is developing a system for human-centered design creativity accessible to everyone.

The DIAD Approach

DIAD blends design thinking, engineering, and the liberal arts for both education and research driven by technical and creative skills infused with social awareness.

ENGINEERING: An engineer's tool kit should include the critical thinking skills to know how to ask the right questions, increasing depth of understanding and leading to better solutions for the most vexing problems.

LIBERAL ARTS: Education in the liberal arts should include the technical skills and self-efficacy to build what the world needs built.

DESIGN THINKING: Harnessing Dartmouth's strengths in both engineering and the liberal arts, design thinking connects "what is the right problem to solve?" with "how can we solve it?" Design thinking is the connective tissue between engineering skills and liberal arts insight.

The DIAD Triad

The DIAD Triad


Design thinking woke me up. It truly is as simple as that.

—DeWayne Terry Jr. '21

Design Curriculum

DIAD is creating new interdepartmental design-based courses, and infusing design methods into existing courses across campus. Offerings include:

  • Courses co-taught by engineering and humanities professors
  • Faculty course development grants to create new design curriculum
  • New design track in the graduate MEng program
Design cot build

Extracurricular Learning

DIAD is building new opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to practice design outside the classroom, through a series of workshops, events, and programs. These include:

  • Annual "Design-a-thon" competition
  • "Design Corps" program where students use design thinking to improve life on campus
  • "Design Justice" speaker series

To get at the heart of problems and their human elements, you need to collapse the boundary among STEM and the social sciences and the humanities. Dartmouth can lead in this important effort.

—President Phillip J. Hanlon

Research & Scholarship

DIAD is catalyzing new interdisciplinary research efforts for students and faculty, by supporting design-based investigations aimed at generating positive social impact. These include:

  • Infusing design methods into research projects
  • New faculty seed grants for design-based research
  • A student independent projects fund

The DIAD Team

Eugene Korsunskiy
Assistant Professor of Engineering
Co-Director, DIAD

Solomon Diamond
Associate Professor of Engineering
Director, Cook Engineering Design Center
Co-Director, DIAD

Anca Balaceanu '20
Human-Centered Design Fellow

Emma Doherty '21
Cook Engineering Design Center Fellow

Founding Committee: