Entrepreneurship Curriculum

The design entrepreneurship curriculum in the Design & Visual Communication Program was founded by Associate Professor Kim Beckmann and Lecturer Amy Decker. This evolving curriculum is designed to inspire students in ways that traditional assignments involving hypothetical clients simply do not, and culminates in exciting programming featuring a student pitch event and the public Design Entrepreneur Showcase exhibition. The showcase features innovative products and services developed around the research themes that address current needs of Wisconsin residents and beyond.

The primary goals of the curriculum is to advance students’ knowledge and skill sets in:

  • primary and secondary source research
  • design thinking
  • problem-identification
  • problem-solving
  • collaboration and co-creation
  • storytelling (visual and verbal)
  • business
  • sustainable practices

Over the course of 15 weeks, students are immersed in all aspects of design:

  • research
  • business strategy development
  • market assessment
  • brand development
  • rapid prototyping
  • user testing
  • dynamic storytelling
  • full-production of a highly refined prototype
  • public presentation of project at Pitch Event and Showcase

DES Logo Concept and History

experienceThe Experience

The Experience is where students demonstrate their knowledge and mastery. It is also a “safe space” where students can and should fail in order to succeed sooner.

centerThe Center

The Center is where faculty and industry professionals provide information, share stories, and create opportunities for students to test their understanding.

edgeThe Edge

The Edge is where students gather research, create new knowledge, assess data, build and test prototypes, pivot ideas and create innovative solutions for a target audience.

Original logo designed collaboratively in 2012

Variation of logo designed by Adam Nelson for 2018 Showcase