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D-Lab: Development, Design and Dissemination

A large plastic drum connected to a bicycle pedal assembly.

A prototype pedal-powered washing machine is one of the student projects for this course. (Courtesy of Radu Raduta and Jessica Vechakul.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2005



Course Features

Course Description

D-Lab: Development, Design and Dissemination is a design studio course in which students work on international development projects for underserved communities. The class is focused on a participatory, iterative prototyping design process, with particular attention on the constraints faced when designing for developing communities. Students work in multidisciplinary teams on term-long projects in collaboration with community partners, field practitioners, and experts in relevant fields. Students will learn about their partner communities through the collaborative design process and be exposed to many hands-on fabrication and prototyping skills relevant to development at MIT and manufacturing in their partner community. The course will consist of hands-on labs, guest speakers, and a guided design process with review by experts and professionals in development and design. This course builds on SP.721, although that course is not a required prerequisite.