basics of design process
bringing an idea into reality

Taught by Dallas Swindle + Beth Schechter

THURSDAYS March 31 - April 21
7:00 to 9:00 pm

Location: ADX, 417 SE 11th Avenue

$180 for ADX members, $230 for non-members. Participants purchasing a non-member ticket can sign up for a membership to ADX at a 25% discount on the first month at the completion of the lecture series.

We've partnered up with ADX! 

For every built object, there is a story of how it came to be and an idea. Every built object goes through many changes to reach its final form. We'll talk about the process of bringing an idea for a built object into existence, combining theoretical / academic knowledge with practical design skills, placing academic discussion and discourse in a place that’s devoted to practical, hands-on learning. We’ll discuss good design, bad design, design vs. art, and design process, as well as industrial design, craftsmanship, and considerations for working with a variety of materials.

Week 1: Intro to Design + Design Processes. What do we mean by design? How is design different than art? What is design process, and how does it vary across different design disciplines?

Week 2: Design Research. Research, like design, is a word that carries a variety of meanings. What kind of research do we need to do to design a built object? How can we do research if we don’t know what we’re building yet?

Week 3: Sketching, Prototyping, and Iteration. What kind of visualization methods exist for prototyping? What are common terms that you need to effectively communicate with a fabrication professional? Why is prototyping and iteration so important anyway?

Week 4: Production: What it Takes to Build the Thing. What kind of team do you need to assemble to bring your idea to life? What are your knowns and unknowns? How can you get a better understanding of what it takes to build something that you’ve never built before?

Dallas Swindle is an industrial designer and fabricator who specializes in working with artists to create large-scale works out of metal, fabric & wood. Check out his work at

Beth Schechter is a writer and participatory designer with an eye on alternative education and a love for instructional design. MS Digital Media, GA Tech.,


ADX, Portland's Makerspace