Course Design and Teaching

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Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) & Brown University Courses

From 2021 to present, I oversee the curriculum of the joint Master of Arts in Design Engineering and teach in the program.

Visual and Interactive Design

[ENGN 2173] This course features three units, each focused on a different area of visual and interactive communication in the context of design engineering product development. The first unit focuses on storytelling about your motivations, contributions, and ideas in a team environment. The second unit focuses on taking apart and then telling the design story of a design engineering product that you love that already exists in the world, using two different disciplinary lenses. The third unit focuses on applying your learning to audit and redesign the existing visual and interactive design of a client digital product. More information >

Harvard University Courses

From 2010-2021, I created many design and innovation courses, workshops, and programs to help students and create more empowering products, services, and experiences for their users.

Integrated design 

[HBS-5240] Leading advanced design projects requires the integration of multiple skill areas and ongoing learning about the best data-driven tools to guide development. This course is structured to provide a comprehensive education in all stages of the new product design process, from idea generation to concept development, detailed design and prototyping, testing and integrating data into design decisions. The emphasis is on the way that design teams must both generate and utilize data to make decisions under conditions of extreme uncertainty. A critical feature of modern technical design challenges is that the problem space and solution space are often poorly defined, and/or to a large extent unbounded. The course aims to provide students with rigorous analytical tools to deal with such uncertainties. More information >

Product and Experience Design for Desirability 

[SEAS ES22 / GSD SCI 6276] Product and Experience Design for Desirability is a Harvard University course cross-listed in the engineering and design schools, and open to students from all schools. It appeals to those interested in designing products and services that are desirable. In today’s competitive landscape, products and services that connect with human meaning, usability, and emotions are more likely to be successful. Designing for desirability begins with questions of what we mean by ‘desirable’ and ‘for whom’. It can mean irresistible, delightful, meaningful, cool, covetable, viral, easy, and more. The class explores different meanings of desirability in design. More information >

Innovators’ Practice:  Finding Building and Leading Good Ideas With Diverse Others

[SEAS ENG-SCI 21 / GSD SCI6271] Innovators’ Practice course was created by Altringer at SEAS in 2011 and has been described as “Harvard’s real-world obstacle course for practicing innovation“. Student teams from the first two years of the class have won awards, including the Dean’s 100K Cultural Entrepreneurship Challenge and various funded fellowships to continue developing their ideas beyond the classroom.  Think of it as a startup obstacle course – You will experience the most common product and team challenges that early stage startups face, learn how researchers analyze these issues, discover how top companies deal with them, and apply these lessons in real time to your own project. The Innovators’ Practice is a hands-on course on idea creation & development based on a deep understanding of human and organizational behavior. The class itself is created as an organization designed to support multiple teams. Students learn to make rapid progress on their projects, as well as to contribute to the success of the broader organization. Limited enrollment for undergraduates (SEAS: ENG-SCI 21) and graduates (GSD: SCI627100). More information >

Human-centered Algorithms Design

HCAD was a one-time course at SEAS that evolved out of our algorithm research group —  ai-kitchen. Due to growing demand in 2016, the ai-kitchen discussion group expanded, becoming a course on Human Centered Algorithm Design designed and taught by Altringer at SEAS in Fall 2017. The team later worked with other groups at Harvard, MIT, and beyond that are better-positioned to take the conversation much further, namely, the BKC-MIT AI Initiative. *NEW* We recommend the syllabus that has developed out of the initiative’s work here. 

Winter and Summer Courses

Desirable Wearable Technology 

Course Founder/Lead, Harvard SEAS, Winter term, 2015                    

The Rise and Sustainability and Digital Nomadic Work 

Course Founder/Lead, Harvard SEAS, Winter term, 2014                    

Desirable Design in Culinary Arts 

Course Founder/Lead, Harvard SEAS, Summer term, 2014                    

Cultural Entrepreneurship in NYC 

Course Co-Founder/Lead, Harvard SEAS & HBS, Winter term, 2013                    

Cultural Entrepreneurship in NYC 

Course Co-Founder/Lead, Harvard SEAS & HBS, Winter term

Early Teaching at Multiple Institutions

Team Dynamics and Creative Work (collaboration with Bill Burnett’s Design Thinking and the Art of Innovation summer course), Stanford University Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (D-School), 2010

Design Thinking, Guest Lecturer, MBA program, University of Cambridge, 2009

Management Studies, Tutor, University of Cambridge, 2007-2008

Social and Developmental Psychology, Tutor, University of Cambridge, 2007-2008

Spanish, Terra Rosa Waldorf (elementary) School, 2004

Economic Journalism, Program Founder, multiple universities, US Embassy, 2003

Math, Tutor, Arizona State University, 2001

Economics, Tutor, Arizona State University, 2001