Design for Scale

Change:water Labs waterless toilet - a 2017 Design for Scale project.
Change:water Labs waterless toilet - a 2017 Design for Scale project.

Late stages of product design for users in low-income settings.


Through relationships with businesses in countries such as India, Tanzania, and Nicaragua, students work in interdisciplinary teams to develop previously established technologies toward manufacturing-ready product designs. Partial funding is available for some student travel and out-of-country fieldwork related to this class.

Lessons are hands-on and case-based. This is an advanced design course, and we expect students to use CAD and various rapid prototyping and mass-manufacturing technologies, resulting in substantially iterated product designs and, if appropriate, a small production batch. We encourage students from all majors to enroll.

About the Instructors

The course is taught by instructors from D-Lab with deep field experience and industry experts from product development consulting and consumer product design, including  Kate Bergeron (vice president at Apple and visiting lecturer at MIT), Harald Quintus-Bosz (chief technology officer at Cooper Perkins and visiting lecturer at MIT), and Sorin Grama (entrepreneur in residence, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship).

The faculty member of record for the course is Maria Yang (Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering).

Course Information

Semester Offered
Fall (Offered since 2013)
Lecture Location
Lecture Times
TR11:30-1 (lecture), F10:30-12:00 (lab)
Units (credit hours)
Class Size
20 Students
Course #
EC.729 / 2.729 / EC.797 (G) / 2.789 (G)