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Extreme By Design

In a Stanford multidisciplinary, project-based course, student design teams are building a better world...one product at a time.


A printer-friendly version of this page 57 minutes
SDH Captioned>>

Directed by Ralph King Jr. and Michael Schwarz
Produced by Ralph King Jr.
Co-Producer: Edward Gray
Editor: Don Bernier
Co-Editor: Rhonda Collins
Directors of Photography: Vicente Franco, John Chater
Narrator: Matthew Gray Gubler
Original Score: Peter Rundquist
Executive Producers: Kiran Kiki Kapany, Michael Schwarz
A Co-Production of Hawkview Pictures and Kikim Media






"Truly inspiring!...[V]ividly illustrates the power of experiential learning and entrepreneurial spirit." Dr. Tina Seelig, Professor of the Practice, Stanford School of Engineering
EXTREME BY DESIGN follows Stanford business, engineering and medical students as they work in teams, using design thinking methods, to develop products and services that serve the needs of the world's poor. One student team works on a breathing device to keep babies alive in Bangladesh. Another seeks a way to store drinking water in Indonesia. The third team project is to design an IV medicine infusion pump.

It's all part of the Design for Extreme Affordability course inspired and launched by the Stanford d.school. The film begins on the first day of the course and ends eight months later as one group of students returns to Asia to test their device amid plans to launch a startup.

At a time of unprecedented global challenges EXTREME BY DESIGN shows the power of human-centered design in creating innovative, effective and sustainable solutions to the complex problems facing us.



Grade Level: 6 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2013     Copyright Date: 2013
DVD ISBN: 1-93777-253-5



Reviews
"Truly inspiring! This film vividly illustrates the power of experiential learning and entrepreneurial spirit. It demonstrates the messy and unpredictable path to breakthrough ideas, and shows a powerful way to prepare young people to tackle real world problems."
Dr. Tina Seelig, Professor of the Practice, Stanford School of Engineering, Author of inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity

"Design is always complex and challenging; it should be fun and rewarding. Extreme by Design shows most of the qualities that young designers, engineers and managers should learn. They need to be human-centered, goal-driven, creative, persistent and deliver something that works, and this film shows these requirements and provides concrete examples. Human-Centered Design is a matter of technology, organizations and people, and the film should be presented to students to encourage their creativity, motivation and enthusiasm. This kind of emerging competence is needed in the twenty-first century. I will certainly use Extreme By Design with my students."
Dr. Guy André Boy, Director and Professor of Human-Centered Design Institute at Florida Institute of Technology, Fellow of the Air and Space Academy, Author of Orchestrating Human-Centered Design

"The clock is ticking - 72 hours, 8 days, 10 weeks - and the problems seem overwhelming. Under extreme pressures, but with strong networks of support, Stanford graduate students from many different fields work on affordable solutions to the life and death problems of the world's poorest peoples. As they learn design, they readjust their values and their life goals. Riveting."
James Rodger Fleming, Chair and Professor of Science, Technology, and Society Program, Colby College, Author, Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control

"Outstanding examples of creative collaborations to design culturally and environmentally sensitive inventions and ways to continuously test and improve them. I am deeply impressed. What a fantastic way to learn and contribute to the world."
Dr. John D. Bransford, Shauna C. Larson Professor of the Learning Sciences, University of Washington at Seattle, Co-author of How People Learn and Preparing Teachers for a Changing World

"This documentary follows the aspiring engineers and innovators and beautifully captures the excitement, motivations, and frustrations as well as the successes and failures of the different teams. The teams struggle, start to fall apart, throw all-nighters and eventually produce prototypes which may satisfy the course requirements but leave unanswered the larger and more important question: Will the inventions actually make a difference? What we see throughout this touching and humane account of talented young idealists facing the often intractable problems of poverty, is how engineering problems and solutions are ultimately grounded in the real world of ordinary lives and people."
Trevor Pinch, Professor of Science and Technology Studies and Sociology, Cornell University, Author, The Handbook of Sound Studies

"Extreme by Design illustrates the true nature of science, celebrating the scientific spirit and the power of collaborative design...Personalizes the scientific process with background stories from Bangladesh and Indonesia and interviews with the team members...Illustrates the teams' struggles with their ideas, their products, and even themselves...Extreme by Design is highly motivating and inspiring and would be an effective tool for teacher professional development as well as for secondary classroom use."
Deb McNabney, NSTA Recommends

"This documentary is enjoyable and instructive on many levels. It can demonstrate for students of any age, and in any discipline, how design problems can be tackled. It demonstrates the practicalities of the design process, including the value of designing and testing a prototype and of overcoming interpersonal conflicts in pursuit of global solutions."
Faith Brynie, Science Books and Films

"Highly Recommended...The documentary is inspiring and uplifting...would serve well as an introduction to experimental or service learning. In addition, it could foster excellent discussions in engineering, design, or business courses."
Jane Scott, George Fox University, Educational Media Reviews Online

"A masterful testimony of the trials and travails of teamwork, as well as the personal calling to serve the less fortunate, Extreeme By Design is an inspirational film especially recommended for public, high school, and college library DVD collections"
The Midwest Book Review


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DVD Features
Scene selection, and SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Links
The film's website
The website of Stanford's Design for Extreme Affordability project
Stanford d.school's how-to on design thinking
Design for America website
K-12 Lab Network website
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
IDEO's Design Thinking for Educators toolkit
SparkTruck's Design Thinking Institute for Educators
Nueva's Design Thinking Institute
Human-Centered Design toolkit & resources


Awards and Festivals
United Nations Association Film Festival, Stanford
Science Books & Films Best of 2013

Subjects
Anthropology
Asian Studies
Business Practices
Design
Developing World
Education
Engineering
Ethics
Global Issues
Health
Millennium Development Goals
Physical Science
Poverty
Science
Technology
Society

Sustainability
Technology
Water


Related Titles

Rough Science
10-part series in which five scientists on a tropical island cooperate to solve a series of scientific challenges using only their knowledge, ingenuity, and whatever is at hand.

Burning in the Sun
An inspirational portrait of a young West African man who starts a business building solar panels from scratch and selling them to rural customers in Mali.

Nothing Like Chocolate
The story of Mott Green and the solar-powered Grenada Chocolate Company, a farmers' and chocolate-makers' co-op, which makes organic chocolate from tree-to-bar.

Peanuts
A hand-operated peanut-sheller makes a difference in the lives of villagers around the world.

Water First
An inspiring story from Malawi shows that clean water is essential for the achievement of the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

The Next Industrial Revolution
Architect Bill McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart bring together ecology and human design.

Silent Killer
Highlights promising attempts in Africa, and in South and Central America, to end world hunger.

Buyer Be Fair
Looks at the benefits of fair trade goods and product certification for people and the environment.

Biophilic Design
A design revolution that connects buildings to the natural world, buildings where people feel and perform better.


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