Remake: Design Lessons from Restoration

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ME211 Remake


2013 Core77 Design Awards: Educational Initiatives (Runner Up)


“The Best Design Course Ever (Less CAD, More Caddy)” (Core 77)
“Putting More Mechanics into Mechanical Engineering” (Stanford Magazine)
“New class lets Stanford students restore a piece of Americana” (Stanford Report)
“Lucky Stanford students restoring a ’62 Cadillac for college credit” (Yahoo! Autos)
Mentioned on the Cadillac Facebook page


Course Overview

This course was presented jointly by the Revs Program and the Center for Design Research. The course explored topics in design, engineering and manufacturing through the process of restoring a 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVille. We considered questions such as:

  • What defines a “classic” car? What makes a product classic?
  • What makes a “luxury” product? How has the notion of luxury changed over time?
  • What does the design of the car say about American identity? How has this identity changed over time, and how is it expressed now?
  • Who was the user then, and why did it appeal to them? What about it appeals to us now?
  • Students worked in interdisciplinary teams to perform a “design restoration:” investigating the object and its history as a design inquiry while contributing to the technical restoration of the engine and other critical systems. Every student was involved in hands-on project work regardless of prior automotive experience.

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