In Fall 2000, the School of Design offered a course to communication design and industrial design students for a semester-long project called "Family Lifebooks," sponsored in part by IBM's Advanced Internet Technology Group.

The project focused on exploring the creation, maintenance and display of "lifebooks" for children and adults. A lifebook brings information to people's lives in new ways, utilizing both user interface (UI) as well as physical components of several devices. Most importantly, it changes the current experience of sharing memories, family histories and family stories.

Lifebooks could be collections of images, video, stories, school records, medical records or records of meaningful events.

The semester was divided into six "mini-projects" that articulated and reinforced elements of the design process.