Understand the purpose of design thinking in promoting innovation, and learn real-world applications and strategies for design thinking.
In person on campus over 1.5 days
Day 1: 2 May 2023: 1pm – 6pm BST (registration from 12.30pm) at the Design Museum
Day 2: 3 May 2023: 10am – 5pm BST (registration from 9.30pm) at the RCA Battersea campus
Explore the emergent role of design within the landscape of innovation, the key players in design-led innovation teams, how to combine convergent and divergent thinking, the real world versus the world of ideas, the power of visualisation and ways to scale up your design concept.
Using case studies and innovation stories that draw from current exhibitions and the permanent collection at the Design Museum, the masterclass will explore the curatorial context and provide a rich and stimulating mixture of new ideas and practical tools.
At the core of the masterclass is the opportunity to work as part of a creative team on a real-world project that you bring to the session. Whatever business sector you are in, or level of design interest or expertise, this course will equip you with a robust model to apply design thinking in your own working life.
Our approach to design thinking
The Royal College of Art views Design Thinking as a form of people-centred innovation. Design solutions therefore derive from reframing problems from the perspective of the citizen or the customer, not the producer or service provider. The process is not scientifically neutral – it involves showing empathy and engagement with people’s lived experience. It also means resolving the contradictions between the real world of barriers and constraints and the abstract world of imagination and creative ideas. This masterclass will provide the tools and frameworks to bridge this divide.
About the course
This practical Executive Masterclass will take participants through six main phases of design thinking:
Personal and organisational benefits
The benefits to you and your organisation include:
- thorough understanding of design thinking as applied across a range of business and organisational challenges
- a new model to reframe innovation projects through a design lens
- experience of working collaboratively
- access to global practice in design thinking
- critical, creative and insightful thinking
- ideation and visualisation skills to realise design innovations
- empathic understanding of users / customers
- interact and network with peers from different backgrounds and functions
- a certificate of attendance.
What will you learn?
You will learn:
- an introduction to design thinking – theoretical principles and practical building blocks
- real-world applications of design thinking and its outcomes
- strategies for improving decision making by reframing innovation challenges in a people-centred way
- ways to work effectively in teams
- global best practice in how other organisations have used design thinking.
How will you learn?
Learning takes place over 2 half-days in person where participants get taught as a group and work in smaller teams.
The sessions include a mix of:
- three keynote lectures, e.g. ‘How I Think’ by a leading designer
- a series of practical exercises
- six ‘sprints’ through the six stages of the Design Thinking model
- team creative workshops
- a final crit of project presentations by a panel of experts.
Post course, we may offer a session with the course leader, Professor Jeremy Myerson, where participants have an opportunity to discuss key take-outs from the masterclass (optional).
Participants will come away from this course with:
- creative confidence to work in a team on design-led innovation
- a clear understanding of the different stages of the design thinking model
- practical experience of applying the principles of design thinking on a project relevant to you
- a reinvigorated sense of what can be achieved when taking a people-centred approach.
Who should attend?
Anyone interested in transforming their organisation through the application of design thinking for innovation, including:
- in-house R&D teams across all sectors
- public-sector and third-sector business innovation teams
- innovation directors
- senior business managers
- sales and marketing teams
- policy makers
About the Design Museum
The Design Museum is the world’s leading museum devoted to architecture and design, encompassing all elements of design, including fashion, product and graphic design. Since opening its doors in 1989, the museum has displayed everything from an AK-47 to high heels designed by Christian Louboutin. It has staged over 100 exhibitions, welcomed over 5 million visitors and showcased the work of some of the world’s most celebrated designers and architects including Paul Smith, Zaha Hadid, David Adjaye, Jony Ive, Miuccia Prada, Frank Gehry, Eileen Gray, Kenneth Grange, Jonathan Barnbrook and Dieter Rams. On 24 November 2016, The Design Museum relocated to Kensington, west London, where leading architectural designer John Pawson converted the interior of a 1960s Modernist building to create a new home for the museum.
Guest talk from Tom Wilson, Head of Collection and Research, Design Museum.
Delegates receive complementary tickets to the Design Museum exhibition:
Ai Weiwei: Making Sense until 30 July 2023 and the free display Yinka Ilori: PARABLES FOR HAPPINESS until 25 June 2023.
Disclaimer: The information given is accurate at the time of publication, however, the RCA reserves the right to amend the described course as circumstances dictate.
On Campus Delivery
This course will be delivered face to face at the Design Museum on the first day (map and addresses here) and at the RCA Battersea campus, Rausing Building on the second day (map and addresses here).
RCA Executive Education will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation in the period up to the course dates.
Our planning incorporates the latest Government guidance as well as consideration of how best to ensure a safe and inclusive learning space for participants and staff team.
Our participants health, wellbeing and quality of experience while attending our on-campus courses is paramount to us.
Full details of the Covid safe guidelines in place for the course will be provided to you in advance of your start date with your welcome information.
Disclaimer: Change to online delivery
It may be necessary due to Covid-19 restrictions to change the mode of delivery to live online.
We will endeavour to notify all participants in advance of any changes, no later than 2 weeks before the course start date.
Terms & conditions apply.
“Learning directly from the RCA, a world-leading college in Art and Innovation was fantastic. In two days we used Design Thinking methodologies to discuss world peace, farming, hospital ICU experiences through a very hands-on approach. I experienced the incredible value Design Thinking brings to structuring ideation and innovation to create value for my company.”Director, Digital Service Innovation & Hybrid Tech, McKinsey & Company
“Thanks to a perfect organisation and state of the art pedagogy, the course is the best option to immerse in creative thinking and expand your innovation potential by factor 10. I highly recommend!”
“I enjoyed meeting and collaborating with professionals from other industries, and being able to learn from their varying skills and experiences.”
“The course was inspiring, stimulating, well structured, efficiently delivered and the content was highly relevant. It provided me with the confidence and the drive to implement the human-centred approach and the triple-diamond model into my own projects and experience. Thank you to Professor Jeremy Myerson, the RCA team, all guest speakers and participants for the extremely useful learning experience.”September 2020
“We want people to come away from our executive education courses with achievable insights and a critical path to making change in their organisations and to their own individual working lives.”
“Learning directly from the RCA, a world-leading college in Arts and Innovation was fantastic! In two days we used Design Thinking methodologies to discuss world peace, farming, hospital ICU experiences through a very hands-on approach. I experienced the incredible value Design Thinking brings to structuring ideation and innovation to create value for my company.”Director, Digital Service Innovation & Hybrid tech, McKinsey & Company
Professor Emeritus Jeremy Myerson
Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design
Jeremy has been academic, author and activist in design for more than 40 years. He co-founded the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design in 1999.View full profile
Adrian Westaway is an inventor, engineer and experience designer on a mission to make the human-technology interaction meaningful and delightful. Winner of 2018 London Design Awards for Magic UX which is a new smartphone interface inspired by the physical world. As co-founder of Special Projects he harnesses technology, inclusive research and magic thinking to devise design propositions that feel familiar yet wondrous. A self-taught magician since the age of 11 and full member of the Magic Circle, he relentlessly pursues his conviction that “designers should use magic thinking and try to introduce surprise, delight and fuzzy feeling in the things they create.” After becoming the first ever James Dyson Fellow in 2007, and a Fellow of the Royal Commission of 1851, in 2010, for his work on interactive lighting systems, Adrian built a playground in Peru, had whisky with Derren Brown as a student in Bristol, and tried to make his teachers disappear. His contagious passion for magic and engineering made him a beloved tutor and lecturer in Design & Innovation at Queen Mary University and the Royal College of Art in London and a visiting faculty member at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. There he teaches ‘Magic and Design’, a nomadic workshop where students are introduced to methods of using design and technology to create enchanted products and experiences.View full profile
Get in touch with Jo Chounta if you'd like to find out more about this or any of our other short courses.