Since the beginning of the 21st century, different fields such as business and engineering have regarded design as an important strategic advantage for innovation and change (organizational, social, technological, etc.).
This is mainly because of the way design thinking processes define and solve current complex design problems such as a new banking business model, adapting current design offering to a digital audience, optimizing the features of an existing product to a new model, or the visual labeling of universal health-related drugs.
Design problems are hard to solve because, basically, they are inherently complex and this complexity increases the difficulty in understanding them and finding reasonable ways to resolve them. The task of designing the outcome at the same time as the context is embedded in design problems. Furthermore, no problem ever exists in complete isolation—every problem interacts with other problems and is, therefore, part of a set of interrelated problems. Because of this interconnectedness of problems, the design problem-solving process has to be a multidisciplinary endeavor—functional disciplines working in close collaboration across functions, instead of looking in narrow silos like ergonomics, finance, human factors, product design, or marketing, to name a few.
For team members to reach a shared understanding of problems and a successful agreement to potential solutions, design thinking is needed with its innovative problem-solving methods across disciplines and a user-centered approach, among other characteristics. Answers to key breakthrough innovation questions—“what might be?”; “what should be?” and “what is?”—are formulated through co-creation methodologies.
Co-creation place multidisciplinary design teams and users at the center of the innovation process, not only ensuring that products and services are designed for them but, also, with them. A key belief in the practice of co-creation is that people are able to generate new ideas and make decisions relevant to their future needs and dreams. The tools and techniques of co-creation work at a collective level. By triggering their collective creativity, people are empowered to work together to unfold their expectations, explore future scenarios and generate new opportunities based on their knowledge and experience. Thus, co-creation tools and techniques are crucial to inform and inspire design teams and companies on their paths to innovation.
This course will present the basic concepts and methodologies of Design Thinking and Co-creation through developing a real industry project, including presentations, lectures, and workshops by lead professionals in the design thinking and co-creation practice.
The fast-paced Summer course is designed for professionals and executives from all industries who want to immerse in the practice of a design innovation process, solve complex problems in multidisciplinary teams and work closely with the people that they serve with the design.
Any professional working at or willing to work at the strategic level of corporations will find the design thinking principles and tools as core capabilities for their competitive advantage. To address international participants, the course is held in English.
Methodology and learning outcomes
This course will be developed through a real industry project.
During four-weeks, students will be fully immersed in the innovation process of learning the different methods, techniques, and tools of design thinking and co-creation by applying them to the project.
During the project students will learn how to:
- Find design opportunities in a given industry context,
- Actively work with users
- Define the design problem
- Explore solutions within multidisciplinary teams
- Frame a design concept considering its business strategy
- Communicate the design concept and key offering through a short video
It will be considered industry projects from the student’s professional interest.