The Design Challenge of Corporate Design Education

Design can change the world. And it begins with us – working to scale the process we’ve spent years developing by training students and large corporations to identify and develop technology that will make a lasting impact on consumers.

We can do this a few different ways. Modernist Studio partner Jon Kolko launched the Austin Center for Design (AC4D) in 2010 to train budding designers in the fundamentals of interaction design and social entrepreneurship. Today, the school offers a one-year program that focuses on tackling the most pressing design issues facing our nation today including poverty, hunger, education, health and wellness, sustainability and equality. Students graduate with the ability to think critically about these issues and work as team leads in design.

But we’ve also talked a lot about corporate design education, which is something we also do at Modernist Studio. There are plenty of other consultancies doing this work too, offering a variety of workshops, trainings, bootcamps or even immersive classes to those who haven’t been trained as designers. The students are typically employees at large companies who have been tasked with researching, identifying and developing innovative products for their companies. At AC4D we spend an entire year helping students develop a design mindset, but these companies might have just a few days or months. The demand is high for something quick and accessible.

That’s why Modernist Studio takes a unique approach to ensure companies get the most out of our trainings:

  • We tailor our courses to fit the individual needs of our clients;
  • We teach the fundamentals of service design, design-led product management, sketching and research; and, most importantly,
  • We offer ourselves as “Creative Directors on Demand,” training employees at these large corporations while guiding them as they develop their own innovative solutions.

We also offer online courses for those corporations that are simply looking for an introduction to product management and design. We have two affordable, informative classes available online as steppingstones into design strategy:

Service Design: Designing for Experience Over Time

The training program’s primary emphasis is on diagramming and storytelling. You’ll learn to create quick, low-fidelity representations of ideas, so you can test these ideas and improve upon them. By embracing diagramming, storytelling, and rapid prototyping, you’ll be prepared to introduce a culture of making into your company or organization. You’ll understand how to visualize complex ideas, how to minimize complexity, and how to simply illustrate changes in a complex system.

Read more about Service Design: Designing for Experience Over Time here.

Product Management: Building Great Products

This course presents an introduction to product management – the process and skills necessary to develop a new idea and bring it to market. The focus is on developing valuable products through an iterative process of creative development. As a result of taking this training, you will be able to translate research into insight by thinking critically about people want need and desire. You’ll learn how to define the value of a product, and then identify the sequence and pacing of feature development.

Read more about Product Management: Building Great Products.

Effective, impactful design doesn’t happen overnight. But we’re working to make it possible for all students – whether they’re aspiring design leads or engineers-turned-designers just learning this process – to innovate and bring the best products to market.

To learn more about corporate design education with Modernist Studio, contact us here.

Alexa Hoisager

Modernist can help you explore design strategy and create great new products and services.

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