Design Thinking & Innovation

Understand the purpose of design thinking in promoting innovation, and learn real-world applications and strategies for design thinking.

At the RCA, we teach design thinking, training designers who go on to lead global brands worldwide as creative directors and CEOs. In contrast to standard, linear approaches that build on tested models, design thinking is creatively structured, analytic and responsive. It draws in diverse disciplines and multiple areas of expertise and exploration, starting with the core premise that everything is a design problem. 

Through the application of this informed analysis within business-driven, public-facing and community-centred contexts, design thinking can produce innovation, which in turn enables brands to remain competitive in changing markets.

This one-day executive masterclass led by Professor Jeremy Myerson, the RCA’s Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design, will cover five main areas: the emergent role of design within the landscape of innovation; combining convergent and divergent thinking; the real world versus the world of ideas; the power of visualisation; and creating environments for innovation.

Using case studies and innovation stories, the masterclass will explore a mix of stimulating new ideas and practical tools, negotiating the complex relationship between the concrete and the abstract,  to enable an understanding of the purpose of design thinking in promoting innovation, and the benefits to an organisation.

Dates: Thursday 15 – Friday 16 November 2018 

Duration: 1 day,  structured over 2 half-days

Day 1: starts after lunch at 1pm 

Day 2: finishes at 1.30pm 

Location: Senior Common Room,  Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London SW7 2EU

Fee: £900

Personal and organisational benefits

  • Access to global best practice in design process and thinking.
  • Experience new strategies to put innovation into practice.
  • Return to your organisation with greater ability to work collaboratively.
  • Experience critical, creative and insightful thinking.
  • Practice ideation and visualisation skills to realise design innovations.
  • Learn empathic understanding of users / customers.
  • Interact and network with peers from different backgrounds and functions.
What will I learn?
  • Introduction to design thinking.
  • Real-world applications of design thinking and its outcomes.
  • Strategies for sharpening innovation thinking, evaluating and prioritising ideas.
  • Strategies for exploring alternative positions and improving decision making.

How will I learn?

Learning takes place in groups of up to 20 participants, including: 

  • 2 extended lectures
  • 2 x 3-hour workshops

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
  • Entrepreneurs

Professor Jeremy Myerson is the first-ever Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design at the Royal College of Art, with a remit to encourage 'design that improves quality of life'. An academic, author and activist in design for more than 35 years, he began his working life as a journalist and was founder-editor of Design Week in 1986. He co-founded the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the RCA in 1999, and his research interests focus on the role of design in social, demographic and technological change. He was director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design from 1999 to October 2015.

A graduate of the RCA, Jeremy Myerson is the author of many books, chapters, papers and articles on people-centred and inclusive design. He is also director of the WORKTECH Academy, a visiting fellow at the Oxford Institute for Population Ageing, and sits on the advisory boards of design institutes in Hong Kong, Switzerland and Korea.

Professor Jeremy Myserson speaking about the RCA Design Thinking and Innovation course.

Register your interest to download the full course description.

Book your place here.


+44 (0)20 7590 4538

Register your interest to download the full course description.

Book your place here.

"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." Professor Jeremy Myerson
"I would really recommend the course. It was engaging and relevant. My main takeaway was the importance of empathy and ethnography – really observing and engaging at a human level to understand the problem and develop the best solution." Molly Riggins, Innovation Consultant, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Jeremy Myerson
Jeremy Myerson