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The Design Museum, London

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

Key details


  • £900


  • Online

    Four sessions over two weeks

    9am – 12.30pm BST per session

    23 - 28 September 2021 FULLY BOOKED

    2022 dates to be announced

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 online Executive Masterclass will take participants through six main phases of design thinking: 

  • Discover
  • Define
  • Design
  • Develop
  • Deliver
  • Diffuse/Distribute

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.

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.

Learning takes place over four live online sessions, each three-and-a-half hours in duration where participants get taught as a group and work in smaller teams.

Each team will have a tutor and online tools will support ethnographic, brainstorming, creative making and concept evaluation exercises.

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 offer three one-hour sessions with the course leader, Professor Jeremy Myerson, where participants have an opportunity to discuss key take-outs from the masterclass (optional).

The masterclass is organised in synchronous sessions in a live virtual environment that combines various digital platforms and tools.

Using the videoconferencing service Zoom, the RCA's esteemed academics and facilitators deliver a mix of:

  • live lectures
  • case studies
  • guided assessments
  • presentations

Participants interact with the faculty and peers in breakout rooms in real time.


Participants engage in cross-functional team work with the use of visual collaboration tools.

Through the online whiteboard platform Miro, participants get to:

  • interact with various formats and templates
  • plan and brainstorm ideas
  • create processes and workshop activities in the digital workspace.


The College's learning platform Moodle is personalised according to the course's requirements to provide participants with a secure integrated system where they can access the course content.

The hub hosts a range of useful resources to enable the learning experience, including comprehensive timetables, pre-reading materials, course slides, curated videos, tutorials and session recordings.


Participants stay connected and communicate via the channel-based messaging platform Slack throughout the whole duration of the course.

In this space, the academics, facilitators and delegates get to network, plan the course activities, share documents and files during the live sessions or offline.

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.

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.

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.

Current exhibitions at the Design Museum in London, for September 2021:

Charlotte Perriand: The Modern Life

Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street

The course is delivered online and we will provide relevant access to virtual exhibitions or tours.

If you are based in London we will provide complimentary tickets on request.

Course team


Contact us

Get in touch with Jo Chounta if you'd like to find out more about this or any of our other short courses.

Email us at
[email protected]
Jo Chounta Executive Education Coordinator