Update you browser

For the best experience, we recommend you update your browser. Visit our accessibility page for a list of supported browsers. Alternatively, you can continue using your current browser by closing this message.

Creative Leadership Masterclass in September 2022
Next course starts 14 November 2024

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

Key details

  • Early bird fee: £990 - limited places remain
  • Regular fee: £1100
  • In person at RCA Battersea campus over 2 days

    14 & 15 November: 10am - 5:30pm

Led by renowned inventors and educators, founders of innovation and design studio Special Projects, Clara Gaggero Westaway and Adrian Westaway, with a keynote presentation from Professor Emeritus Jeremy Myerson, this executive masterclass provides a rich and stimulating mixture of cutting-edge ideas and practical tools.

Explore the role of design within the innovation landscape, how to combine convergent and divergent thinking, the real world versus the world of ideas, the power of visualisation and creative ways to scale up your design concept.

Through case studies and real-world examples, this transformative design thinking course is crafted for organisations and individuals who seek to learn necessary tools and frameworks to reconcile practical constraints with imaginative and impactful solutions.

At the core of the 2-day masterclass is the opportunity to use design thinking in practice while working as part of a creative team on a real-world project brief. Whatever business sector you are in, or level of design interest or expertise, this design thinking course will equip you with a robust model to apply in your own working life.

Our approach to Design Thinking with Special Projects

The Royal College of Art views Design Thinking as a form of human-centred innovation and offers a different approach to problem solving. By reframing challenges from the user’s perspective, we incorporate empathy and real-world engagement with people’s lived experience.

This executive masterclass with Special Projects blends rigorous research with a playful, optimistic approach to bring delight and a profoundly human quality to a wide range of complex challenges. It also means resolving the contradictions between the real world of barriers and constraints and the abstract world of imagination and creative ideas. This design thinking executive course provides the tools and frameworks to bridge this divide.

About the course

This Design Thinking and Innovation masterclass takes participants on a journey through the design thinking triple-diamond, a systematic approach to design that helps teams navigate complex problems and create innovative solutions.

  • 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
  • interaction and networking with peers from different backgrounds and functions
  • a certificate of attendance.

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 co-create effectively with others and how to drive innovation within a team
  • global best practice in how other organisations have used design thinking.

Learning takes place over 2 days in person where participants get taught as a group and work in smaller teams.

The sessions include a mix of:

  • lectures
  • a series of practical exercises
  • team creative workshops
  • a final critique of project presentations by a panel of experts.

Participants will come away from this course with:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the main stages of the design thinking process.
  • Tools and frameworks to bridge the gap between practical constraints and imaginative solutions.
  • Enhanced skills in creative brief development, research techniques, ideation, prototyping and storytelling.
  • The ability to effectively communicate and implement innovative ideas that deeply resonate with users
  • A reinvigorated sense of what can be achieved through a people-centred approach.

Anyone interested in transforming their organisation and professional development through the application of design thinking for innovation, including:

  • Innovation and development leads, in-house R&D, public sector and third-sector business innovation teams
  • Ιnnovation directors and managers, senior business managers, strategic planners and consultants
  • Design, marketing and sales professionals, customer experience and user experience experts
  • Policymakers
  • Entrepreneurs

Special Projects is an independent design and innovation studio based in London and creating globally, founded by designer Clara Gaggero Westaway and magician Adrian Westaway.

Their team of researchers, designers, storytellers and magicians work behind the scenes to help leading organisations and disruptive startups craft strategic design visions for the future, reinvent user experiences, discover new opportunities and bring clarity to complex problems.

Fueled by a passion to make technology more human and interactions feel special, Special Projects combines rigorous research with an optimistic approach that brings magic, delight and a very human quality to some of the most challenging technical problems.

Special Project’s mission is to enhance the unquantifiable aspects of life: empathy, wellbeing, delight, with meaningful design and invention. To achieve this, the team leverages human insight, technology and the thought process of magicians.

This course will be delivered face-to-face at our flagship building in Battersea.


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 two weeks before the course start date.

Terms & conditions apply.

Course team

Adrian Westaway

Adrian Westaway

Short Course Co-Leader, Co-founder & Director of Technology and Magic, Special Projects

Adrian is a visionary designer and inventor, uniquely blending technology and magic to create extraordinary experiences. His innovative contributions span high-profile projects with Sonos, BBC, Nokia, and Google AI. An influential thought leader, Adrian lectures at the Royal College of Art and the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. His commitment to sustainable design and creative innovation has earned him prestigious accolades, including a Fellowship at the Royal Commission of 1851 and membership in the Magic Circle.


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]
Short Courses team