Adult Learning Design for Business

RCA Design Thinking & Innovation Masterclass

Created in partnership with the Royal College of Arts (RCA), this course explores how design thinking can drive innovation with real-world applications and strategies.

What to expect?

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 course 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.

Learning will take place over 2 half-days in person where participants get taught as a group and work in smaller teams, and will include:

– three keynote lectures

– 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, an optional session with the course leader, Professor Jeremy Myerson, where participants have an opportunity to discuss key take-outs from the masterclass.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Course structure

Participants will be taken through the six main phases of design thinking:

– Discover

– Define

– Design

– Develop

– Deliver

– Diffuse/Distribute


Session 1:
Monday 17 October, 12.30 – 18.00 at the Design Museum
Session 2:
Tuesday 18 October, 10.00 – 14.00 at the RCA Kensington Campus

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

Personal and organisational benefits

• an 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 in 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

• a certificate of attendance

Learning outcomes

• 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.

• 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


Professor Emeritus Jeremy Myerson

Myerson is the Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design at the RCA, with a remit to encourage ‘design that improves quality of life’. An academic, author and activist in design for more than 40 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.

Adrian Westaway

Westaway is an inventor, engineer and designer on a mission to make the human-technology interaction meaningful and enjoyable. As co-founder of Special Projects, he harnesses technology, inclusive research and magic thinking to devise design propositions that feel familiar yet wondrous. A self-taught magician and a member of the Magic Circle, he relentlessly pursues his conviction that “designers should use magic thinking and try to introduce surprise, delight and fuzzy feeling in the things they create”.

Booking information

Adult: £900

Design Museum members have a 10% discount on this course. If you are a member, state your membership number on the ‘notes’ section of the enquiry form.

Capacity is limited, please book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Please read the terms and conditions before applying.

Related exhibition

Designer Maker User

Our permanent collection display is an introduction to the museum’s collection, looking at the development of modern design through these three interconnected roles.