DESIGN MANAGEMENT TEACHING PROGRAM
Students are taught with a holistic approach considering all of the relevant disciplines that take part currently at the pool of strategic BA functions: Marketing, Strategic Planning, Branding, Business Design and Customer Development.
The areas with which Design has a greater interaction are developed in depth: Design research, Interaction Design, Service and Experience Design, as well as Design for Sustainability considering a circular economy.
Design managers most likely won’t need to design in detail themselves, but they must be able to communicate very clearly their concepts, either to the business staff or to the design team in order to achieve the desired results. Therefore, the students are taught a very diverse set of tools, to train their skills to a level where they can communicate well and loose the fear to discuss at sketch level or through a video.
With the aim of creating synergies between future professionals, multidisciplinary activities are held for exchanging knowledge with students of different programs. This is also part of IED philosophy.
The courses are complemented with seminars, conferences, visits and workshops given by international and highly recognized specialists in each of the different Design & Business disciplines involved. Students’ achievement success in all projects and best results in the real- industry project is accomplished by frequent tutoring from the masters’ advisory team.
DESIGN MANAGEMENT SPECIFIC CONTENTS
The general curriculum of the Master is organized in three modules with interrelated Business, Design and Professional Skills, such Creative Leadership, Public Speaking or People Management.
The learning process is geared through a real-industry project that encompasses all the knowledge and skills developed during the program and, ultimately, become the students’ design management portfolio. At the same time, each subject hosts frequent seminars and workshops to debate and discuss about main concerns on the field such as Design Thinking, Circular Economy or Lean strategies, among others.
DESIGN MANAGEMENT SPECIFIC CONTENTS
Module 1: Finding Value Opportunities Design Research, Design Thinking and Creation Methods
This module empower students with the methodologies, tolos and skills needed to draw the context and current ecosystems from which businesses can foresee their future opportunities and scenarios of value. The key relevant subjects that are taught in this module are: Design Thinking, Design Research, Strategic Planning and Visual Thinking.
Module 2: Developing Design and Business Concepts Design Development Tools
This module expose students to the different disciplines of designing needed to conceptualize and implement innovation. It aims to créate business opportunities and design concepts: evaluative scenarios & prototypes considering its business strategy. The key relevant subjects taught in this module are: Interaction Design, Service and Experience Design and Sustainable Design.
Module 3: Bringing Innovative Concepts to Market Business Development Tools
This module provides students with the strategic and business tools to implement new future scenarios of value of new products and with reliability and the appropriate business model.
The key relevant subjects taught in this module are: Marketing, Business Design, Customer Development and Brand Management.
Module 1: Finding Value Opportunities Design Thinking Bootcamp
This is a week long, full-time, intensive course to immerse students right away in the design thinking approach and process. The course is built as an experiential learning incubator: each day starts with an intensive workshop on the day’s exploration topic that allows the participant to get a deeper understanding of Design Thinking methods by relating those key-concepts and tools to that experience.
The structure of the entire workshop itself is built on the divergence/convergence principles.
Innovation. Problem-solving. Creativity. Co-Creation. Customer value.
These concepts have tremendous impact in today’s business strategy. They are the ingredients that spur new growth opportunities, optimize business processes and créate strong connections with customers. Design Thinking is a human-centric group of work processes and frameworks that help identify, develop and deliver on these concepts creatively and efficiently.
TRENDS & FORECAST
Introduction course to trends investigation methods and tools: on the street, observing
and documenting weak signals and micro-trends with photography, note taking, and by interviewing, Desk-based online research and mediascraping (local and international printed press, handouts, flyers, zines, etc..). It also touch trends Analysis: From building and Evidence wall of hundreds of signals, created from a mix of primary and secondary research students learn the process of analysis needed to detect patterns in their observations.
Co- creation involves all the relevant stakeholders, and also provokes their creativity, by using creative and design thinking tools. In this way, cocreation processes generate excellent results for innovation in the design practice, placing multidisciplinary design teams and users at the center of the innovation process. This does not only ensure that products and services are designed for
them but, also, with them. The emphasis for this class is on cocreation activities taking place
from pre-design to design. They might be practiced with real users through the student’s transversal Project.
STRATEGIC DESIGN PLANNING
The course focuses on ways to plan an organization’s strategic position in the market by going throughout a rigorous innovation planning process.
Students work to conceive a defensible innovation strategy plan to help an organization seek a new opportunity. The course guides students to apply structured methods, tools and frameworks to create a viable strategic plan for the Project organization. Special emphasis is given to understand the value exchanges that happen among all the participants of the system. Classes are conducted as presentations, discussions, demos and work-sessions.
Each week the course focuses on a specific step in the strategic design planning process to further the project.
There is topic introduction and work plan meetings at the beginning of each class.
There are discussions on the content of the handed-out papers. Everyone is expected to have read these papers prior to the class and present critical viewpoints. A certain amount of time is spent on discussing projects during class sessions.
This course tackles into qualitative methods of research drawn from ethnography and anthropology studies. This way, students learn the foundations of user applied research and other methodologies with
the aim to understand and choose the different goals of investigation (market, trends, users), to develop a research system according to the fit among the research goals and the available sources, and to know the different outcomes of research articulating them to generate the basis of ideation
Generating key insights through processes of analysis and synthesis of the information is going to be treated in-depth, this course is directly applied to the research needs of the transversal real industry Project to gain relevancy with its methods and results.
Module 2: Developing Design and Business Concepts
SERVICE AND EXPERIENCE DESIGN
During this class, students learn the tools used by service design professionals and directly apply them to the student directed project.
Each student goal is to get a user oriented vision of a service from the different users perspectives. Students are building different types of service prototypes for different scenarios and how to extrapolate valuable information that can be used to develop a service further. They endeavor to show how service design methodologies can be applied to both existing services and as part of the customer discovery stage.
The class aims for understanding the benefits of service design methodology to create value for all
stakeholders. How to see everyday things from a different mindset or perspective.
Deepen students’ knowledge of key innovation processes and therefore know when to adapt it to new projects.
Also, for understanding how everything is nothing more tan an experience which, when you understand the rules, you can create new experiences for users and create value for all stakeholders. The class is covering the key established curriculum of experience design and try to push it further with the aim of equipping students with questions to continue their own experience in this world.
The course aims to equip students with an understanding of core interaction design principles and methods they can deploy to design engaging user experiences. Sessions include practical exercises of conceptualizing and designing an experience with a digital product (e.g. web, mobile or other devices.) The theoretical part of the course provides a brief overview of the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and the relevant research areas that have influenced current technological trends.
We explore the different methods and creative processes in user-centered design and apply these in a group project.
Students, working in pairs, are required to design and prototype an interactive experience as a response to a design brief. Every session of the course offers opportunities to practice techniques that can help them to define and progress with their collaborative projects. Students are expected to work on this project outside their regular class and prepare material to review during the session. At the end of the course each group present their project, as well as the research and design process behind it.
SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION AND DESIGN
The course in Sustainable
Innovation and Design
starts with a macro vision of
sustainability in industry and
what types of actions are
being taken to work towards
sustainability across industry
from start-ups to multinationals.
During the first class we study
4 different approaches that
companies are taking and
how this is integrated from
the business strategy to the
product design. In the second
class we study ways to create
value with sustainability
using the main design tools
and methodologies that
are available today, such as
functional innovation, service
vs product, service design
thinking, solution oriented
partnerships and collaborative
consumption. We look into
consumers and their attitudes
towards sustainability, studying
different user profiles, and how
you would respond to each of
them design and innovation, as
well as how to communicate
it to the target market. In the
third class we look at starting
points or the main drivers
for developing commercial
sustainable solutions such as
user movements, subsidies
or competition, and the effect
these have on the market,
and therefore on the market
for sustainable innovations
and designs. We then look
at examples and guidelines
as to how to communicate
VISUAL THINKING AND STORYTELLING
Students learn how to organize, analyze, filter, structure and present information so that
it can be displayed as simple and appealing as possible to help the understanding and decision making of complex data. Students learn how to filter and categorize all the information obtained during the research phase, how to sketch and diagram information flows, information design and hierarchies, know how to apply the tools of visual representation and diagramming flows to improve information architecture in order to present the content in a clear, concise and visually attractive way.
Module 3: Bringing Innovative Concepts to Market
The main objective of this subject is to learn thinking from a brand standpoint, understanding what it
stands for, what it brings to us common people, how it establishes and evolves its relationship with us. The methodology we’ll follow is a mix of theoretical classes and discussion in class, mainly through real-life examples and exercises proposed during the course. The main competence we’ll try to build together is that of becoming better listeners and observers of our environment. Because we, the common people, are at the center of everything and brands are in constant evolution through their dialogue with us.
The main objective of this subject is to understand the key issues in international marketing, familiarize with the key challenges in service companies, review modern marketing concepts and frameworks: customer relationship marketing, social marketing and get into the marketing trends: marketing and technology- how to reach customers directly. Through this subject the students are able to: effectively communicate ideas and arguments in support of realistic marketing decisions; work in team discussing cases and examples that provide an understanding of what marketing managers do; actively listen to other people’s opinions and viewpoints to enrich business proposals; develop a project; get a proactive attitude towards learning, self discipline and rigorous work; develop a high level of analytical skills and critical thinking in a marketing context: defining problems, identifying opportunities and interpreting their implications for decision making.
Customer development is a process that frames the right questions, with the right tasks for the right job: search, and experimentation to validate who is your client, your product/service value
proposition and its way to commercialization.
This course aims to define what constitutes a startup or a new business unit inside a bigger corporation, devise a core philosophy to ground the process, identify the different stages of your search process, and build a framework to efficiently go through this process.
The purpose of the course is to provide the key elements to move from ideas to profitable business. The basic method is to understand all the elements of successful business plan and practice business case and models to support the creation of business plan. Students gain competences in innovation and entrepreneurship elements, business plan structure, develop the 10 main steps of a business plan (marketing, operations, finance,..), link Idea and concept to Cash materialization and is able to provide management perspective to idea generation.
Design Managers need to understand how the financial statements interrelate and what information they convey; the understanding and use of management tolos that help them to use the information in the financial statements to analyze the company’s performance; and the understanding and use of tools that can help managers with decision making.
Leading People is a wide area of knowledge that covers anything relevant to people in organizations. The Leadership subject is requiring more and more skills and competencies to whoever has people responsibilities, being one of the fields that have most impact in how we run businesses. People are the most important asset in a company.
The seminar is aimed to provide the students with effective communication skills about how to prepare a presentation and how to deliver it in front of a public, with the help of many practical exercises.
We work on quick and effective prototypes methodologies with frameworks such as the Lego© Serious Play©, Body Storming, Video Prototyping, Minimum Viable Products and Lean Design Prototyping in order to test and refine concepts, value propositions, customer experiences and/or commercialization plans.
Leaders should develop an in-depth awareness and understanding of themselves as well of others to identify common ground and differences. The students learn how to develop a personal identity strategy, and how to expand this application to group identity.
An introduction to intellectual property focused on creative industries. The student obtain a basic knowledge on trademarks, copyrights and industrial designs from an international point of view, including the Internet. The subject has a practical approach, including real case- studies related to the protection, exploitation and defense of Intellectual Property Rights.
Students are proposed to approach Design and Innovation from an integral point of view so, they are constantly developing relevant projects in teams and focused on proving all the skills developed. They have to face two main real industry projects, a special investigation project at IdeaSquare and their final Personal Research Project.
REAL INDUSTRY PROJECTS
Following the learning-by-doing methodology, the learnings and competences achieved are applied at the transversal real industry project alongside the program. The are challenged to identify the broader problem statement that require an analysis of all of the user touch points with the company in order to guarantee a relevant and consistent experience across them.
The projects are commissioned either by multinational companies competing in the global economy, or local companies competing in the international markets.
In the first module the project is based on a research for innovation opportunities, in the second one on innovation concepts for strategic ‘go to market’ initiatives.
PERSONAL RESEARCH PROJECT (PRP)
The Personal Research Project is the Master culmination and should demonstrate that the student has acquired skills, knowledge and analytical capabilities. The PRP is the single most important piece of written work that students undertake during their Research Study Program.
This project is an original piece of research involving primary data collection which aim is to undertake an individual work that meets the requirements outlined in these guidelines in order to achieve a passing grade.
The PRP bases are focused at the end of the third module so that students can work on it during the final part of the master, when they are realizing their internships. The final thesis is presented in front of a special faculty cloister at middle December.
The objectives of the thesis process are the following:
- To identify a feasible project in the student’s area of study
- To establish clearly defined objectives and/or questions to be investigated
- To design and implement an appropriate (design research/process) methodology
- To understand the adding value proposition (concept)
- To create a business development plan based on the previous concept.
- To create feasible and concrete design proposals
- To demonstrate analytical skills and produce valid findings
- To apply theory to practical reality
- To draw appropriate conclusions and recommendations where necessary
- To produce a well-organized and well-written final document and an effective oral presentation of the thesis.
COLLABORATION WITH COMPANIES
In previous editions of the Master in Design Management students worked on
projects with different companies, such as:
Green Living Project,
Production Media Network S.L.,
The Pink Peony for Mountaneers for Himalaya, etc.