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Design Studies

This workshop engages participants in an appreciation of what design is, from the perspective of design as a process and a product.  The workshop explores the multifaceted dimensions of design to address the foundation of design to facilitate the critique and assessment of design works.  The workshop engages examples, case studies and practical exercises blended with seminars and group discussions to develop an understanding of the key principles and concepts of design and design development.  The workshop will also engage participants to develop a framework for personal development to further their understanding and appreciation of design. 

This module investigates case studies of design-driven practices across different business organisations that leverage on design for strategic and innovative business development.  The study will examine the process models or strategies undertaken to define the problem space and concept mapping in the problem solving process.  Exploration of the principles and processes involved are identified and hypothetically cross-referenced to various organisations for possible adoption or application.

This module examines the notion of design innovation as a catalyst for change in the creation of low-cost, high-value products and services in the commercial environment.  It explores innovative practices in design-centred organizations that embrace design-thinking strategies to drive their design vision for the business success.  The topics in this module include: innovation by design, design-thinking strategies, innovating experiences, and design-centred practices. 

This module provides an overview of branding for business success and explores how design affects branding.  It identifies the key elements that make brands work for businesses and rationalise how design for branding is a strategic tool for business differentiation in the competitive business environment.  The topics in this module include: Principles of Branding, Branding Strategy, Branding by Design, and Brand Propositions versus Brand Stories.

This module explores the notion of engendering a design approach in dealing with complex issues in problem solving in business.  It addresses the idea of defining and describing the design problem space and the practical realisation of concepts to resolve the problems.  The topics in this module include: problem space, concepts in creative problem solving, opportunity identification and acquisition, and design-based thinking tools.

This module provides an overview of the strategic approaches to influence design and design process to achieve the desired business outcome.  This includes manipulation of design concepts to create competitive business advantage and seeking new meaning and ‘designerly’ ways of seeing and understanding business.  The topics in this module include: strategies for design, design strategies for business, meaning in design, and ‘designerly’ ways of seeing and thinking.

This module provides an overview of the process of design from its inception to the final solution, the management of the design process and the development of design criteria in the design process for decision-making in the business context.  The topics in this module include: models of design process, design process in problem solving, management of the design process, and design criteria for business decision-making.

This module provides an overview of the fundamental principles of design that determines its expressive value, content and sustainability as they relate to ‘commodity’, ‘economy’, ‘firmness’ and ‘delight’.  It explores the validation of these principles in design outcomes against business objectives for success.  The topics in this module include: principles of design, the value of design, design principles for business sustainability, and sustainable design.

This module provides an overview of design and an understanding of its value for business success.  It explores the perception of worth and quality of design value in the context of its relationship to business growth, sustainability and success.  The topics in this module include: what is design, what is good design, idea-driven design versus market-driven design, and design for business success. 


Design Management

This course explores the meaning of design and introduces the key concepts and principles of design as an entity that embodies the notion of both design process and design outcome, and how as a value-add strategy it can create competitive advantage for business success. The course covers the underpinning knowledge required to engage design as a strategic tool in business and sets the context for design thinking as the key for realisation of the desired business outcome. 

This module requires of participants to produce a reflective account of their own process, motivation and awareness of the overall development and management process involved in a design business using a contextual view of an appropriate model of business operation.  This should include a statement of the individual participant’s vision covering the philosophy of the business intent and the strategic engagement of design management as a strategic tool in the enterprise. The project will be assessed via presentation (visual and verbal). 

This module considers the effective financial management approaches for design enterprises and how design business finance is managed in the context of different organisations, from basic financial theory and practice to managing cash flow to business accounting.  The topics in this module include: budget and fee structure, costing and pricing, cost assessment, and business accounts management.

This module articulates the strategic development of business plans to achieve business objectives from an understanding of the legal and administrative aspects of design business.  It considers how design is planned and managed in the context of different business organizations including the organization structure, culture and strategy.  The topics in this module include: business administration, business laws and ethics, corporate strategy, and design operations planning. 

This module develops the understanding of design trends in a contemporary cultural, social, economic, political and technological context of new and emerging design knowledge.  It focuses on an overview of user groups as they relate to consumer behaviour in response to marketing strategies and campaigns.  The topics in this module include: basic principles of trends studies, market intelligence, development of new design knowledge, and design futures.

This module provides an introduction to managing the marketing process of design and professional design services in line with an integrated marketing communications plan to identify and assess market opportunities.  It also provides the practical experience of developing design proposals and quotation for design services, negotiating sales contract, fee proposal and proposal terms.  The topics in this module include: strategic marketing, marketing communications management, brand management, and marketing environment.

This workshop will address the business benefits of design, how businesses use design, how to make design part of a business strategy and how to conduct a design audit. The workshop will engage participants in unraveling the potential and possibilities of product, graphics, packaging, brands, media, service, retail and environment designs to maximise sustained business success. It will address approaches to:

  1. How to take advantage of the benefits of design for business success

  2. How to use design to improve business performance

  3. How to include design as part of a business strategy

  4. How to conduct a design audit to exploit opportunities to use design in a business 

This module examines branding as a business management and development strategy for retail and F&B businesses.  It provides an overview of branding in the business planning process and the consideration of the business model design and innovation.  The key topics include:

  1. Principles for innovative brand concepts in business strategies
  2. The use of branding as a strategic tool for business differentiation
  3. Case studies across different retail and F&B businesses that leverage on branding for strategic and innovative business management and development

This training programme is aimed at capability development that enhances integration and performance of the ‘creative’ and ‘branding’ functions within a creative organisation.  The programme is designed with a focus on ‘design for branding’ set against an understanding for what design is, design thinking and the design process which are the underpinning knowledge critical to the professional communication of design in marketing and the effective presentation of design ideas and concepts to internal and external stakeholders. 

The programme will cover the fundamentals of branding as they relate to how design affects branding and how branding can leverage on design as a strategic tool for business success.  It will address the professional competencies needed to make brands work by design and to create design that are sensitive to user needs (and usability) and market trends (and marketability) to objectively rationalise, defend, diminish or eliminate factors of conceptual subjectivity in design. 

The programme will provide a continuum of conceptual possibilities to unleash ‘creative’ and ‘branding’ capabilities that are needed to address issues, problems, opportunities and challenges as they emerge in the resolution of a design problem. 

Seminar Content

This seminar covers the formulation and development of a brief to initiate the design process.  It covers the process of identifying, investigating, rationalising and evaluating information required for formulation and development of the brief, and developing the structure and content for documentation of the design project information in the brief.

Seminar Outline 

  1. The critical elements of a brief for a design project.
  2. The process of preparing a brief for a design project.
  3. The methods and techniques to identify, investigate, rationalize and evaluate information required in a brief.

Learning Outcome

At the end of the seminar, participants should be able to: 

  1. Identify and evaluate information required for the formulation of a brief.
  2. Investigate and rationalise design problems and issues for development of a brief.
  3. Develop the structure and content for documentation of design project information in a brief.


Design Practice

This module requires of participants to identify and research on current emerging practices of design and to develop a design practice process model that evidences the engagement and investigation into the developmental issues within the design practice community, and the application of the appropriate research methods for the independent research.  The research process should include appropriate visual recording and analyses to demonstrate effective planning, evidencing and reporting skills.

This module explores the application of research methodologies to elicit design and research development and enquiry from the preliminary study of project specification and objectives to the detailed analysis of the design statement of intent.  The topics in this module include:  the practice of research, research methods for design, design process as an enquiry, and the application of research methods.

This module considers the use of design management principles to achieve organizational structure, culture and strategy that can encourage the use of design as a strategic tool to create competitive advantage.  This includes consideration of the strategic direction of the practice by promoting design culture as a management goal and developing design leadership alongside with organisational leadership.  The topics in this module include: corporate strategy, the design-centred practice, organizational policies and practices, and social corporate responsibility of a design practice.

This module introduces the legal underpinnings for the intellectual property (IP) rights including its identification and understanding of its role, strength and dependability.  This includes understanding of the basic principles of copyright, design, trademark and patent laws and their protection in relation to the legal framework.  The topics in this module include: incorporation of IP into business strategies, best practices and trends in IP management, managing IP at a strategic level, and commercial exploitation of IP rights.

This module considers case studies of reflective practice to develop the understanding and appreciation of the ethical and legal dimensions of design and the ethical responsibility and accountability of the design practice.  The topics in this module include:  ethics and basic legal principles of design practice, legislation, conventions and codes of practice, intellectual property rights, and ethical design.


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