We’ve just wrapped up a difficult semester at Hult in DES328: Design for Business Leaders – a design course that was Zoomed to business students on every continent who have never been exposed to studio culture – the work habits of designers. The course was directed to giving students a process awareness without getting bogged down in design craft – though it is impossible to learn design process without doing some design. And impossible to do design without some amount of craft.
So I decided to keep it simple – have student work in dyads and have each design a “personal brand” for the other. My hope/expectation was that out of this relationship, a deeper experience of empathy would be gained for someone who was at the same time “client” and “user”.
I was blown away by the results – the depth of (empathic) relationship that did manifest, the creative energy, and, in the cases of a good number of students, the commitment to the art of design and willingness to push through their deficit in drawing, CAD and prototyping skills.
Francesco de Conto an Italian student captured this energy in his final presentation that he prepared as a 6+ minute movie. He managed to encapsulate the intent and lessons of the course in a way I never could.
So, if you want to know anything about what future business leaders need to know about design, take a look:
Hope you enjoyed. Francesco’s mention of “studio group four” might have flown by you. To get around the lack of design studio culture and around the isolation that the Covid19 lockdown imposed on the students I organized them into “virtual studios” of 4 or 5. My hope was to convey the understanding that design isn’t a pursuit of solo genius but a collaboration of imaginative and capable minds; that the best ideas come from the ferment of idle conversations, pointed feedback between trusted colleagues and getting and giving help with no immediate expectation of payoff. I was quite disappointed in general by how much the Virtual Studio was used by the students, though Francesco apparently did make good use of it. And the positive result is evident and inspiring.