(Note: This post first appeared earlier today on Minnov8.com.)
The design process taught at Chicago's Institute of Design has been likened to “cutting cubes from fog," and the school is coming to Minneapolis this fall to tell you just what that means. Last spring, Stanford's d.school offered courses at the CoCo coworking & collaborative space. Now, the Institute of Design -- a graduate school of the Illinois Institute of Technology, and another of the nation's top graduate design programs -- is offering courses here. (Graphic: From an image copyright Tony Harris, DeviantArt.com.)
The Institute believes design can help close the innovation gap. It says innovation is often characterized as the “fuzzy front end” of business (I love that!). But it's out to bring definition to ambiguity. "As the pace of change in the world continues to accelerate, the demand for people trained to take on the ambiguous will continue to grow."
On its web site, the Institute comments on its mission. "Design is expansive, generating large numbers of new options that can then be prototyped and tested to inform ever better ideas… In an age of uncertainty, having a process for making the unknown known can be of tremendous value and lead to ideas grounded in real unmet needs."
The Institute's decision to come to Minneapolis is based on its relationship with a local partner. "These three fall workshops are all about design thinking and design methods — the core of both incremental and breakthrough innovation," said Rob Davis, director of communications and business development at bswing, which is presenting the the three-part series at its Experience Center at 700 N. Washington Avenue on September 27, October 4, and October 18. Rob formerly was head of communications at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).
The series explores the fundamentals of graduate-level innovation practice. It's the first time that IIT Institute of Design, the nation’s top-ranked and largest graduate-only design program, is offering courses here in Minnesota. (Graphic: Copyright Larry Keeley, SketchPlanations.com.)
Minneapolis is not the only city where the series will be offered, but execs at the Institute of Design said in their prepared remarks why they think our city is a good choice: “Minneapolis-St. Paul is home to numerous world-leading companies and has rebounded quickly from the economic recession. There is a huge opportunity for companies to help make the future,” said Ashley Lukasik, director of corporate relations, communications, and marketing for IIT Institute of Design.
“Minnesota’s savvy business community has a strong tradition in seeing innovation as the path to profits. Companies are seeking to produce new things—reframing the conventional view of their current offering is an effective way to do that,” said Patrick Whitney, dean of IIT Institute of Design.
The cost of the three-part series is $3700, or $1400 for an individual workshop. (Sound like a lot? Not! Stanford's similar series is $14,500. And Stanford d.school's courses cost $10,000+.)
More about the Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute of Design: Since its founding as the New Bauhaus in 1937, the Institute of Design has grown into the largest full-time graduate-only design program in the U.S., with students from around the world. IIT Institute of Design is ranked number one for research and theory, based on skills sought by recruiting organizations and number six for overall best industrial design graduate schools. The school offers a professional Master of Design degree program with areas of study in communication design, interaction design, product design, strategic design, systems thinking, and user research; a dual Master of Design / MBA degree program with the IIT Stuart School of Business; the Master of Design Methods, a nine-month program for mid-career professionals; and a PhD in Design. The Institute of Design created the country's first PhD design program in 1991.
More about bswing: Driven by the mission “make tomorrow matter,” bswing helps people imagine and create the future. With years of industry experience in in energy, retail, healthcare, financial services, and higher education, bswing combines a deep understanding of user needs and desires with great design to create better products, services, and experiences. The firm provides concept/prototype development that allows organizations to pivot to meet the needs of changing markets and also designs experiences that help organizations tell their stories and connect with key audiences. bswing’s clients include Landis+Gyr, Room & Board, Oracle, Center for Energy and Environment, Prime Therapeutics, and University of Minnesota’s Center for Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation.