RCA Design Thinking and Innovation Masterclass

Posted by Royal College of Art – Executive Education

At the RCA, we teach design thinking, training designers who go on to lead global brands worldwide as creative directors and CEOs. In contrast to standard, linear approaches that build on tested models, design thinking is creatively structured, analytic and responsive. It draws in diverse disciplines and multiple areas of expertise and exploration, starting with the core premise that everything is a design problem. Through the application of this informed analysis within business-driven, public-facing and community-centred contexts, design thinking can produce innovation, which in turn enables brands to remain competitive in changing markets.

This one-day executive masterclass led by Professor Jeremy Myerson, the RCA’s Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design, will cover five main areas: the emergent role of design within the landscape of innovation; combining convergent and divergent thinking; the real world versus the world of ideas; the power of visualisation; and creating environments for innovation.

Dates: 19–20 March 2020

Duration: 1 day, structured over two half-days

Day 1: starts after lunch at 1pm and finishes at 5.30pm

Location: Design Museum, 224–238 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6AG

Day 2: starts at 9.30am and finishes at 1.30pm. At the end of day two there will be an invitation to join a student-led tour of the RCA design studios.

Location: Senior Common Room,  Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London SW7 2EU


Course Overview

Using case studies and innovation stories that draw from current exhibitions at the Design Museum, the masterclass will explore the curatorial context and provide a rich and stimulating mixture of new ideas and practical tools. Through the course you will learn to negotiate the complex relationship between the concrete and the abstract, to enable an understanding of the purpose of design thinking in promoting innovation, and the benefits to an organisation.

As part of this masterclass, during day one you will have the opportunity to visit the permanent and temporary exhibitions at the Design Museum.


Professor Jeremy Myerson is the first-ever Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design at the Royal College of Art, with a remit to encourage ‘design that improves quality of life’. An academic, author and activist in design for more than 35 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. He was director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design from 1999 to October 2015.

A graduate of the RCA, Jeremy Myerson is the author of many books, chapters, papers and articles on people-centred and inclusive design. He is also director of the WORKTECH Academy, a visiting fellow at the Oxford Institute for Population Ageing, and sits on the advisory boards of design institutes in Hong Kong, Switzerland and Korea.

In 2017, Jeremy Myerson co-curated the Design Museum’s inaugural exhibition in Kensington, NEW OLD: Designing for Our Future Selves, exploring the potential for design to enhance the experience of later life. Featuring work by RCA alumni, including Konstantin Grcic, Sam Hecht, Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh and Priestman Goode, the exhibition looked at how innovative design can help people lead fuller, healthier, more rewarding lives into old age – and asked whether designers are ready to meet the future challenges of an ageing society. For more information, visit: www.rca.ac.uk/new-old

Professor Jeremy Myerson speaking about the RCA Design Thinking and Innovation course.

Adrian Westaway is an inventor, engineer and experience designer on a mission to make the human-technology interaction meaningful and delightful. 

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 since the age of 11 and full 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’.

After becoming the first ever James Dyson Fellow in 2007, and a Fellow of the Royal Commission of 1851, in 2010, for his work on interactive lighting systems, Adrian built a playground in Peru, had whisky with Derren Brown as a student in Bristol, and tried to make his teachers disappear.

His contagious passion for magic and engineering made him a beloved tutor and lecturer in Design & Innovation at Queen Mary University and the Royal College of Art in London and a visiting faculty member at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. There he teaches ‘Magic and Design’, a nomadic workshop where students are introduced to methods of using design and technology to create enchanted products and experiences.


Thu, 19 Mar 2020, 13:00 - Fri, 20 Mar 2020, 13:30


Royal College of Art, Kensington, London,
City of London

Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU



BIMA Member Price

BIMA Members are eligible for a 10% discount, paying £810 instead of £900. Please email short-courses@rca.ac.uk to obtain the BIMA discount code.

Royal College of Art – Executive Education

Short courses at the RCA are offered throughout the year to provide unparalleled opportunities for participants to access its world-leading teaching, researchers, practitioners and facilities.

At the RCA we offer a range of Short Courses and Executive Masterclasses. Courses designed to address the professional and personal development goals of our participants in subject areas that include: design thinking, contemporary art, curating, design, architecture, service design, interior design and visual communication.

Courses develop personal and professional networks. Last year we welcomed over 35 different nationalities on our open short courses.

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