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Achieving Success with Human-Centered Design

De-Mystifying the Practice of Design Thinking

This course was developed by Christine Albertini and Georgia Everse in partnership with KCAD, and was partially supported by a grant from the Steelcase Foundation.

Do you have challenges that would benefit from a different way of thinking? Human-centered design, also known as design thinking, is a creative problem solving methodology that helps individuals, teams, businesses, and organizations collaborate, create and innovate.

Join us for a 4-week human-centered design course. Each week we’ll explore a different aspect of human-centered design. We encourage you to bring a real-world challenge that could benefit from a human-centered way of thinking. You’ll have time to discuss and apply what you’re learning to your challenge. At the end of this course you’ll have a process and toolkit to be a better thinker, problem solver and collaborator.

Course includes all session materials, a human-centered design book, the opportunity to network with other like-minded participants, an instructor experienced in human-centered design, and morning refreshments.

Bring a challenge to the first class (a problem or opportunity that your organization is facing) that could benefit from an HCD perspective.

Instructor: Kathy Glynn is the principal consultant for Blue Sky Thinking. She equips individuals, teams and organizations to find creative ways to solve problems and explore new opportunities. Kathy earned both her Bachelor’s in Business and Master’s in Management from Aquinas College. She has also completed several design-related certificate programs including the Design and Innovation Management Certificate from Kendall College of Art and Design, Design Thinking for Business Innovation from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and Design Thinking Action Lab from Stanford University. She was formerly a senior performance consultant for Steelcase, Inc.

Here’s what you’ll do in each session:

Session 1: Fundamentals of Human-Centered Design

Friday, October 5, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

In this session you’ll:

  • Delve into the origins of human-centered design
  • Discover the context of innovation
  • Explore what is creativity and how we’re all creative
  • Learn the language of human-centered design

    • Session 2: Hands-On Application

      Thursday, October 11, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
      Friday, October 12, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

      In this session you’ll:

      • Apply a human-centered design methodology to a real-world challenge
      • Practice ethnographic research methods to uncover insights about user needs
      • Prototype potential solutions that meet user needs

      Session 3: Bringing Others Along on the Journey

      Friday, October 19, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

      In this session you’ll:

      • Learn the key ingredients to integrating human-centered design into your innovation initiative
      • Explore techniques to bring others along on your innovation journey
      • Apply new tools to manage your innovation initiative

      • Session 4: Creating a Culture of Innovation

        Friday, October 26, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

        In this session you’ll:

        • Examine ten levers that can be pulled to create a culture of innovation
        • Gain insights into your organization’s culture
        • Create a change plan to move your organization towards innovation

        Who should attend:

        • Directors
        • Managers
        • Team Leaders
        • Executive Directors: the do-ers
        • Working professionals of all disciplines in both business and social sector organizations


        Kendall College of Art and Design
        Woodbridge N. Ferris Building
        17 Pearl Street, NW
        Grand Rapids, MI 49503

        Contact us for pricing information. Course fee includes all course materials, breakfast and lunch on full days. Discounts are available for organizations enrolling two or more students and non-profits.

        To register, contact the Continuing Studies office: 616.451.2787 x3012, or click here.