Advanced Studies in Design and Innovation Management Certificate

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Design is revolutionizing business, and business needs bold leaders designing what's next.
That's why we created the Advanced Studies in Design and Innovation Management Certificate. It exposes business people to the process of design thinking and teaches designers how to build strategies for business.
Our goal: advancing business through innovation. It's about using design as a business tool. We're equipping leaders to take a new approach, promoting design as a change agent for business. Sound interesting? It's time to take a seat at the table.

Now accepting applications for the Summer 2024 and Fall 2024 semesters.

Cohorts for the Advanced Studies in Design and Innovation Management Certificate begin in the following semesters: Spring (January), Summer (May), Fall (August). 



Learn More

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Andrea Jordan
Graphic Design Project Manager
Perrigo Company plc

"The Certificate helped me build the tools, strategies, and confidence to reframe challenges as opportunities for positive change and growth"


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Jon Carfagno
Executive Director
Mobile Museum of Art

"My experience empowered me to believe I could do this job and that I had differentiating value. It  showed me that museums can be designed to bring people together."

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Lauren Cole
Strategic Account Executive

"Being able to carry design thinking practices into my career has been a differentiator. It isn’t enough to make great product anymore – we have to be great storytellers and clearly define how we can positively impact our client’s process."


The Advanced Studies in Design and Innovation Management Certificate is a series of four graduate-level courses addressing specific areas of design/business integration. 

KDES 650 Design and Innovation Process Management

This course examines the ways in which design methodologies are applied to research, synthesize and innovate to unique solutions.

Students will:

  • Compare and contrast design strategy and business strategy
  • Differentiate between market research and design research, methodologies, analysis, and tools
  • Construct methods and evaluate tools for product/problem concept refinement, measurement, and evaluation
  • Organize and develop a design and test its relevance to the stated goals


KDES 651 Design Communication Management

This course examines the practices of communication particular to design including key concepts methods of research, and means of reaching varied audiences.

Students will: 

  • Apply key words and concepts of design language/vocabulary, e.g., lifestyle brand, user centered, ergonomics, etc.
  • Compare and contrast communication tools and methods used in design research, e.g., qualitative/quantitative papers and briefs, observation, surveys, focus groups, etc.
  • Choose and compare the methods of communicating design and innovation ideas and concepts to non-designers


KDES 750 Sustainable Design and Systems Management

This course examines sustainable organizations, product development systems, and processes involving research, analysis, synthesis, and implementation.

Students will: 

  • Analyze the nature and evolution of sustainable systems/business practices
  • Determine an operational framework for sustainable systems that adds strategic value to an organization and the products/services it provides
  • Apply methods used to test/present sustainable design solutions, e.g. prototyping, scenario development, storyboarding, user observation, simulation, etc.
  • Develop and propose a product or service including business plan and organizational structures


KDES 751 Leadership By Design

This course examines ways in which leaders may structure the interrelationships between design processes, design communications, consumer-centric design thinking, and organizational systems using research, analysis, synthesis, and implementation to foster a creative culture throughout the organization.

Students will: 

  • Analyze the ways leaders may use design to enable organizational and management vision
  • Compare and contrast innovative leadership styles and creative cultures
  • Illustrate the value of interdisciplinary collaboration to support an innovative environment
  • Apply methodologies to evaluate innovation and consumer-centered design

The Advanced Studies in Design and Innovation Management Certificate, taken either alone or as part of a Master of Arts in Design degree, is an investment in your future. KCAD is committed to offering a cutting-edge program at an affordable price. Loans may be available for students enrolling in the full Master of Arts in Design program. 

Both Master of Arts in Design students and Certificate-only students may be eligible for tuition assistance through their current employers. Please check with your company's Human Resources department.



Ready to get started? Apply now!

Ready to Get Started?

 Apply Now


ASIDIM Certificate Faculty

Gayle DeBruyn

Professor / Program Chair
[email protected]


Zoe Carmichael

Adjunct Instructor
[email protected]

Ryan Lafferty

Adjunct Instructor
[email protected]


Contact KCAD Admissions

Phone: 616.259.1118

Email: [email protected]

Schedule an Appointment with Admissions