Design Thinking in Practice - Overview


An immersion in design thinking practice and process with the globally renowned Hasso Plattner Institute of Design Thinking at the University of Cape Town (d-school).

Leveraging off its relationship with The Hasso Plattner Institutes in Stanford ( and Potsdam (HPI School of Design Thinking), the d-school's Design Thinking programme is an intense three-day immersion in design thinking for executives, professionals, innovation practitioners, policy-makers and planners who want to learn how to work differently in their organisations using the practice of design-led innovation as an approach to develop practical solutions to complex challenges.

Course participants work in multi-disciplinary teams with each team facilitated by a professional design thinking coach. Through experiential learning, participants will be immersed in the process of design-led innovation, allowing for deep engagement with the techniques and principles of design thinking in a real world context. The course pushes participants to develop their understanding of a challenge and the perspectives that frame it, by providing structured time to explore, create, prototype and test potential solutions in fast iterative cycles. The practice of design thinking develops both an understanding for and the value of a human-centred approach to creating solutions, which are relevant, effective and suitable to the context in which they are applied.

The programme is run from the d-school's unique innovation studio at the UCT Graduate School of Business as well as at the GSB campus in Johannesburg. The studio is designed to facilitate design thinking training and practice, which is characterised by human centeredness, collaboration and creativity, and promotes rapid, iterative solution generation.

Is this course for me?

This course in design-led innovation will be especially beneficial to you if:

  • You are a leader, innovator, manager, or entrepreneur, who wants to make a difference.
  • Your business or organisation wants to develop a culture of design-led innovation.
  • Your business needs to adopt new ways of thinking, new strategies and solutions.
  • You are interested in learning how to work in or manage multidisciplinary innovative teams.
  • You want to develop human-centred solutions to complex challenges.

Key take-outs

  • Learn and work with the fundamentals of the design thinking process and its key tools and techniques.
  • Experience the different elements of design thinking, such as empathy, user-insights, understanding context, collaborative ideation, prototyping and evaluation.
  • Gain insight into human-centred problem solving, and the value of understanding the context in which solutions are implemented.
  • Be able to work in multidisciplinary, diverse teams on transversal projects, and develop techniques to communicate across disciplines.
  • Develop individual confidence in creative thinking.
  • Learn the practice of low-cost experimentation and prototyping to test ideas early.
  • Understand how design thinking can be practically applied in a wide range of settings, from personal to global, and across disciplines and sectors.

Course Information

The course runs over a 3 day period at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design Thinking at the University of Cape Town, situated at the Graduate School of Business, as well as the GSB Campus in Johannesburg.

For more information, please contact the d-school by emailing or visiting the website,

12 - 14 September (Johannesburg)
26 - 28 November (Cape Town)

Tuition fee: 
R25 000

Application deadlines:
12 August 2018 (Johannesburg)
26 October 2018 (Cape Town)



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Find out more about this short course in Cape Town.

Download Course Brochure - JHB

Find out more about this short course in Johannesburg.



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