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Innovation by Design

From Ideation to Action

This course is designed to give an introduction to the four Ds of the four-phase Design Innovation Cycle of Discover-Define-Develop-Deliver.

Participants will be introduced to the process of

  • identifying and understanding design opportunities and user needs in close collaboration with all stakeholders.

  • interpreting and reframing design opportunities and user needs with the objective of mapping those into activities, functions and abstract representations that foster design innovation.

  • ideation and conceptualisation based on needs and opportunities.

  • prototyping and model-making, to test ideas and concepts with relevant stakeholders.

Course Details

Course Dates:

October 2021 Intake

In-class Delivery:

8 days. 9.00am - 5.00pm

Scheduled Dates
Class: October (11, 25), November (1, 8, 15, 22, 29)
Presentation: December (6)

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Closing date: 21 September 2021

August 2021 Intake

In-class Delivery:

8 days. 9.00am - 5.00pm

Scheduled Dates
Class: August (23, 30), September (6, 13, 20, 27) and October (11)
Presentation: October (25)

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Who Should Attend

  • Working adults who are not in the field of Design Innovation and are interested to advance into the field (within their companies or across companies)
  • Employed persons who have been newly appointed to Design Innovation roles or roles supporting Design Innovation functions, in their companies (E.g. Product Design/Innovation Service Development, Process Design/Innovation, Talent Management/Retention, Early Childhood Care and Education etc)
  • Roles such as Brand Director/Manager, Customer Loyalty Manager, Store Manager, Research and Development Director, Logistics Solutions and Implementation Director, Logistics Solution Manager, Logistics Innovation and Process Improvement Manager, IT Business Solutions Manager

Programme Outline

Learning Objectives and Structure

By the end of this module, participants will be able to

  1. Select and use different methods to discover needs
  2. Organise needs for further analysis and development
  3. Conduct unbiased, user-related field work as a first step in Design Innovation
  4. Select and use different methods to analyse and represent user needs Interpret needs and reframe/redefine design opportunities
  5. Extract the needs and requirements into conceptual diagrams and models
  6. Select and use different ideation techniques to explore the solution space for a specific design opportunity
  7. Ideate individually or in a group
  8. Co-create with stakeholders
  9. Select and use appropriate techniques to prove concepts
  10. Use prototypes at an appropriate level of fidelity for each stage of development to either learn or implement ideas and concepts

Programme Structure: Participants will go through 7 days of training. Class will reconvene on the 8th day for a presentation as part of the course assessment.

Day 1 - 2
  • Overview of the design process
  • Overview of tools for Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver phase
Day 3 - 4
  • Tools for gathering user needs, organising/ranking user needs
  • Tools for interpreting/reframing design opportunities
  • Activity diagram and functional diagram
  • Tools for individual and group individual ideation
Day 5 - 6
  • Decisions on prototyping
  • Basic prototyping techniques
Day 7
  • Further considerations on market segmentation and product architecture
  • Further considerations on product architecture based on activity and functional diagrams
  • Using idea assessment to generate more ideas and converging to a solution
  • Electronic prototyping
Day 8
  • Project Presentation

Participants will be assessed via individual/group-based project presentation on the last session of the course. There will also be formative assessment and case studies to assess a participant's understanding and competency.

Subject Credits

Upon completion and satisfying the requirements of passing this course, learners will be awarded 12 subject credits.

Course Fees and Funding

SkillsFuture Course Fee Subsidy

Fee after subsidy

GST on Fee after SSG Course Fee Subsidy

You pay

Mid-career Enhanced Subsidy (MCES)

Fee after subsidy

GST on Fee after SSG Course Fee Subsidy

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Enhanced Training Support for SMEs (ETSS)

Fee after subsidy

GST on Fee after SSG Course Fee Subsidy

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Full Course Fee (without subsidies): $7,704 (inclusive of prevailing GST) 


Kristin L. Wood
Principal Fellow, SUTD Academy
Visiting Professor, Founding Head of Pillar (EPD) & Associate Provost of Graduate Studies

After completing his doctoral work, Dr Wood joined the faculty at the University of Texas in September 1989 and established a computational and experimental laboratory for research in engineering design and manufacturing, in addition to a teaching laboratory for prototyping, reverse engineering measurements, and testing. During the 1997-98 academic year, Dr Wood was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Air Force Academy where he worked with USAFA faculty to create design curricula and research within the Engineering Mechanics / Mechanical Engineering Department. Through 2011, Dr Wood was a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Design & Manufacturing Division at The University of Texas at Austin. He was a National Science Foundation Young Investigator, the “Cullen Trust for Higher Education Endowed Professor in Engineering”, “University Distinguished Teaching Professor”, and the Director of the Manufacturing and Design Laboratory (MaDLab) and MORPH Laboratory.

Arlindo Silva
Senior Fellow, SUTD Academy
Associate Professor, Programme Director for Master of Innovation by Design (MIbD) & Director of the NAMIC Hub@SUTD

Arlindo has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and more than 25 years of teaching and research experience. His current research interests rest on engineering design, product development, creativity, materials selection methodologies, additive manufacturing in composite structures, cost modelling and management of uncertainty in design. He published over a hundred and twenty papers in journals, conferences and book chapters, more than 50 patents and authored/co-edited five books in engineering related topics. He received the MIT-Portugal Education Innovation Award in 2009 and was a Professor of Excellence at the University of Lisbon in 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015, before joining the Singapore University of Technology and Design as an Associate Professor with the Engineering Product Development Pillar. He was also a Senior Materials Education consultant at Granta Design Ltd, Cambridge, UK, and is an active member of PDMA, ASEE, ASME, ASTM International, INCOSE, DS and SPEE. He is the current NAMIC (National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster) Hub Director at SUTD, liaising Singaporean companies with SUTD’s expertise in Additive Manufacturing and Composites Technologies through the DManD (Digital Manufacturing and Design) Center.

He currently teaches Design at all levels of higher education, including executive education. He is also the Program Director for the new Master of Engineering in Innovation by Design at SUTD and a member of the Executive Committee of the Design Business Chamber Singapore. He develops his research between the SUTD-MIT International Design Center, where he co-leads the Experimental Design Thrust, and DManD.