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:
No available course dates

8 days, 9.00am - 5.00pm

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

Full course fee inclusive of prevailing GST

You pay

SkillsFuture Course Fee subsidy (70%)

  • For Singapore Citizens < 40 years old 
  • For Permanent Residents

You pay

Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy (90%)

  • For Singapore Citizens ≥ 40 years old

You pay

Enhanced Training Support for SMEs (90%)

  • For SME - Sponsored employees

You pay

The above module fee payable is inclusive of 9% 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.

Policies and Financing Options

SSG Funding Terms and Conditions

Use of Personal Details

In consideration of the subsidy provided by SkillsFuture Singapore Agency (“SSG”) through the SUTD Academy for the Course,

I consent to:

The collection, use and disclosure to relevant third parties of my personal data by the SUTD Academy including but not limited to personal particulars, attendance records, assessment/performance records, for the following purposes:

  1. Reporting of national statistics and conducting of holistic continuing education training research and analysis;

  2. Facilitate the conduct of the relevant surveys and audits in relation to the Course;

  3. General administration of the Course including but not limited to processing of the subsidy provided by SSG;

  4. Publicity and marketing of the Course or other Courses to be provided by SSG or SUTD Academy; and

  5. SSG or its Appointed Auditors or Nominated Representatives to directly contact Course Participant to obtain information deemed necessary for the purposes of conducting effectiveness survey or audits in relation to the Course.

I agree to:

  1. Attend and complete all lectures, class exercises, workshops and assessments;

  2. Complete the Course feedback at the end of the Course;

  3. Complete the post Course survey sent about 3 to 6 months after class attendance; and

  4. Sign up for a personal email account.

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SUTD Terms and Conditions

Methods of Payment

Learn more about the available payment modes.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

  1. If a written notification is sent to within 24 hours after course registration deadline there will be no cancellation charges. A full refund will be made. 

  2. No refund is provided if written notification is more than 24 hours after course registration deadline. SUTD Academy reserves the rights to collect the full fee amount from the participant.

Replacement Policy

Companies may replace participants who have signed up for the course by giving a 3-working day notice before the course commencement date to Terms and conditions apply.

Registration Policy

  1. Course may be cancelled due to insufficient participants. SUTD Academy will not be responsible or liable in any way for any claims, damages, losses, expenses, costs or liabilities whatsoever (including, without limitation, any direct or indirect damages for loss of profits, business interruption or loss of information) resulting or arising directly or indirectly from any course cancellation.

  2. Course enrolment is based on a first-come, first-served basis.

  3. SUTD Academy reserves the right to change or cancel any course or instructor due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Types of Funding

Funding under Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy ("MCES")

  1. MCES is an enhanced Subsidy to encourage mid-career individuals to upskill and reskill, thereby helping them to remain competitive and resilient in the job market. With this, all Singaporeans aged 40 and above will receive higher subsidies of up to 90% course fee subsidy for SSG-funded certifiable courses.

  2. Individuals/employers are not required to submit an application for the MCES. Those pursuing SSG-funded programmes will be charged the appropriate subsidised fees by SUTD Academy if they are eligible MCES. Individuals/employers will only need to pay the nett fee (full course fee after SSG's grant).

    For more info, please visit SkillsFuture website at

Funding under Enhanced Training Support for SMEs ("ETSS")

  1. ETSS is an enhanced funding to enable SMEs to send their employees for training.

  2. SMEs will enjoy subsidies of up to 90% of the course fees when they sponsor their employees for SSG-funded certifiable courses.

  3. In addition to higher course fee funding, SMEs can also claim absentee payroll funding of 80% of basic hourly salary at a higher cap of $7.50 per hour. SMEs may apply for the absentee payroll via the SkillsConnect system.

  4. To qualify, SMEs must meet all of the following criteria:
    - Organisation must be registered or incorporated in Singapore
    - Employment size of not more than 200 or with annual sales turnover of not more than $100 million
    - Trainees must be hired in accordance with the Employment Act and fully sponsored by their employers for the course
    - Trainees must be Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents

    For more info, please visit SSG website at

Funding under Union Training Assistance Programme ("UTAP")

UTAP is a training benefit for NTUC members to defray their cost of training. This benefit is to encourage more union members to go for skills upgrading.

NTUC members enjoy 50% unfunded course fee support for up to $250 each year when you sign up for courses supported under UTAP (Union Training Assistance Programme).

For more info, please visit

Funding under Post-Secondary Education Account ("PSEA")

The Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) is part of the Post-Secondary Education Scheme to help pay for the post-secondary education of Singaporeans.

This is part of the Government’s efforts to encourage every Singaporean to complete their post-secondary education. It also underscores the Government’s commitment to support families in investing in the future education of their children and to prepare them for the economy of the future. PSEA is not a bank account.

It is administered by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and is opened automatically for all eligible Singaporeans.

Account holders can use their PSEA funds to pay for their own or their siblings’ approved fees and charges for approved programs conducted by approved institutions.

However, you will have to check your eligibility and balance by contacting MOE first.

Contact MOE at (65) 6260 0777

E-mail to MOE at

Click here for MOE website.