How to successfully bring innovation and design creativity to market is a real challenge and the answer to the question is vitally important in developing tomorrow’s business successes. Part of the answer to that thorny problem may well be a program called 30Weeks. Produced by a group including Hyper Island, Pratt, SVA NYC, Parsons, The Cooper Union and Google, 30Weeks is attempting to capture the potential of design thinking by bridging the traditional educational model of classroom, workshop, and internship with the real world process of design development. It sets about to re-position the designer as founder and entrepreneur. The 30Weeks program adds in a heavy dose of mentorship and direct access to venture capital.
30Weeks is structured so that designers can create, build and launch anything from a physical product to an entire start-up. In not limiting designers to traditional disciplines and an academic process 30Weeks aims to unleash the power of the design process for designers and for corporations.
It’s a hybrid approach that aims to address some of the root challenges of innovation today. Companies are too big to innovate effectively and designers are too small to shepherd their ideas through to prototyping and onto the market. The course is 30 weeks long and cost’s $10,000. The pay off for the designer is that at the end of the program they will own 100% of the IP with direct access to venture capital funding. The pay off for the companies is getting a better understanding of how to support and develop innovation at it’s roots.
30Weeks represents a pivot for design education, one that will no doubt be watched closely as companies around the globe struggle to solve the challenge of innovation. By shifting the educational model to a founder and entrepreneurial one the group of companies responsible for launching 30Weeks are beginning to address an urgent need. 30Weeks represents an important first step to encouraging and activating designer creativity and stoking the fires of innovation.
Follow Ted Blanchard on Twitter. Ted Blanchard is a Senior Creative Producer, Art Director and Design Practitioner. www.tedblanchard.ca