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Creative Edge

An Experimental Design Thinking Workshop for Business Executives

In order to survive in today's complex world, organizations need to generate, embrace, and execute on new ideas. That takes creativity and a creatively capable workforce. It's the secret sauce, or in evolutionary terms, it's what keeps you fit. Organizations without it can't compete.
- Tim Brown, Author, Change By Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation


Thursday and Friday, November 3 and 4, 2016
8:30am - 5:30pm
Design and Media Center, "Back Porch" MassArt

The Creative Edge is a two-day immersive introduction to the essential principles of design thinking - user-centered research, collaboration, prototyping, critique, and usertesting - taught from the unique point-of-view of artists and designers.

The workshop is built around a real-world problem that requires participants to actually practice the principles of design thinking. Artist and designer presentations and lectures, critiques, selected readings, and direct work with faculty will augment the experiential components of the program that take place in the field and studio.

And why at MassArt? Because there is no better place to learn about design thinking than a school of art and design. It's in the air, on the walls and in the studio. As part of the curriculum, you will get to meet artists, hear how they get from concept to finished work, see it in process and understand how that can be applied to the business world.

Learning Outcomes

  • How to use design thinking as a business problem-solving tool 
  • Assessing business problems and solutions through the critique method 
  • Better understanding customer and client needs through design research
  • Improving communication and collaboration between team members
  • Building new products and services through rapid prototyping and user testing
  • Fostering creativity in the business environment and building creative confidence inorganizational teams


Through an understanding of the essential principles and value of design thinking in five key areas:

User-centered Research

  • Practicing observation
  • IDEO design research methodologies
  • Creating empathy through storytelling

Creative Collaboration

  • Team building strategies
  • Constructive ideation techniques
  • Collaborative brainstorming
  • Coping with ambiguity and complexity

Rapid Prototyping

  • Do first then think...
  • Simple visualization methods
  • Analog prototyping skills
  • Iterative prototyping
  • Improving performance techniques


  • Getting better input
  • Constructive evaluation and feedback methods for ideas and concepts
  • Practicing the "Yes, and..." methodology
  • Edit, select, and refine

User Testing

  • Analyzing user data and research findings
  • Best practices for user testing
  • Incorporate user feedback into new prototypes

Who Should Attend

The Creative Edge is ideal for students who bring a range of expertise, talent, and experience from different industries to share with their fellow students.

Ideal candidates include:

  • Product and marketing managers
  • Human resource executives
  • Research and development personnel
  • Design directors
  • Senior management teams
  • Entrepreneurs


Workshop Coordinator and Lead Faculty

Joseph Quackenbush, Professor and Chairperson, Graphic Design Department, Coordinator, Dynamic Media Institute, MFA in Design, MassArt


  • Gunta Kaza, Professor, MassArt, Graphic Design
  • Fish McGill, Adjunct Faculty, MassArt, Graphic Design
  • Leo Rossoni, Industrial Designer, MFA in Design candidate
  • Dan Vlahos, Graphic Designer, MFA in Design candidate

Corporate Liason

Katy Barrett, Director of Corporate Relations

Program Cost

$1,250 introductory rate (50% discount)

Download Schedule


For more information contact Katy Barrett, Director of Corporate Relations, at or 617.879.7023.