How well equipped must a Design Manager be as a designer? How good must a MPS recipient be to be taken seriously as a Design Manager? These are unresolved questions. But a good balance between Design and Management is probably the right answer. An MBA is just business. A DM isn’t just business.
A disruptive way to solve business problems. What is design? Planning. What do designers do? Plan function and meaning. What is innovation? A new way of thinking about a problem; solving a problem creatively; creating a problem the user didn’t know he had.
Design Management is a problem-solving process that enables innovation and creates well-designed products, services, communications, environments, and brands that enhance the quality of life and provide organizational success.
Wikipedia says: “Design thinking refers to the methods and processes for investigating ill-defined problems, acquiring information, analyzing knowledge, and positing solutions in the design and planning fields. As a style of thinking, it is generally considered the ability to combine empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in the generation of insights and solutions, and rationality to analyze and fit solutions to the context.”
From the SASD DM brochure: “Design represents a valuable asset. It represents the tools to solve problems and innovate. The ability to understand, optimize, and steer that asset is vital to an organization’s success… Design management is profitable. Designers are becoming crucial members of the business landscape. The field of Design Management encompasses every discipline of design including graphic and communication, architecture and interior, industrial and engineering, and fashion and textile.”
These are the six core aspects of design and business:
Leadership Working with teams and championing an idea.
Strategy Developing concepts and design elements that align with a company’s core plan of action.
Marketing Understanding product and package design, promotion, and physical plant design.
Operations Identifying, understanding, and influencing efficient operational practices.
Finance Comprehending annual reports, cash flow statements, and balance sheets.
Legal Protecting an organization’s intellectual property like trademarks, copyrights, and patents.
DM links design, innovation, technology, management, and customers to provide a competitive advantage across the “triple bottom line”: social/cultural, environmental, and economic (People, Planet, Profits).
DM is the art and science of using design to enhance collaboration and synergy between design and business to improve design effectiveness.
Using design thinking and processes to solve business problems, DM advocates design across an organization as a key differentiator and driver of organizational success.
Design managers lead design firms and design teams in creative industries.
DM incorporates design thinking, service design, and sustainability in the production and management of information, services, and experiences.
Design management is Social Responsibility, Sustainability, and Profitability
Design Management MPS Program
Classes provide experiences of designing, managing, and improving design-intensive firms and develop students’ capacity to inspire and lead creative teams.
Our curriculum develops strategic management skills in six specific areas: operations; finance; marketing; organization and human resources; innovation and change; and suppliers, distributors, and markets.
Our program is designed for recent graduates and early to mid-career professionals seeking to complement their design and business skills with new industry contexts and practices. Our two-year program helps craft creative leaders, those who can bridge the disciplines of design and business and nurture collaborative innovation with a sustainable strategic advantage.
SASD is known for its long-standing strength in industrial design. The DM program is an outgrowth of that base and the flexibility and excellence of the School of Business, staffed by faculty drawn from the ranks Fairfield County, CT resident business persons.
The two-year program of study requires 42 credits to complete and leads to an accredited academic degree, the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Design Management. 42% of credits earned are courses in the Business School. The remaining 58% of credits are earned in DM courses at SASD.
The college was renamed the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design after our benefactor, Mr. Akatsu, a graduate of the University of Bridgeport who wanted to ensure continued growth and excellence in one of the University’s strongest units, donated a considerable sum to support that goal.
Applicants should have a well-rounded education, as gained through general education courses.
Admissions will consider writing, speaking, and analytical skills, as demonstrated through college-level coursework or professional experience, although professional experience is not a prerequisite for admission.
Applicants must submit a personal essay and two letters of recommendation. The personal essay should be 250-500 words in detail about why you are seeking this particular degree, how you expect to apply your degree to your professional career after graduation, and why you want to pursue your degree through SASD. The two recommendation letters are to be from employers, professors, or professional associates, signed by the writer.
A one-page résumé is strongly encouraged.
An interview is not required, but recommended.
A portfolio is not required, but may be an advantage in the admissions process.
Evidence of internship, volunteer, or prior employment in design management, marketing, business or a studio setting will be viewed favorably.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis. Completed applications and all supporting documents must be received by August 1 for the fall semester and December 15 for the spring semester. Early applications are strongly encouraged as program space is limited.