Today we are in the middle of a world crisis. All we hear in the news are reports on the recession, failing banks and countries going bust.
However, to restart an economy one must be creative, find alternative ways to set up a business or studio, understand why banks are not going to lend you money and try analyse the situation pragmatically.
As a designer, you most likely followed a design course at university or perhaps you are a self-made creative with a diverse background. During the years you might have heard about important concepts like communication, strategic planning, market analysis and brand management. These are becoming essential skills to have, to be able to deal with companies who are interested in your product but need a solid business plan and a good reason to invest in your design.
It is for these reasons that Design Management courses have been proliferating around the city of Milan.
For example the Business School of Il Sole 24 Ore, a well known institution for its training programmes, has come up with a new Master in Design Management that in addition to teaching all the fundamentals of business management, it also focuses on new digital technologies, green design and eco-sustainability. The structure of the course includes 6 months of classes followed by 4 months of internships, emphasising the fact that on-the-job experiences is as important as theories and lectures.
Another business-based school that has branched out in the creative world is SDA Bocconi with their Master in Fashion, Experience and Design Management. This course is in its 12th edition and it attracts international graduate students with backgrounds in management/humanities from all over the world. Their aim is to educate about the culture of result-oriented creativity, expose the complexities of fashion & design based industries, understand the ongoing globalization process and provide tools for a successful brand management.
The creative-based institutions have also been following this trend in managerial education. Domus Academy in Milan has a Master in Business Design that is held in English and structured to be a laboratory for designers, managers, and entrepreneurs. The curriculum aims to create a new managerial class for design-oriented companies and new businesses, with graduates trained to combine design thinking, management skills, and a self-starter attitude.
For those who already have a full time job but are still keen to follow a management programme, IED (Istituto Europeo del Design) proposes a Design Management course that lasts 11 months on a weekend formula (classes are held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday once a month). Each weekend focuses on one specific module, with an aim to combine design and marketing, integrating creativity with project culture and business strategy.
Finally, the Politecnico of Milan and their Master in Strategic Design. This course is in English, and its objective is to form experts and consultants able to carry out design and management activities in the process of innovation of the product system. With a mix of theory, design and application the programme looks at the current business landscape from a 360° point of view, necessary for the development of radical product innovations, services and communication strategies.