Design can change the world. At Modernist Studio, we adapt the process we’ve spent years developing to train both students and large corporations to identify and design technology that will make a lasting impact on the people who interact with it.
In 2010, Modernist partner and co-founder Jon Kolko launched the Austin Center for Design (AC4D) to train budding designers in the fundamentals of interaction design and social entrepreneurship. Today, the school offers a one-year program that focuses on tackling the most pressing design issues facing our society including poverty, hunger, education, health and wellness, sustainability, and equality. Students graduate able to think critically about these issues and work as team leads in design.
AC4D works to make in-depth design education available to all students—whether aspiring design leads or engineers-turned-designers at the beginning of this process—by spending an entire year helping develop a design mindset.
But what about people who haven’t been trained as designers and are researching, identifying, and developing innovative products for their companies? We know many employees have limited time, and need learning options that are quick and accessible, without sacrificing quality. We take a unique approach to corporate design education by:
- Tailoring our courses to fit the individual needs of each unique team.
- Teaching the fundamentals of service design, design-led product management, sketching and research.
- Offering ourselves as “Design Directors on Demand,” guiding employees at large corporations as they develop their own innovative solutions.
We also offer two online courses that serve as a foundation in design strategy for companies that are simply looking for an introduction to product management and service design:
Service Design: Designing for Experience Over Time
In this course you’ll learn to create fast, low-fidelity representations of ideas, so you can quickly test and improve upon them. By embracing diagramming, storytelling, and rapid prototyping, you’ll be prepared to introduce a culture of iterative design into your company or organization, which improves both employee and user experiences. You’ll understand how to visualize intricate ideas, minimize complexity, and illustrate changes with simplicity and clarity.
Product Management: Building Great Products
This course presents an introduction to product management—the methods and skills necessary to develop a new idea and bring it to market. We’ll focus on using an iterative process to translate research into insight by first thinking critically about what people need and desire. As a result, you will understand how to define the value of a product and identify the sequence and pacing of feature development.
Effective, impactful design doesn’t happen overnight. So, we’re working to make it possible for all learners—at any stage in their professional journey—to innovate and bring the best products to market.