COMM 388 - Design Methods for Business Innovation

As the business environment becomes more unpredictable, organizations will demand leaders who are capable of making the most of the opportunity. Leadership will increasingly mean being comfortable with managing and motivating diverse teams of creative people. Truly innovative, disruptive technologies and processes will be needed to address the world’s problems.

The course provides students with studio-based experience applying design processes and thinking strategies for business innovation. Collaborating with an external client partner, interdisciplinary teams of students are challenged to deliver real-world solutions that create economic, social, and environmental value using strategic design.  

With an emphasis on identifying root problems, revealing compelling opportunities, and developing scalable solutions, the course provides students with a design toolkit that can be applied in any context. Part creative ideation, part critical analysis, and part re-imagining new ways of using existing information and systems, design techniques and thinking strategies will become essential for doing business better.

Learning objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • articulate a role for design in business and innovation: design processes and thinking strategies in a post-carbon economy.
  • use strategic design methods and tools effectively in a sustainable business context.
  • co-create, present and critique innovative business ideas with external client partners.
  • integrate critical and creative thinking processes.
  • work effectively in teams in a studio practice environment.

Student testimonials

“COMM 388 exposes you to a completely unique way of approaching complex business, social, and environmental issues. This course will equip you with a design mindset that helps you tackle problems, big or small, that you will inevitably face in the workplace.”
 – Bruno Lam, BCom 2016

“COMM 388 is the most rewarding and meaningful class I took in my undergrad degree. This class is a rare opportunity to experience working in a creative setting and gives you space to adopt a new mindset. Not only will this class teach you a lot about business innovation and design thinking, but also a lot about your own working style and capabilities!”
 – Bianca Acland, BCom 2019

“The empowers students to take business into their own hands by creatively solving real problems for real clients." 
 – Alex Gillis, BCom 2020

Note: COMM 388 was formerly titled Design Strategies for Business Innovation: Studio Practice.

Course credits:

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