Advanced conceptual design thinking
A two-day intensive course that to help experienced practitioners take their design skills to the next level.
Conceptual design is at the heart of what many engineering and construction companies do. Any time a member of staff is faced with a problem to solve and a blank piece of paper in front of them, they are doing conceptual design. It is this creative act that shapes everything that follows. It is where the key decisions are made that can determine the ultimate success – or failure – of a project.
And yet despite the importance of conceptual design, there existed until now no formal training methodology for experienced professionals in the engineering and construction sectors to develop their conceptual design skills.
Think Up’s Conceptual Design Thinking training programme is built on two premises:
- Everyone can be a designer
- Design is a process built upon skills that anyone can practise and eventually master.
The aim of this programme is to build an individual’s capacity to do conceptual design both alone and in the wider organisational and design team context. The course uses as its basis the design process diagram that we present as a model for understading how design skills can be developed.
‘Learn to understand and practice the thought process and actions behind great conceptual design’ – John Gerrard, Expedition Engineering
Deep-immersion face-to-face training
Our conceptual design training is based around understanding several conceptual frameworks for design, the development
of specific skills in support of the design process and the adoption of appropriate attitudes with respect to design. We introduce the conceptual framing and the key skills in an intensive three-day residential training course. We take this approach because in our experience this is the best way to give the participants enough time to think deeply about the value of design, to think critically about their own approach, and to transform their attitudes. Participants leave this part of the training with an understanding of theoretical frameworks for conceptual design, a range of skills which they can apply and develop in the workplace, and motivation to improve their own and others’ ability to do conceptual design.
The Think Up’s Advanced Conceptual Design Thinking programme is built on over fifteen years’ experience of testing and developing approaches to teaching design that began with setting up the Creative Design course at Imperial College in 2000.
In the years since we have adapted and honed our approach working with a wide range of international audiences including at UCL, Yale and Cambridge. In 2015 we collaborated with Arup to design and deliver a major internal global training programme on conceptual design. The next design iteration in our design training was delivered to Expedition Engineering. This year, we return to Imperial college to join the Creative Design teaching course. All of this experience has informed the design of this unique training course.
The aim of this course is to help experienced designers take their conceptual design skills to the next level by helping them understand and interpret the tacit design skills that already use and developing strategies and practical suggestions for how to enhance the skills, with a particular focus on: understanding client need; generating and iteratively developing ideas; effective decision-making in design; and managing design teams.
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
- Be able to characterise the design process and describe how each stage requires different skills and attitudes
- Describe how conceptual design differs from detailed design and the consequences for how design is carried out
- Use techniques for understanding the underlying need behind a client brief
- Describe a model for idea generation and use this to lead a design team through the creative process
- Understand the relationship between modelling, testing and the design brief, and use this to establish an effective iterative design process
- Understand the nature of subjective decision-making in design
- Describe strategies for building an effective design team
- Conceptual Design for Structural Engineers – An Advanced Course for Experienced Practitioners on 11 Dec 2017
- Conceptual Design for Structural Engineers – An Advanced Course for Experienced Practitioners on 05 Jun 2018
- Conceptual Design for Structural Engineers – An Introductory Course on 05 Dec 2018
- Conceptual Design for Structural Engineers – An Introductory Course on 17 May 2018
Start date: 11 Dec 2018
End date: 12 Dec 2018
Host OrganisationInstitution of Structural Engineers
The Institution of Structural Engineers International HQ
47-58 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PS
Cost£570-738 inc. VAT
Oliver Broadbent is an expert facilitator and trainer in design thinking for the built environment. With a background in civil engineering and teaching, he specialises in designing high-impact training that has a lasting effect on the learner.
Oliver is Director of engineering education and training consultancy Think Up. There he leads the development of Think Up’s programme of design training for an international portfolio of design consultancies. He also works with universities including Cambridge, Bath and Imperial to develop innovative approaches to curriculum design and delivery.
Oliver has co-authored a series of good practice teaching guides for the Royal Academy of Engineering on experience-led learning, e-learning for engineers, effective industrial engagement in engineering education and how to teach sustainability. He is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at Imperial College, London.