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DSN 103 W — Design Strategy: Putting Principles into Practice

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jun 26—Aug 18
Drop Deadline: Jul 4
Unit: 1
Tuition: $555
Instructor(s): Christopher Ireland
Limit: 45
Jun 26—Aug 18
8 weeks
Drop By
Jul 4
1 Unit
Christopher Ireland

Taking a product or service to market is the final stage in a design-led innovation process, and can be just as creative as the earlier brainstorming and prototyping stages. This course will focus on how and why design plays a crucial role in the successful launching and marketing of any business. You will learn how to determine market “fit” and begin a relationship with your community of users or customers; how to monitor trends and cultural shifts that impact product design; and the importance of a well-designed brand strategy and how it is communicated through every touchpoint with customers. We will also cover how design relates to business models and why investors are increasingly attracted to design-led businesses. The overarching goal is to reach a solid understanding of design principles that can contribute to and influence every viable business.


  • Course sizes are limited.
    You won't have 5,000 classmates. This course's enrollment is capped at 45 participants.

  • Frequent interaction with the instructor.
    You aren't expected to work through the material alone. Instructors will answer questions and interact with students on the discussion board and through weekly video meetings.

  • Study with a vibrant peer group.
    Stanford Continuing Studies courses attract thoughtful and engaged students who take courses for the love of learning. Students in each course will exchange ideas with one another through easy-to-use message boards as well as optional weekly real-time video conferences.

  • Direct feedback from the instructor.
    Instructors will review and offer feedback on assignment submissions. Students are not required to turn in assignments, but for those who do, their work is graded by the instructor.

  • Courses offer the flexibility to participate on your own schedule.
    Course work is completed on a weekly basis when you have the time. You can log in and participate in the class whenever it's convenient for you. If you can’t attend the weekly video meetings, the sessions are always recorded for you and your instructor is just an email away.

  • This course is offered through Stanford Continuing Studies.
    To learn more about the program, visit our About Us page. For more information on the online format, please visit the FAQ page.

No previous business or design training is necessary.

Christopher Ireland, Adjunct Professor, Design, California College of the Arts; Founder, Mix & Stir Studio

Christopher Ireland is a co-author of China’s New Culture of Cool and Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design. Previously, she was CEO of Cheskin, a consultancy focused on design innovation that supported Microsoft, Intel, Pepsi, and Apple, among others. Ireland received an MBA from UCLA.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.