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The Business of Design

Lots of companies are now discovering what Target, Pottery Barn, BMW, and Apple knew all along: Great design is a strategic advantage in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

That's good news for folks comfortable with the principles and language of design. But where does that leave the people whose business would benefit from an infusion of design moxie, but who don't have a clue on how to get any of their own?

Steve Kroeter aims to help. Kroeter, founder of the design education firm Design Paradigm, and author of DESIGNnewyork, a reference guidebook to all things design-driven in New York City, has put together a week-long course in design for managers who aren't designers, but have to be able to talk like one in the workplace.

Design 101 will draw from New York's all-star community of design pros in an array of areas — fashion, architecture, product design, graphics, and more. It's a chance for managers of all experience levels to learn to see visually in a more strategic way and to communicate more effectively in the design arena with colleagues, clients, and customers.

Kroeter's on to something big. Design literacy will be increasingly important in the future, and those who are bilingual in business and design will have a leg up on their less erudite peers. Besides, with profs like Valerie Steele and Steven Heller, and field trips to places like Pentagram, Ecco Design, Perry Ellis, Robert A.M. Stern architects, and Milton Glaser Inc., the course sounds like the most fun you can have and still write it off as "exec ed."

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