Getting Down with the Business of Design!

Instructors: Masako Ikegami, Harvard GSD Alum
TA: Christopher SooHoo, MArch I
Max Enrollment: 40
Date/Time: Jan 7 – 9/9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Jan 12 -13 Field trip to New York (optional)
Location: Gund 124

Description: Being a Designer is About Being in Business:
We – young designers, are the future of the profession. Whether you plan on establishing your own firm or joining a practice, setting forth on a professional path is best done in the trusted company of friends and advisors.
Designers are united in a common goal, and that is to realize positive interventions on the physical world. Acting upon this core purpose naturally requires an entrepreneurial spirit, and the 3 day workshop is designed to harness your creative energy towards a sustainable career. Through our lectures, group work, and site visits, we will share insights and strengthen our collective potentials.
The ultimate goal of this workshop is to design a business plan and develop an elevator pitch for your future firm. Through a variety of exercises, students will learn how to think entrepreneurially along two essential vectors: clarifying your differentiating value proposition, and constructing a business plan. Students will be encouraged to refine their public speaking and presentation skills, as business development is an essential part of your career.
Together we will learn:
• How to articulate and deliver your value as a designer
• How to negotiate and be compensated for your value as a designer
• How to navigate the world beyond graduate school, as an emerging designer
Part I: Cambridge Workshop (Mandatory):
January 7th – January 9th: (Wed–Fri; 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
• Workshops, lectures, and group discussions of key entrepreneurial skillsets
• Guest Speakers from Cambridge-area design firms will speak about their strategic business plans
• Students will have a broad introduction to Finance, Strategy, and Management
Part II: Field Trip in New York (Optional):
January 12th – January 13th: Office visits with design firm leaders. 2014 J-Term field visits included:
SHoP: Jonathan Mallie and Vishaan Chakrabarti, Partners
COOKFOX: Bob Fox, Principal
HWKN / Architizer: Marc Kushner, Founder Mike Klausmeier: Derek Chan, Partner Manufacture NY: Nelis Parts, CFO
*Content subject to change. Contact [email protected] for questions.
Requirements: This course has no pre-requisites. The content is suitable for students in all degree programs at Harvard GSD.