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Design & Marketing (19CBA25854)

General information






S semester

ECTS Credits:


Teaching Staff:

Group Teacher Department Language
Ed: 1 Isa Moll de Alba Mendoza Marketing ENG

Group Teacher Department Language
Ed: 2 Isa Moll de Alba Mendoza Marketing ENG

Previous Knowledge

Some basic knowledge of management and marketing is absolutely necessary. Anyhow your interest and involvement is the real key aspect to make the most out of the course. In order to provide you with more insights into the course experience next you have how our students defined it:
"Absolute amazing and enlightening learning experience. Keep it up Isa, Jordi and team! :)"
"This was a great course that was different from the other business related courses we had in the MSc. It thought us how to think freely and how to structure that freedom while thinking which created positive and useful ideas and results. I would recommend this class to upcoming MSc students definitely. Isa is especially one of the most caring professors I have seen and the way that she cares about the students and their learning process inspired me and I hope I will be a good of a teacher as she is."
"A very inspiring course that was a lot of fun."
"I really really enjoyed this course, it made me become even more interested in Design and understand there is an important role very close to Marketing in the real world! Congratulations on it!"
"I really appreciated the effort that Isa and Jordi put in the course, especially they helped us a lot with our projects and I think it was very useful to apply design thinking to a real project."
"It was a very interesting course, I had taken some design classes and this one had a very unique approach with the Design Thinking methodology. VERY GOOD!"
"I think that the subject of the course is really important and relevant for marketing students. There was a lot of effort in creating this course and make it as insightful as possible. I enjoyed the out of class activities and company visits that we did. They helped us a lot in our project which in my opinion was very interesting."
"It was awesome and super interesting."
"I really enjoyed the visits we did to Morillas and other companies."
"This course is a perfect fit for the program. It ensures a link between marketing and design, and expands our thinking to the usual skills"

Workload distribution

Individual performance: 50%
Group Project: 50%


There can be little doubt that companies like Apple, Lego, Ikea or Nespresso have triumphed thanks to design. In Spain, CaixaBank, the 1992 Olympic Games, and the city of Barcelona itself have all created a striking image through design. Medium-sized companies such as Santa & Cole, Lékué and Axel Hotels, as well as large companies including Telefonica-Movistar have been successful in Spain and abroad thanks to well-designed branding and products. But behind such exceptional design are not just the designers themselves but company directors, general managers, brand managers, marketing directors, project managers and design managers, who have had the ability to incorporate design into their organisations' strategy. They have selected designers, conveyed their ideas, assigned resources and, ultimately, chosen one of the many designs. Furthermore there are more and more companies in which design is ingrained in the corporate culture and plays a key role in driving the strategic decisions in general, not only innovation. It is important to note that designers can be found in executive-level positions in companies like Apple with Jonathan Ive as Chief Design Officer, Burberry's, General Motor, General Electric, Procter&Gamble, Johnson&Johnson, Pepsico, Coca-Cola; or even in CEO positions like Nike. Other compelling examples are the very successful startups founded by designers like Airbnb, Pinterest, Kickstarter, among others.

Design has always been relevant for business but today, with companies specifically hiring designers into their management teams, it is more present in business then ever.

Design, understood as a planning activity, is present in implementing company strategies and especially so in marketing strategies. Defining the product and its price is a product designer's task; defining communication is partly the task of graphic designers; packaging is defined by packaging designers (sometimes product designers and sometimes graphic designers) who are very aware of distribution requirements. In general, design serves to create powerful brands and valuable corporate images. In order to create this corporate image the skills of others will also be needed to effectively design buildings, interiors, webs, services, stands at a trade fair, for a special occasion or for a public relations event, all of which are elements that form part of the identity of the company and of its brands. In this context it is easy to see that a future manager should be familiar with this resource, understand and know how to manage the design tools which may be available to him or her in order to fulfil the objectives and strategies of their organisation.

On a different perspective 'design thinking' as a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit is being extensively used in all kinds of organizations.

Hence, there are many reasons why learning about design, designers and design culture has an enormous relevance for a business school.

Course Learning Objectives

The learning objectives are as follows:
- To understand the concept and its boundaries.
- To study the design process within the company and the marketing function
- To understand designers and the creative industry to enable getting business and marketing strategies across to them.
- To analyse the role of design in brand creation & brand management.
- To learn how to transmit own creative ideas.
- To develop the creative and innovative spirit necessary to take the initiative in incorporating design into an organisation.
- To explore design culture, with the aim of learning how to make design-related decisions.
- To gain understanding about the design thinking methodology as an approach to innovation.

The subject aims to encourage the development of several skills that are essential in this and related disciplines including:
- guiding design decisions and managing creative teams
- developing collaborative cultures and facilitating the design process
- leading and advocating design
- creative thinking
- developing verbal, visual and written communication


1. Setting a framework: What is design? why is design important? what is design management?

2. Design orientation in corporate culture: design potentials in business, the design thinking methodology

3. Generation of ideas within the design process: the design process, the product concept, creativity techniques

4. New Product Development a key part of the design strategy, the design brief

5. The designer, a cornerstone in the resources and implementation phases

6. Assessing the results of the process and insights into aesthetics throughout the history of design discipline

7. Good practices in design management

8. Design&Business and Design&Society

9. Final presentations


(slight changes might be possible)

The course is based on the 'flipped-classroom methodology'. This means that the subject combines theory and practice, but a greater emphasis is placed on the latter aspect especially in the face-to-face sessions. They consist of workshops, exercises, the interaction with professionals with hands-on experience, real-world case studies,... Additionally the participants will be required to work in groups on a professional real challenge that should combine theoretical grounding and practice, and, in all events, requires objectives, analytical contribution and creative outcomes, as well as the application of the design thinking methodology. At the end of the course they will be expected to submit the final report and the Power Point presentation along with any supporting elements required to present your project.

Please note that we also have in mind planning some of the sessions in some interesting companies.



Description %
Group Project 50
Individual performance 50

Assessment criteria

The class work & learning objectives of this course rely heavily on open interaction, observation and discussion inspired and guided by faculty, guest speakers and student contributions. By definition design and creativity thrive on the open and sometimes directed inputs of everyone involved which places a great deal of importance on active student participation.

Attendance is compulsory (a minimum of an 80% of attendance is needed to pass the course), and Course Assessment will be based on:
- Group Project (50%)
- Individual performance (50%)

The criteria for assessing the accomplishment of the planned objectives are based on: involvement in the subject, proactive attitude, thorough research work, professionalism in the case of the professional assignment, creativity, and effort.


Course bibliography will be posted on the Moodle platform at the beginning of the Course.

Timetable and sections

Group Teacher Department
Ed: 1 Isa Moll de Alba Mendoza Marketing

Timetable Ed: 1

Group Teacher Department
Ed: 2 Isa Moll de Alba Mendoza Marketing

Timetable Ed: 2