Design is a Plan

Design is a Plan is a self-paced online course that will give you the tools, techniques and real-world proficiency to develop your products from idea to market.

Following our very successful live editions, we are making the entire content of the Design is a Plan course available online for you to follow at your own pace.

Benefit from problem-solving, decision-making, and strategic planning based on a common language and rigorous methodology, internally and externally. From creating an agile launch plan to optimizing customer experience and calculating profit margins. 

This course is designed for start-up entrepreneurs, corporate executives, engineers, strategists, managers, and others playing a role in the conception and realization of products. Streamlining your creative process will strengthen your team and differentiate you from the competition.

Guided by Duane Smith and Stefane Barbeau, you will learn concrete ways to shape, frame, communicate and execute your business plan. The sessions include lectures, case studies and hands-on exercises to help resolve your personal, real-world project challenges. 

In order to make this content (over 15 hours of presentations, user cases and exercises) available to all, we have edited and packaged the sessions that were recorded in the last live edition, updated the exercises with video instructions and split into easy to consume lessons. We are offering you the opportunity to access all this knowledge at an incredible price: 45€!

“We teach a results-driven, pragmatic approach to how design can advance initiatives at all levels of your organization.”

– Duane Smith & Stefane Barbeau, Design is a Plan program facilitators

Key Information

The training is online
45,00 €

Who is this course for?


Product Managers

Product Designers

Learning Managers

Innovation and Growth Managers

Creative Managers

Design Engineers

Any Product or Design Professional

This workshop is exactly for you if:

You still don’t have a practical roadmap to guide the launch of new products.

You are struggling to communicate with the teams involved in your work.

You need to gain control and confidence over the design process.

You are looking for the formula to maximize your profits.

Exclusive content in this course!

Programme Content



Acquire communication tools that establish a strong voice and efficient terminology throughout the design development process to ensure clarity and consensus among design and non-design team members.


Establish insightful, customer-centric trend and demographic research methodologies to confirm viability and uncover otherwise missed opportunities to strengthen or pivot your project.


Perhaps the most important tool! Learn to capture your project in a concise, precise document that will serve as a noise-cutting, center-point of communication and consensus for all team members as your project comes to life and moves from words to actions.


Gain confidence using valuable tools to run a successful idea-generating session with your talented team of design and non-design professionals. Establish criteria that can be used to evaluate the myriad of ideas and to move forward with solid decisions and a clear plan.


Establish a thorough design development process to ensure longevity, agility and durability as you move from design brief to concepts to prototypes, and ultimately launch your product or service. Learn to identify all customer touch points and ensure a consistent portrayal of your product or service as it is presented to a very fluid global marketplace.

Exclusive training with fantastic mentors

  • Duane Smith

    Duane has over two decades of creative and business experience spanning apparel, architecture and consumer goods. He studied industrial design at Carleton University and sustainable architecture at the Bauhaus. In 2001, Duane co-founded Vessel which designed and distributed a range of award-winning housewares products including the well-recognized Candela rechargeable lights. Over the past decade, Duane has led design and development activities for the Adidas Group and Targus, managing diverse cross-functional teams throughout Asia and North America. More recently, Duane co-founded the Design Leadership Clinic to help executives integrate good design into their workflow, and Hundred Mile House, his residential design/build practice, based in the center of modernism, Palm Springs California.

  • Stefane Barbeau

    An entrepreneur to the core, Stefane has spent his career launching creative ventures. In 2001, he built the award-winning housewares and electronics brand Vessel into a global retail business that was ultimately acquired by a Fortune 500 company. As the executive director of the Design Industry Group of Massachusetts (DIGMA), he created a comprehensive plan for the economic growth of the state's design sector. Stefane has advised on design leadership for P&G, Mattel, and MIT, ultimately co-founding the Design Leadership Clinic to teach a results-driven, pragmatic approach to how design can advance initiatives at all levels of an organization. Having spent two years studying yoga in Asia on hiatus from his industry work, Stefane also runs Clinic Yoga in Palm Springs California, where he helps private clients bring strength, flexibility and balance to their own lives.

A word from the participants

Thanks to this course, I feel more confident in approaching the design of products and services as well as a facilitator of the Design process, both for teams and entrepreneurs.

—Massimo Curatella, Senior Designer -

The course allowed me to appreciate the process of design and gave me an excellent foundation from which to pursue my journey into building products.

—Kareen Zambuko, Director - Adrenalin Advertising & Design

About Pi School

A next-generation School where Machine Intelligence meets Human Creativity. Home to game changers, entrepreneurs and talented creative and technological profiles that aim to build an amazing future. The School offers different educational programmes in the fields of innovation, leadership, creativity, and design alongside technology.

Get to know more about us


Back to all the open programmes