Open programmes

Design Leadership

A workshop to give you design tools to streamline your creative process and navigate efficiently from idea to execution.

Good design is crucial to a company’s success. Products and services now exist across multiple platforms, and a successful launch needs a holistic design approach to all consumer touch-points. Becoming a Design Leader by streamlining your creative process will strengthen your team and differentiate you from the competition.  

This five-day workshop will give you design tools to navigate efficiently from idea to execution through a maze of concepts, creative talent, seductive opportunities, and global customer needs. You’ll learn to tap into the right design expertise to create an agile launch plan that will optimize your customers’ experience and your profit margins.

The curriculum is designed for start-up entrepreneurs and corporate executives alike:  you’ll have a chance to meet, share and learn from like-minded individuals across a broad range of industries.


Key Information

  • Duration 5 days full time
  • Dates Coming Soon
  • Cost € 3,000
  • Location Pi School, Rome
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Programme Content

The workshop will include a combination of presentations, group and individual discussions and hands-on exercises, homework, and closing group discussion.

Module 1: Foundation – Speak the Language of Design

Module 2: Application – Design for Your Customer

Module 1 – foundation
Speak the language of design


Learn creative management tools to establish a strong voice, an expert team and efficient communication throughout the design development process.

Primary Topics:

  • Design fluency and history
  • Form and color fundamentals
  • ROI and buy-in for design
  • Establishing parameters and building a design brief
  • Qualifying and hiring design talent
  • Design development cycle

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Clear, shared vocabulary for the design process and work product
  • Smooth collaboration within teams
  • Constructive design review sessions
  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities within a product creation team
  • Clear brand guidelines and product briefs to ensure better brand performance


Design for Your Customer


Establish an insightful, user-driven design development process to ensure longevity, agility and durability as you launch your product or service into a very fluid global marketplace.

Primary Topics:

  • Consumer profiling
  • Research, discovery, and global forecasting
  • Ideation and iteration
  • Consumer vs. brand touch points
  • Prototyping, testing, and refinement
  • Product lifecycle
  • Line planning and expansion
  • Design for social impact

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding consumer needs & behaviors
  • Ability to understand trends and innovation curves
  • Streamlined ideation, review and decision-making process
  • Strengthened creative POV and voice
  • Deepened understanding of complete product development cycle
  • Ability to communicate effectively with all members of the development team
  • Clear roadmap of opportunities and limitations for a product or service solution
  • Tools to measure the effectiveness or success of a design



  • Duane Smith

    Has over two decades of creative and business experience in various industries. He studied industrial design at Carleton University and sustainable architecture at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. He co-founded the award-winning Vessel. He has lead design and innovation for the Adidas Group and Targus, managing diverse international cross-functional teams. Founder of Hundred Mile House, an architectural design and development practice based in California. Co-founder of SmithBarbeau, he drives creative leadership improvement for global brands and is also an adjunct professor at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles.

  • Stefane Barbeau

    A design entrepreneur and business strategist with over 20 years' experience in bringing consumer products to market, Stefane has worked with organizations ranging from Philips Consumer Electronics to OXO. In 2001, he co-founded the award-winning housewares and electronics brand Vessel, expanding it to a global product and retail business that was ultimately acquired by a Fortune 500 company. Stefane has advised on design leadership and customer experience for P&G, Mattel, Ray, Babson, Tufts and MIT. As the executive director for the Design Industry Group of Massachusetts (DIGMA), he has worked with Massachusetts success stories like Reebok, Zipcar, and IHCD to create a comprehensive plan for the economic growth of the state's design sector.

About Pi School

Pi School is a next-generation School where Machine Intelligence meets Human Creativity and hosts game changers, entrepreneurs, risk takers, talented creatives and tech designers that aim to build an amazing future.

The School offers professional education programmes in the fields of innovation, creativity and design alongside technology with specific focus on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

The core idea is to never be static, move with the world, to be ahead of today’s problems and facilitate cross-industry and interdisciplinary solutions. It provides room for self-expression, inspiration, innovation and visionary thinking and connects those ideas to actions and results.

It offers mentorship and accompanies those who want to reshape society and open them doors to new possibilities.

Pi School is founded by Jamshid Alamuti and Marco Trombetti in 2016. They lived parallel lives and they both searched relentlessly for a new model of education: miles away from each other, they both yearned to create Education 2.0. Since September 15th of 2017, PI’s schools offer a set of various disciplines within the school such as the School of Artificial Intelligence and the School of Creative Entrepreneurship.

Pi School is located in Pi Campus startup district, in a beautiful Villa in Rome, Italy.

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