Human Centred Design Thinking


Human Centred Design Thinking

Create a blueprint for a better future and build your challenge-buster toolkit with design thinking from Monash D-Lab @ Art, Design & Architecture.

Lurking inside every challenge is an opportunity waiting to be discovered. In a dynamic, demanding, results-focused world filled with ever more unanticipated challenges how do we identify those opportunities?

This intensive three-day Boot Camp starts with the process of DISCOVERY – implementing tools to interrogate the challenges, to unearth the opportunity. Having DEFINED this opportunity, you'll learn how to DESIGN a profitable, viable, sustainable response to that opportunity. Finally, you will DEMONSTRATE your solution and receive feedback and suggestions for iterating your concept in order to take a strong product or service to the market.

Warning: Design Thinking is a team sport and is experiential, energetic, requires a fair bit of mind-muscle and has a great side-effect: it's fun.

What you'll learn

You'll learn that asking the right questions can be more valuable than trying to come up with the right answer. You'll experience design thinking in practice. Theory and research underpin all that we do but primarily, this is a hands-on, participatory, experiential boot camp requiring full participation.

You'll learn that the 'customer is always right' is true, but means so much more than you've ever imagined. You'll experience how to get inside the head, heart and mind of your end-user – all of them – not just 'the customer'.

Learning outcomes

Over 3 days, working in a team of diverse members with a shared challenge, you'll go through the Design Thinking process in detail, using the tools (which then become yours) and strategies that have led major organisations such as IBM, Apple, Google, Bank of America, National Bank of Australia, Unilever and Pepsi Co to embrace Design Thinking as a fundamental part of their organisation.

You will develop critical skills that will:

  • Be applicable in small, localised contexts and large, culture-changing projects.
  • Equip you to respond to challenges in a way that is innovative and opportunistic (in the best sense of the word).
  • Deliver an idea that sustainable and ethical products and services that increase real profits for us all.

These skills will accelerate your ability to:

  • Confidently question the 'challenge' and ensure that the issue is fully understood and scoped before pushing for solutions.
  • Understand and support the power of inclusive, co-design and know how to involve end-users in the design process.
  • Select the right tools for the task – ensuring the most relevant and significant data is gathered and shared with the right decision-makers.

Learning journey

Everyone wants to be innovative these days, right? But being innovative means taking a risk and well, that's risky. In this boot camp you'll learn how to be innovative, how to share your bold idea based on evidence and research and strengthen your capacity to shape and lead viable, sustainable and profitable change. Focusing on real-world issues you will learn-through-doing. Team-based, experiential learning will take you through the steps of design thinking in depth and detail. Along the way you'll discover how exciting, stimulating and energising design thinking can be.


Who should attend

This boot camp is designed for entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, leaders and managers who want to expand their repertoire of skills and be able to innovate and provide innovative leadership focused on viable, sustainable, productive outcomes.

Program fee


  • Monash alumni receive a 20% discount.

Program dates and times

Digital badging

Upon successful completion of this program, you will be awarded a digital badge to share with your network. Find out more about digital badges.

Pre-boot camp requirement

In preparation for the program you'll be invited to submit a challenge you would like to address at the boot camp. All challenges will be treated as commercial-in-confidence and all participants will be required to sign a document acknowledging this. But feel free to anonymise your challenge if you wish. Not all submitted challenges will be dealt with as we will be working in teams, but we will endeavour, as much as is possible, to create teams of people with analogous challenges. We will also be aiming for a range of challenges to more fully enhance the experience for all participants.


Associate Professor Gene Bawden is a communication designer and Head of MADA's Design Department. Gene's research and design practice embraces the confluence of the material, the visual and the spatial, and the narratives of belonging articulated in each. Specifically, he interrogates the design of Australian domestic spaces constructed as a prescriptive but highly charged representation of cultural belonging, social alignment and gendered expectation. His work reveals the historical context of Australia's gendered spatial alliances, and the rich interplay of semiotics embodied within the constraints of the country's Western-centric domestic milieu.

Gene is a member of the Faculty's XYX Lab, which affords him the opportunity to combine his knowledge of gendered spatial practices and his communication design expertise within collaborative research projects aimed at mitigating gender inequity in Australia's urban environments. Key to the Lab's methodologies is the facilitation of Design Thinking processes using bespoke material tools of enquiry. This is an area of investigation that is increasingly part of Gene's expanding area of material/spatial research; and manifests in his teaching through MADA's design curriculum and the Monash MBA and Global Executive MBA "Design Thinking" units.

Dr Julie Roberts, is an art historian and welfare officer by training but has worked in a range of different fields during the past decades, including as Coordinator, WIL Inter-country Project (Australia-Vietnam); Director, Social Enterprise Group (RMIT University) and Deputy Director, Social Innovation (CQUniversity). Since 2016 Julie has spent several months each year in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she volunteers with the micro-finance organisation En Vie. More recently she joined the CADA Foundation as their (voluntary) Engagement and Development Manager. The CADA Foundation is committed to bringing the artisanal work of Oaxaca and San Cristobel, Mexico, to the global market in a way that benefits the makers and protects their cultural ownership of traditional designs. At Monash University, she teaches Design Thinking into the Master of Design (Faculty of Business and Economics), the MBA and the Global Executive MBA.