Create and Innovate Like a Designer

Clíodhna Ryan

Cliodhna Ryan Headshot 1 cropped

Create and Innovate Like a Designer

We are musicians.

We play for our souls, for our personal passion, for each other... We play to express thoughts and feelings and to communicate and interpret the works of great artists. But how well do we know our audience? Who are they? Why do they come to concerts? Where do they discover us? How do they engage with us? What is the concert experience like for them? How do they feel after they leave? And the same goes for our students.

What is their world like? What influences them? How do they discover new things? Who are their friends? Why do they like classical music? What other things do they enjoy? Designers ask themselves these types of questions continuously, in order to create and innovate. From Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, to Oprah Winfrey and Henry Ford, they have all created experiences, products or services that solved a problem, and delighted their user.

Using a five step process called design thinking, designers discover everything about their user, putting them at the centre of their creative process. Together, over the course of five days, we are going to learn how great designers and innovators do it, so that we bring these skills to our own lives and careers.

Monday 1st November | DAY ONE: What Is Design Thinking and What Can We Learn From It? Step Into Someone Else's Shoes; The Empathy Phase

We’ll whizz through the shape of design thinking, and each of its five stages, mapping our course for the week. We will ask ourselves; Why design thinking? How does this apply to us as performers and teachers? We’ll explore the first phase of the process, the empathy phase, and the techniques and tools designers use to get to know their user. We’ll learn how to conduct empathy interviews, and will look at how to gather research to really get to know our user.

Tuesday 2nd November | DAY TWO: Who Is My Person? The Definition Phase

Today, we’ll look at how the designer creates their user from the material they’ve gathered in the empathy phase. We will look at the tools of empathy mapping and persona creation. The designer puts this person at the heart of their creative process going forward. We will discover how we can map their wants and needs, what delights and excites them, as well as what their pains and gains are.

Wednesday3rd November | DAY THREE: An Explosion Of Ideas; The Ideation Phase

This is the day where we learn how to ideate, looking at how designers use a persona’s pains and gains to innovate solutions and delights for their user, overcoming any barriers, solving their problems and giving them wonderful experiences. We will look at brainstorming techniques, how to avoid groupthink, valuable roles that can help with ideation, and idea selection. Whether you’re designing a curriculum, programming concerts, or looking at how to attract new audiences, these techniques and tools are invaluable for your creative team, be that your faculty members, chamber group, or ensemble.

Thursday 4th November | DAY FOUR: Try It Out; The Prototype and Testing Phases

These are the final two phases of design thinking. We will create a customer journey map, and look at how to prototype and test. Rapid prototyping and testing helps to get over perfectionism because the prototyping process is quick, risky, experimental, and a lot of fun!

Friday 5th November | DAY FIVE: Reflect and Respond; Designing Your Life and Career

We’ll look back over the week, gathering insights and reflections, and thinking about how we can apply design thinking to our lives as musicians, performers, and teachers. Finally, we will think about not just our working lives, but the entire ecosystem of our life and how these tools can be used to examine our own personal user experience. What if we were to engage with this process ourselves? What if we were the user and our life was the experience?

We now have all the tools not only to connect with our audience, faculty, or students, but to become designers of our own lives and careers.


Classes held via zoom, limited to small numbers. This event has multiple classes. Missed a class? You can still purchase a ticket to access the recording.

All times are displayed in your timezone: America/New_York Edit Timezone

All sessions: €100.00
Mon 1. November 2021 Past Event
8:00–9:00 America/New_York
Create and Innovate like a Designer | Day 1
Tue 2. November 2021 Past Event
8:00–9:00 America/New_York
Create and Innovate like a Designer | Day 2
Wed 3. November 2021 Past Event
8:00–9:00 America/New_York
Create and Innovate like a Designer | Day 3
Fri 5. November 2021 Past Event
8:00–9:00 America/New_York
Create and Innovate like a Designer | Day 4 Part I
Sun 7. November 2021 Past Event
8:00–9:00 America/New_York
Create and Innovate like a Designer | Day 4 Part II
Mon 8. November 2021 Past Event
12:00–13:00 America/New_York
Create and Innovate like a Designer | Day 5

Your Host

Cliodhna Ryan Headshot 1 cropped

Clíodhna Ryan