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02-06-2017  d-stories

The d-school celebrated d-finals, the day that student teams present their project ideas to project partners on 31 May, followed by their graduation on 2 June with Friends and Family Day. This semester marked the launch of our first Advanced Programme in Design Thinking for postgraduate students who had already completed our foundation programme. You can read about the programme in our latest d-stories. Click on the image below.

22-05-2017  Applications are open for the next semester long Foundation Programme in Design Thinking.

Click on the button below to access the application form.

And you can read more about the programme here.

19-05-2017  Coaches Training Programme

The deadline for the next coaches training programme is approaching - 31 May 2017. If you're interested apply below. 

26-04-2017  The d-school has just published our first newsletter.

Please email the with the subject d-news to request being added to our d-news subscription database.

01-04-2017  UCT students gear up to innovate for the future

Over 30 postgraduate UCT students from different academic disciplines have embarked on a voyage of exploration which will equip them for a world of fast paced innovation and change.

The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design Thinking at UCT launchesd its design thinking foundation course on Monday 6 March at the institute’s colourful headquarters at UCT Business School’s Breakwater Campus on Portswood Road in Greenpoint. The semester long courses take place twice a year, two days a week.

Design thinking is a methodology originally developed by industrial designers in the 1960’s that enables innovation and new outcomes in all fields of human endeavor from tackling poverty to improving government services to developing new human centered products and services for business.

Founding director of the d-school, Richard Perez explains that the training in design thinking “provides tools, a process, and ultimately a mindset, that equips practitioners to collaboratively develop human-centered solutions to challenges in contemporary contexts that are dynamic and complex.”

When implemented in daily life and professional work, the design thinking tools, process and mindset with which students leave the training, help them to develop a creative approach to problem solving and to contribute to a culture of innovation.

The d-school was founded in Cape Town in August 2015 with funding and academic support from Professor Dr Hasso Plattner-co founder of global business software company SAP AG and officially launched at the Graduate School of Business Breakwater campus on March 9 this year.

Professor Plattner initiated and funded the first academic programmes in design thinking at Stanford University in the USA  in 2005 and at Potsdam in Germany in 2009. This brought academic rigour to design-led innovation practice .

Last year the UCT d-school piloted the first academic programme of its kind in Africa with a group of pioneering students who learnt how to creatively confront real world challenges posed by project partners from the corporate, public and start-up sectors.

UCT’s d-school, as it is commonly referred to, is the only academic institution on the continent which offers academic training and capacitation in design thinking to university postgraduate students and the private sector.

This year’s group of foundation students come from a diverse array of countries and backgrounds, ranging in age from 28 years old to 47 years old from South Africa, the Congo, Italy, Portugal, Botswana, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Camaroon, Spain, Egypt and Ghana. Their academic disciplines are even more diverse traversing Educational Technology, City Planning, Law, Social Policy, Economic History, Digital Forensics, Politics, Health, Geomatics, Neuroscience, Architecture, Geology, Geography, Journalism, Business Sport, Chemical Engineering, History and Marketing.

Dr Rael Futerman, programme manager in charge of the foundation course says this diversity of cultural and disciplinary backgrounds at the South African d-school distinguishes it from its sister schools in Stanford and Potsdam  and makes for rich  collaboration which is of great benefit to project partners and students.

For Dr Keneilwe Munyai, the programme manager in charge of the advanced programme in design thinking, the highlight of the course  is observing the transformation from when students arrive in the programme  to when they leave. 

“Students embrace working with people that they would otherwise never engage with because of disciplinary, cultural or language barriers. They work on challenges where they don’t have to be experts  and they learn to accept failure  as part of the journey.”

02-11-2016  Applications are open for our Foundation Programme in  Design Thinking -  Semester 1, 2017

If you're a postgraduate student currently registered at UCT and you would like to participate in our Foundation Programme in Design Thinking, please click on the link below to apply. You can also read about the programme at the bottom of this post.



28-10-2016  Applications are open for our 4-Day Introduction to Design Thinking 6 - 9 December 2016

We spoke about this a few days ago and now we're ready to launch our application process for the d-school's free Introduction to Design Thinking which will run from  6 to 9 December 2016.

We are looking for undergraduate and postgraduate students from all over the country who are interested in exploring creative ways of problem solving in a collaborative environment.

Click on the button below to apply. The deadline for applications is 11 November 2016.

27-10-2016  Fast Forward in Design Thinking for UCT Staff

The d-school is inviting UCT faculty and staff to a 1-day Fast Forward in Design Thinking on 21 November 2016. This is the first of a series of introductory 1-day programmes planned for staff and faculty in 2017.

This one-day fast forward is an introductory programme that will expose participants to the design thinking process, and several supporting principles, methods and tools.

During the day, staff will explore a design challenge in multidisciplinary teams of 5 - 6. They will take a human-centred approach to exploring and framing, developing, and finally proposing a design intervention. 

Please contact Dr Rael Futerman -

For more information click on the symbol below.


26-10-2016  Introduction to Design Thinking for students from all universities in South Africa

As part of our plans for an annual Design Thinking Week in South Africa, the d-school will be offering a free introductory programme in Design Thinking from 6 to 9 December 2016.

We are looking for undergraduate and postgraduate students from all over the country who are interested in exploring creative ways of problem solving in a collaborative environment.

We will be launching the application process for this course in the next couple of days. So watch this space.


25-10-2016  Class of 2nd semester 2016

25-10-2016  The d-school's diverse, inclusive student teams

The d-school has been fortunate to attract the diversity across all spectrums that is vital for the diverse, inclusive teams that are the bedrock of Design Thinking in practice. Here's a glimpse of the student demographics for our Class of 2nd semester, 2016.

21-10-2016  d-stories  Class of 2nd Semester 2016


19-09-2016  Exec Ed students introduced to some Design Thinking

16-09-2016  Join the d-school for an introduction to Design Thinking

Are you interested in being exposed to Design Thinking's design-led innovation model?  Would you like an introduction to the practice of design thinking?

The d-school team will be running a half-day Design Thinking Primer at the South Africa Innovation Summit in Johannesburg on Friday 23 September 2016.

And we'd like to invite you. See the invite below for details.


07-09-2016 Apply now for our open course in Design Thinking Practice

The d-school is offering a  3-day Design Thinking Practice course for leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs seeking to learn the design-led innovation methodology to break down silos, manage multi-disciplinary teams, and innovate in complex, fast-changing environments.

Click on the brochure for more information on the course. Or go directly to the application process by clicking on the Apply button.

02-09-2016 - New 3-day course in Design Thinking in Practice

Applications have opened for the d-school's first open course in Design Thinking for executives, leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. Have a look at our information brochure for programme details and click the link to apply on the last page.

24-08-2016 News flash!

We’d like to announce that our first open course – a 3-day course in Design Thinking in Practice – has been scheduled for  2 - 4 November 2016.  The programme offers an immersion in design thinking for leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs seeking new ways of thinking, strategising and problem solving;  and wanting to develop techniques for silo-busting and for managing multidisciplinary teams in fast–paced, dynamic environments.  The closing  date for applications is 14 October 2016. Apply here.


Our second semester Foundation Programme in Design Thinking is well underway and postgraduate students on this programme have been just been introduced to the project partners who have submitted the real world challenges that the multi-disciplinary teams will work on over the next two months. 

In the meantime, we’d like to share with you this e-booklet about the pioneering programme in semester one:


Applications have opened for the second Foundation in Design Thinking pilot programme at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design Thinking at UCT. The deadline for applications is 10 June 2016.


The pioneering students on the first Cape Town d-school pilot semester programme for postgraduates, marked their graduation 0n 18 May 2016, with a presentation to project partners and the d-school team.

Cape Town d-school in the news :
Business Day Live
Cape Craft & Design Institute


d-finals with the pioneering postgraduate students on the first Foundations in Design Thinking programme.