A Unique Design week

Last week our colleagues Marcella and Dirk Jan, facilitated an in-house training for Unique, and for three days the participants were prepared to facilitate their own internal Design Week.

During the training, we combined theory with hands-on practice to make sure everyone felt confident to facilitate a group with a clear structure for the workshop.

On the first day, we focused on the soft skills needed for facilitating, for this we worked on interventions, how to deal with different types of participants and how to create an atmosphere that adds to the workshop experience. The goal of this day was to experience how to keep the energy in a group balanced, to keep everyone on board, and to make sure everyone can express themselves.

The second day kicked off with the basics of Design Thinking. Discussing the double diamond, we explored different tools and techniques and used a dummy question to experience the use of the templates, because most elements were partially known to the group, we focussed on the reasoning behind each step and the coherence between all of them.

In the afternoon the participants plotted their own Unique design week ingredients on the double diamond to get a feeling of their current flow. This resulted in an adjustment of this flow into an updated three-day program titled ‘The Design Week’. We did this by combining best practices from Unique and our tools and methods from Design Thinking Center. This program will enable the Unique employee to create new solutions for their own design challenges in just three days.

We used the third day to complete the full training program, wherein each participant of the workshop prepared an element (a so-called Module) of the program for a dry run. During this dry run, we put into practice all elements of the program and occasionally introduced a specific archetype to challenge the facilitators a bit more.

In this way the team could also experience the design week from a participant’s perspective, feel the struggle and confusion, but also satisfaction and proudness of the participants. After every module, we evaluated and tweaked the module a bit for a perfect fit.  

After three intensive days, it was time to test our first iteration of the design weeks ‘new style’. There were four groups that each got their own challenge and an owner of this challenge as well as its own dedicated facilitator. Dirk Jan was on site to answer questions from the facilitators, give suggestions during the ‘week’ and to see where we might be able to improve the program we made together. At the end of the three days (the so-called ‘week’) the four groups followed a Design Thinking process and created four prototypes that they presented to the management team of Unique. The Challenge Owner was then tasked to make sure that after this workshop the prototype will be transformed into a real solution to the problem at hand.

After the training, we evaluated together and took the time to fine-tune the program and clarify any questions arising during the training. The feedback from Unique regarding the whole process was very positive, the fact that we helped them design their own process and facilitated them in the process was a huge benefit for them.


The team is now off to try the second iteration of their own tailor-made Design Week. We wish them lots of fun and look forward to seeing the outcome become reality!

Do you want to have an in-house train-the-trainer-training from our facilitators?

Get in touch, and together we can create a program that fits your team’s needs.