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Design Management Accelerator Program

3 Weeks


Cohort-based Course

Access fundamental frameworks and real stories into how the world's most powerful design executives manage multi-billion dollar companies.

Hosted by

Gordon Ching

Founder, Design Executive Council | Design Management, Affirm, ex  | SCAD MA

Course overview

Build your design management playbook

Design management is more than just managing people.

Expand your toolkit to consider different layers of management, operations and strategy to accelerate your ability to be an effective design manager.

Build your playbook step by step with Gordon and special guests.

Who is this course for


New Design Managers

who want to quickly learn the essential language of design management and improve their ability to lead strategically.


Current Design Managers

who want to accelerate their management expertise and position themselves as a high-potential design manager.


Design Producers who want to broaden their toolkit beyond project management and gain proficiency of design operations and management.

What you'll gain from this course

Heightened purpose as a design manager

In session 1, we'll connect your role as a design manager with the history of design management.

Learn the connection between your role and a letter shared by IBM's CEO in 1966, Apple's Jony Ive, the Chief Design Officer, to your career.

Realize your power as a design manager

In session 2, we will cover fundamental frameworks that will become your evergreen scaffolding to organize your activities around. Utilize frameworks that will set you apart by understanding the building blocks of effective design management.

Learn how the most successful design executives do it

In session 3, we will review stories and examples from Gordon's research in interviewing leading design executives and chief design officers to help you understand how the practice of design management can transform your career and the companies you manage.

Identify actionable opportunities to apply in your role

In session 4, we will take all the knowledge learnt to organize your activities within your design management playbook. Diagnose your company's design management maturity level and what you can do to lead the change you wish to see.

Develop concrete goals to grow your managerial impact

In session 5, you will set short and long-term goals to help ground your next steps and share them with your learning group to keep you and your peers accountable and supported.

Access 1:1 management coaching to drive results

Throughout this course, you will gain access to Gordon for a personalized coaching session after the completion of this course to help you further translate your plan into results.

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Why this course?

Access a distillation of decades of academic research and industry practice to provide you an evergreen framework to being an effective design manager.

Co-created by design executives and academics, leave this course feeling more ready to lead and manage.

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Meet your instructor

Gordon Ching

Gordon Ching

Design operator and design management expert

Gordon is a design operator and management researcher who focuses on Chief Design Officers and Design Executives of the world's most valuable companies and innovative startups in bridging design and business.

As Founder of Design Executive Council, Gordon is partnering with executives and academics, codifying methods, and building design executive communities to advance the discipline of design management.

Gordon is currently managing Design Operations at Affirm and is part of the core design management team scaling Affirm's 50+ global design organization. He was previously at Fast, Synchrony, Apple and AIESEC.

Gordon holds a Master's in Design Management from Savannah College of Art and Design, where he wrote a thesis on design executive effectiveness.

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Course syllabus


Your Career and Design Management History

What is the connection between the last 60 years of design management and your career?


Design Management Fundamentals

What are the building blocks of design management as a discipline? How does design create value in a business? How do we measure that?


Stories from the C-Suite

What can we learn from executives at the top of their game?

These stories include executives who have groomed their experience at Apple, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Stripe, Gusto, Shopify, SAP, Microsoft, Google, and many more.


Building your playbook

Develop your playbook that will guide your decision-making and activities as a design manager for years to come.


Growth planning

Identify your growth areas and what experiences or further knowledge is necessary to help you continue excelling at a design manager.

Leave the class with heightened awareness, clarity, and peer accountability.


2 hours per week
  • WEEK 1 - Tuesdays & Thursdays

    12 - 1pm PT

    History + Fundamentals

  • WEEK 2 - Tuesday and Thursdays

    12 - 1pm PT

    Executive Stories + Playbook Building

  • WEEK 3 - Tuesday

    12 - 1pm PT

    Growth planning and de-brief

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Learning is better with cohorts

Learning is better with cohorts

Active learning, not passive watching

This course builds on live workshops and hands-on projects

Interactive and project-based

You’ll be interacting with other learners through breakout rooms and project teams

Learn with a cohort of peers

Join a community of like-minded people who want to learn and grow alongside you

Frequently Asked Questions

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Design Management Accelerator Program