One full year of Designer's Identity exists of two 'loops' of 5 months + a 2-week war room during the summer. As an apprentice, you can start every September or February. You can exit the program at the end of every loop, although the minimum amount of loops is set on 2 (equals 1 year). Every loop includes 10 interactive workshops, 2 development assessments, 1 designer's weekend, and 2 life coach sessions.
The very first part of the program is the onboarding program (offered at the start of every loop). During this program, we welcome you into the culture of Designer's Identity and get you started. Also, we take a first step into your development plan to direct your learnings, based on your own core question.
The core question is what brings you to our program, the articulation of what you want to gain from it. It can help allocate projects, connect you to the right life coach, find a mentor, and gives focus during the development assessments.
Twice a month in the loop, one full day is spent on an interactive workshop (10 per loop). These can be about professional behaviour, sketching, negotiation skills, financing, etc. The agenda is set by both the coaches of our program (what we value as professionals from the work field) and the apprentices (what you would love to learn).
The most fierce moments of our program are these. A team dedicated to guide the evaluation process will support you in checking the status of your development and deciding on next steps to take. It’s quite bold, rigorous, and uses peer feedback in addition to self-evaluation. The feedback offered by coaches, the mentor, and clients along the way will be put into use here. One full afternoon, twice per loop.
Twice a year, we will go out on a weekend. It’s a deep dive in topics that help develop a moral compass as a designer, or help articulate the rooting of someone’s design language. You might recognise topics from the previous edition (e.g. Moral Design, Building, Narcissist), but since these weekends allow for flexibility, any relevant topic can be added here.
Life coaching is our way of making sure you are doing well. A life coach is there to help strengthening personal qualities, reduce insecurities, be more self-aware, and more self-directed. A minimum of 2 sessions per loop are offered per apprentice. You can schedule these sessions when and where you want, in agreement with the life coach. We added new life coaches to the team, to allow for coaching in different regions in the country and offer different flavours of coaching.
War room summer camp
The War Room is one of the most important modules of our program. It is when you take the time to really look at where you are in life and what you want to achieve next. This is offered as a two-weeks full-time hide-out somewhere in Europe. You can choose to do this annually and by doing so address a different question every year.
Applying learnings to your work
We encourage you to apply the learnings from Designer's Identity directly to a professional context - whether you are already working in a company, or you are starting your own. In addition, we offer opportunities to work with our Fundamentals Agency in projects with/for our clients. By doing so, you can get to know our coaches and clients, but also receive valuable feedback on how you are doing as a professional.