Common basic framework

Design expertise + design leadership.

Our learning principles follow an interdisciplinary approach to design education through the lens of people, technology and organisation.


DSA’s common basic framework is the core set of fundamental principles for all learning. We are passionate about education that focuses on people, technology and organisation through the lens of people-centered design. We believe this is the best way to prepare students for the complexities of the design industry in its application to social, cultural and economic challenges.

The common basic framework unpacks the complexity of designing for people, technology and organisation and structures the education journey as an interdisciplinary approach to learn and mature in a professional environment.

Tier-1 focusses on design methods for insight and empathy, definition, iteration, prototyping and modelling. These are our building blocks of design expertise.

Tier-2 builds on the design methods and focusses on how to communicate the value of design to a non-design audience. Students learn to prepare a value proposition for their independent research project and have opportunities to develop visual and verbal rhetoric in leadership, mediation, entrepreneurship and innovation. These are our building blocks of design leadership.

Specialisation modules offer individual pathways for students to prepare their independent research project . These are our building blocks of design mechanics.