Giving Back to the Community:
RKS Psycho-Aesthetic Workshops

Published on Dec 14th, 2015

RKS has had the incredible opportunity of hosting collaborative workshops for some of the top design programs and universities in California. Make in LA, Cal State University Long Beach, and Cal Lutheran University have all participated in recent RKS workshops, growing their design experience from the classroom to reality to ultimately focus their programs to be as directed and successful as possible. RKS has consistently offered workshops for several decades to involve as many groups and individuals as possible in the intriguing world of design.

RKS’s Psycho-Aesthetics methodology has been implemented and taught by RKS for years and is accredited with providing design inspiration and criteria that have created hundreds of commercial successes. The methodology is taught through Harvard’s case study on RKS Guitars, Harvard’s Classroom Exercise on Psycho-Aesthetics and innovating for coffee drinkers, and CEO Ravi Sawhney’s book, Predictable Magic. Psycho-Aesthetics leverages the great thinkings of Abraham Maslow and Joseph Campbell into the journeys toward aspirational experiences that people seek in their everyday journeys.

Cal Lutheran Branding Workshop

Rather than teaching the methodology and stopping there, RKS got attendees involved, taking them through the exciting process of molding their own brand. Cal Lutheran business professors and staff worked alongside RKS Founder and Owner, Ravi Sawhney, RKS Chief Design and Innovation Officer, Scott Clear, and other RKS team members to implement this design strategy. The team worked together to grow Cal Lutheran’s branding and create a slogan for the university. By building psycho aesthetic maps of analogous universities’ branding and collaboratively brainstorming, the team navigated the framework for a perfect brand identity. The workshop resulted in useful branding improvements and slogans for the university to actually implement in their marketing campaigns.

Typically, this strategy phase is completed solely by the RKS team. The “client’s” involvement in these activities provided a new, fresh perspective to the process. We appreciate Cal Lutheran for their involvement and for sharing this rewarding experience with us. RKS is proud to announce that Cal Lutheran is now equipped with the knowledge and experience to continue to design and grow their own branding.


Make in LA Entrepreneurship Workshop

RKS hosted a specialized workshop for new Los Angeles startup founders. The workshop developed from RKS’ partnership with Make in LA, a growing Los Angeles startup mentorship program. The entrepreneurship based workshop was built around activities that encouraged participation in open discussion and constructive feedback to help them turn their ideas into successes by mitigating the risks associated with early development and putting founders on a direct path towards profitability.

The attendees had the opportunity to discuss and critique their exciting, growing startups: Sentio Solutions Inc., Force Impact Technologies, and Flip Technologies. The group exchanged ideas and was able to get one-on-one feedback from our experienced entrepreneurs, founders, strategists, and designers. The attendees learned RKS’ successful design process and were led through applying the strategy to their own projects. The entrepreneurs walked away from the workshop with a new set of tools to use in the future as they continue their journey building impactful businesses.

Cal State University, Long Beach Design Strategy Workshop

RKS had a busy month and had the pleasure of hosting over 41 eager Cal State University, Long Beach industrial design students for an innovation strategy workshop. The all day workshop was filled with collaborative learning and hands on activities, outlining the RKS strategy process.

Students worked in small groups with our seasoned designers and strategists, participating in interactive exercises and discussions while exploring the works of great thinkers, Joseph Campbell and Abraham Maslow. RKS has derived its design process off of the Campbell’s hero’s journey and Maslow’s hierarchy. The students applied this comprehensive methodology to an exercise of redesigning a traveling coffee mug, utilizing the Harvard Psycho-Aesthetics exercise. They created their own individual consumer personas, psycho aesthetic maps, and product strategy.

Following the workshop, the students were assigned a class project where they were to use the RKS learnings as groundwork. Upon the follow up workshop with the same students just two weeks later, Scott Clear, RKS Chief Design and Innovative Officer, was blown away by the students’ applications of workshop material in their projects. The student groups created documentary style videos capturing their thorough research with their deep dives into personas and psycho aesthetic mapping. The workshop proved to be highly successful as the level of understanding and takeaway was astounding.

RKS aims to involve as many programs and students as possible in workshops to share, cultivate, and grow the future of the design and innovation community. We always look forward to meeting and collaborating with young, aspiring designers.

Thank you to our fantastic guests for brightening up the studio with your enthusiasm and creativity.

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