Blend Week

Blend Week, an initiative designed by M&C Saatchi’s Tricky Jigsaw and UTS that aims to give students a diversified skill set in readiness for the complexities of current and future jobs, has been awarded the coveted Good Design Award for Design Excellence.


The workforce of 2020 and beyond will need to excel at complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration according to the World Economic Forum. This change requires us all to rethink how we work and how we prepare for work. Deep-learning remains critical but it’s important that workers and students are equipped to tackle the rate of change and the possibilities it affords. Our brief was to circuit-break deep-learning within a time-boxed experience that helps develop ‘T-shaped’ people in readiness for this required reality.

“In our business, we’re seeing an increasing demand for ‘blended’ skill sets. Deep subject knowledge is important but a collaborative mindset and openness to other inputs help tackle the increasingly complex business environment. University is the optimal time to start nurturing these skills and we’re thrilled the Good Design Awards judges agree.”

Ben Cooper, Managing Director of Tricky Jigsaw

Blend Week is an accredited curriculum designed by Tricky Jigsaw, facilitated by UTS and enriched by an industry sponsor’s live brief. Participants investigate, ideate, customer test and iterate to create products, services and experiences that are pitched to execs for funding and further development. The pace is furious, the teams cross-disciplinary, feedback tough and the outcomes surprising and ready for buy-in and execution.

Now entering its third year Blend Week has collaborated with Education NSW and Sydney Fish Market. Successfully blending visual communications, industrial design and business students with teachers, fisherman and our own design leaders.

Since 2017, over 80 participants have experienced our annual Blend Week.

Blended teams generated 100’s of concepts that get whittled to 9 validated ideas pitched to execs live with video and theatrics! Two standout ideas have been progressed into pilot phases and exceptional teams have been employed on separate projects.

Outside of the annual event this short-structured approach is garnering interest from People & Development leaders. To help in the development of an innovator’s mindset within their workplaces. Allowing exponentially more attendees to hone the skill-sets needed to thrive in an ever changing working world.

In 2019 the Good Design Awards recognised Blend Week for Education Service Design, the jury said:

“Highly positive initiative. There is a real need to engage more students with the concepts of strategy design and design thinking. Blend Week is a great example of how this can work in practice. In particular, the involvement of industry makes this an impactful learning experience that we need more of in Australia.”

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