“Thank You!” from the Richardson Design Center and the College of Health & Human Sciences

We were thrilled to welcome the Green and Gold Foundation to the first ever tailgate at the Nancy Richardson Design Center (RDC) at Colorado State University. Gathering on the Green and Gold Foundation Terrace was a great way to celebrate together, and to show gratitude for the generosity that helped CSU create an iconic building and a hub for collaboration, learning and design thinking.

The RDC exists to bring together students, faculty, and community partners from all disciplines to address 21st century challenges in a creative and collaborative environment. The RDC’s robust maker spaces and design thinking curriculum are open to all students at CSU. In the Spring 2019 semester, we launched our 12-credit undergraduate certificate in Design Thinking as a beneficial add-on to any major or degree. The Design Thinking program addresses the unmet demand at CSU for interdisciplinary “hands-on” learning that develops the skills and mindsets employers are seeking: creativity, critical thinking, and collaborative communication. To date, more than 150 students representing more than 50 different majors from all eight colleges have enrolled in our classes. In small groups with a variety of perspectives, students in our foundation course tackled “real world” projects for clients like Habitat for Humanity, Larimer County Food Bank, and Target Corporation. 

In support of community outreach, the RDC offered professional development workshops to Poudre School District K-12 teachers during the summer and taught them how to use design thinking to Hack the Classroom. Additionally, we have been hosting workshops with students from several area K-12 schools. 

“Thank you for teaching them (and me)… it was clear their understanding of the design thinking process was strengthened a great deal. Several students wrote about their greater understanding of why empathy is so important, their understanding of symptom versus root cause, and their understanding of this as a creative process.” 

Tim Hanauer, Fossil Ridge High School 

On campus, the RDC is connecting with student clubs and offering design challenges including the Virtual Reality Club and the RamRealty Hack-a-Thon as well as co-sponsored activities with the Institute for Entrepreneurship in the School of Business. This fall, there will be two new exhibits in the Design Exchange, our versatile gallery space and main entrance area. The first, RED {DRESS} is a student and faculty apparel design showcase opening in late September. Then, RED (AGAIN) will be an exhibit of rare Russian posters co-sponsored by the Art Department opening mid-October. 

Thank you, Green and Gold Foundation!