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College of Design

The College

"What if..."

Spunk Design Machine, who developed the new College of Design identity in collaboration with college faculty and staff, projected images from the identity on the exterior wall of Rapson HallThe University of Minnesota's College of Design (CDes) trains design leaders. Our students, researchers, and faculty design with a social conscience and work to advance the quality and value of natural and designed environments while contributing to the betterment of the economic, social, and environmental realms of society.


The What if... tagline attracts and reflects the curious minds that the College of Design recruits and enrolls. Through socially conscious design, What if... questions become reality. The theme also complements the University's Driven to Discover campaign.


What if... questions, specific to the College of Design, as well as to each program and research center, will be developed on an ongoing basis to convey the distinctive areas of excellence and core values of CDes. What If... questions reflect the design process while simultaneously conveying the individual messages and missions of each discipline.

  • What if photography could provide a new way to view architecture?
  • What if prosthetics could be constructed cheaply?
  • What if we could foretell the future of retailing?
  • What if we could end homelessness?
  • What if shopping could positively affect the Earth?
  • What if awnings could save energy?
  • What if mining pits and piles could be transformed into lakes and landscapes?
  • What if every landscape design used native plants and captured storm water on-site?
  • What if denim were sustainable?
  • What if our very survival depended upon design?