The systems, structures, spaces, and tools we rely on as a society are built on design-thinking principles. As designers, we have the power to address the biggest challenges of our time. As a community, we can influence people's lives and rely on our commitments to creativity, equity, sustainability, and new technologies to enact change for good.
As one of the most comprehensive design colleges in the country, we prepare our students to confront grand challenges through the application of the design-thinking process. Our students and alumni use their design education to make a positive change in the world.
Design thinking is a five-step iterative process for creating solutions that prioritize the user. Each of the five phases—Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test—offer design teams the opportunity to more deeply understand their users by challenging assumptions, redefining the problem, and developing new ideas to mock up and test.
Design in Action
A new freshman seminar class, Dare to Repair, centers on the idea that climate solutions can be joyful and teaches students from across the University of Minnesota to embrace the power of repair as a personal tool, means to foster community, and agent for positive change.
Science can and should be accessible to all according to the Science Communication Lab at the University of Minnesota. Founded to provide interdisciplinary internship opportunities, the lab consistently attracts College of Design undergraduate students interested in making complex research and scientific topics more accessible.