Digital Design Center

Student stands wearing AR / VR headset and controllers.

The Digital Design Center (DDC) is a powerful example of the University of Minnesota's pursuit of bringing to life some of its best design and technology ideas, theories, and research in ways that have tangible impacts on the world.

Digital rendering of individuals wearing VR headsets in the Rapson Courtyard.
Two students use VR headsets in the Rapson Courtyard.
Student sits in chair while using VR equipment.

Welcome to the DDC

Person wearing a virtual reality device in a building courtyard

In 2002, University of Minnesota alumni Linda and Ted Johnson provided a generous gift dedicated to establishing interdisciplinary collaborations between our programs in computer science and design. Their vision was to provide the resources necessary for leading minds to explore and understand the intersections between the creative processes that underlay science and design.

That vision has led to a tremendously successful collaboration between the University’s Colleges of Science and Engineering and Design. Originally known as the Digital Design Consortium, and now called the Digital Design Center (DDC), that collaboration has produced a state-of-the-art program in virtual reality.

Funding Opportunities


Deadline: November 13, 2023

The Digital Design Center is offering a funding opportunity in 2023-2024. Awarded funds of up to $36,000 will support collaborative projects that contribute to advancing interdisciplinary understanding of the intertwining of virtual and physical space. The DDC expects to award up to four projects, each at the $36K level. There are two qualifications for project teams. First, a project team must be led by a tenured or tenure-track faculty member, serving as Principal Investigator, from an academic unit within either the College of Design or the College of Science and Engineering. Second, the College not represented by the PI must be represented by a co-PI from the other College (who must also be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member). Beyond the PI and co-PI, teams may include other members, including faculty, students and staff, from units within either College or from other units within the University. 

Proposals must be submitted via email, as an attached PDF file, by 5pm on November 13, 2023. Submit proposals to Mike Christenson, Director of the Digital Design Center. All qualifying proposals that are received by the stated deadline will be reviewed by a committee including faculty representatives from both Colleges. For complete proposal guidelines, or any other questions or clarifications, please contact Mike Christenson.

Student using AR / VR equipment

Building Connections, Building the Future