Nancy Richardson Design Center Ideation Lab

A Place for Learning

For students who want to be more creative in the ways they think about and solve meaningful problems, the Nancy Richardson Design Center is a unique and collaborative place where you will connect with others to help nurture your talents. You can:

  • Earn an undergraduate certificate in Design Thinking
  • Get real-world experience solving socially important problems
  • Use cutting-edge equipment to design and test ideas
  • Develop skills highly sought after by employers
  • Have fun exploring your ideas in a safe space and community

Undergraduate Certificate in Design Thinking - Register Now

The Certificate in Design Thinking will set you apart from others in your field. The certificate can be completed by students in any major and enhances your degree by strengthening skills in creativity and design. Design Thinking is NOT just for designers — all great innovators in art, literature, music, science, engineering, business, and other fields use it!

  1. IDEA 210: INTRODUCTION TO DESIGN THINKING (3 credits) - Offered Summer 2019 (first summer session) and Fall 2019

    Introduces students to design thinking, a method and paradigm for creative problem solving. Fulfills AUCC 3B. Classes offered Spring, Summer, and Fall. IDEA 210 is a required pre-requisite OR co-requisite for all IDEA 310 toolbox courses.

    Design thinking is a creative, flexible process that fosters innovation. This project-based course will help you build creative competence, with a new mindset and skillset to for innovation. Develop compelling ideas for meaningful societal and marketplace impact in this interdisciplinary course. In this program, you’ll learn problem-solving strategies from industry experts to increase your earning potential.
  2. IDEA 310 DESIGN THINKING TOOLBOX (choose 5 credits from subtopics – each subtopic is 1 or 2 credits)
    • IDEA 310A: Paper Fabrication (1 credit)
    • IDEA 310B: 3D Modeling (2 credits) - offered Summer 2019 (first summer session) and Fall 2019 (first eight weeks of the semester)
    • IDEA 310C: Advanced 3D Modeling (2 credits) - offered Fall 2019 (second eight weeks of the semester)
    • IDEA 310D: Digital Imaging (1 credit) - offered Fall 2019
    • IDEA 310E: Wood Fabrication (2 credits)
    • IDEA 310F: Textiles (1 credit) - offered Summer 2019 (second summer session)
    • IDEA 310G: Infographics (1 credit)
  3. IDEA 450: DESIGN THINKING COLLABORATIVE (4 credits) - offered Fall 2019

    A studio-format course offering a culminating experience. Students work in small interdisciplinary teams with industry or community partners to propose solutions for real-world projects. 3 credits of IDEA 310 is a required pre-requisite for IDEA 450.

    The Certificate in Design Thinking launched Spring 2019. Please contact Sarah Badding at to learn more about enrolling in upcoming courses.