Sponsored Projects



Quality Education
Next to an internship experience, projects enhance the Center for Design Research educational experience by providing opportunities to experience a level of critique and interaction from outside sources that emulates a professional environment, better preparing students for professional practice.

Center for Design Research sponsored projects provide students with first-hand exposure and access to various career opportunities in design. Projects help familiarize companies and students with each other prior to graduation, thereby allowing company liaisons access to the “up-and-comers.”

Financial Support
In addition to providing direct expense support for the students, projects also provide much-needed unrestricted dollars for general support of the institution. (On-going project sponsorship with large corporations has been crucial to developing and securing major gifts.)

Revitalize sponsor personnel
Center for Design Research provides sponsors with opportunities to revitalize their personnel by providing access to the conceptual creativity of a group of talented and diverse students and faculty members.

Promote good design
Sponsored projects provide an opportunity for sponsor, school, faculty, and students to promote the value of good design and their respective participation in the collaborative project by developing publicity directed to the public, industry and/or government.

Projects provide the majority of publicity for Center for Design Research and our students, which is very important in attracting prospective students; project publicity provides opportunities for students to have published work in their portfolios.


Educational Content
The education content of the project must enhance the educational objectives of the design program and the class to which it is assigned.

The project must be non-profit, one that cannot be construed to be exploitative of our students or faculty with the intent to secure marketable design.

Any project that is directly related to the on-going design activity of a company would be a design-for-hire project that rightly belongs to a professional designer. Within the context of this educational institution, neither students nor faculty are for hire.

Student interaction with sponsor
The project must be organized to provide interaction of students with sponsoring personnel appropriate to the nature of the project, such as management, marketing, engineering, human factors, technical specialists and designers.

These contacts would normally include three visits by the sponsor to the school and/or visits by the faculty and students to the sponsor’s facilities.

A 14-week project must have a minimum of three meetings with students and sponsors: to initiate the project, a mid-point review, and the final presentation and review.

Faculty participation
The faculty would participate in the following ways:

  • Assist the sponsor in developing a project brief that is challenging and appropriate to the educational goals of the class
  • Work in concert with the sponsor, develop a timeline and visitation schedule
  • Manage sponsor communications and meeting with students
  • Supervise field trips as appropriate
  • Cooperate with project publicity when possible

Sponsor participation
The sponsor would participate in the following ways:

  • Provide information relevant to the project in technology, marketing and other areas as appropriate
  • In addition to providing a liaison to the instructor and college, other key design, technical and marketing staff should be available for additional data during the three visits
  • Provide for the direct expenses of the student as well as a matching grant to support the design program
  • Publicize the results of the project

Assuming the results of the collaboration are satisfactory, the sponsor may publicize the design, with proper credit given to the students, faculty, photographer and college.

The sponsor may distribute the information to the educational community, industry, public, and/or government as appropriate.


The primary contribution to Center for Design Research is the educational value of the visits and interaction of students, faculty and sponsor personnel.

The secondary value lies in financial support for direct expenses incurred by the students, with a matching grant in support of the design program, facilities and equipment.

The final level of contribution is the publicity for the student, sponsor and school resulting from the collaboration.

For more information on how you might become involved in a Classroom Sponsored Project, please contact the Director, Gregory Thomas at the information found on our Contact page.


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