Alumni and Friends

Richardson Design Center

Richardson Design Center

Colorado State University is excited to have broken ground on the new Richardson Design Center, just east of the new on-campus stadium on Lake Street. The 45,000-square-foot building is expected to open in January 2019. With the goal of advancing CSU’s design programs, the RDC will offer cutting-edge technology and inspiring spaces to encourage multi-disciplinary and hands-on learning. An iconic destination, the RDC will be a unique space that stimulates collaboration, encourages professional development, and ensures interdisciplinary learning to impact future leaders in comprehensive design industries.

Naming Gift Opportunities

Nancy and Curt Richardson

Making this facility possible are Nancy and Curt Richardson (pictured right), Otterbox and Blue Ocean co-founders, who have pledged $8 million to the facility, scheduled to open in early 2019. The $16.5 million project will provide a new state-of-the-art creative space for students and faculty in programs across campus, including interior design, design and merchandising, landscape architecture, art, engineering, product development, entrepreneurship, construction management, and others. Learn more about the Richardsons' transformational gift here.

For information about naming opportunities available in the Richardson Design Center, contact Kim Winger, Executive Director of Development, College of Health and Human Sciences at (970) 689-1365 or

Envisioning Collaboration

Expected to shine a light on several of CSU’s top undergraduate programs, the Richardson Design Center will house design studios, fabrication/prototype/ideation labs, presentation spaces, classrooms, and computer labs. The outdoor spaces, including the Inspiration Alley, the Oasis, the Park, and the Café Terrace will offer unique opportunities for alumni gatherings, tailgates, and student interaction. The video below provides a glimpse into the vision for this new facility.

Earlier design rendition

Richardson Design Center Director

Outdoor portrait of Laura Malinin

Laura Malinin, assistant professor of interior design in the Department of Design and Merchandising, serves as the director of the Richardson Design Center at CSU.

She is a registered architect (Texas) and cognitive scientist at CSU where she has received awards for teaching and research excellence. She holds an undergraduate degree in architecture and art and art history from Rice University, an M.Ed. in educational technology from the University of Texas, and a joint Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in design and planning through the College of Architecture and Planning and cognitive science through the Institute of Cognitive Science.

In the director role, Professor Malinin is leading the development of new curriculum in design thinking, including a certificate program. She will also identify and coordinate opportunities for interdisciplinary cooperation across CSU.

Read more about Professor Malinin here.

Innovative Hub

As CSU President Tony Frank describes, “The Richardson Design Center will position Colorado State University to become an innovative hub for design-thinking and entrepreneurship in the Rocky Mountain region. Integrating with our exceptional academic programs in design, engineering, business, and the arts, it will be a magnet for creativity, where talented students, faculty, and industry leaders gather to learn, discover, and design together.”

The Richardson Design Center will provide opportunities for cross-coordination and interdisciplinary learning across campus; recruiting the best scholars and innovators as design professors, lecturers, and industry guest faculty; and strengthening design programming and national reputation through the integration of real-world working scenarios and applications in a state-of-the-art facility.

Students from multiple disciplines will come together in the Richardson Design Center to create, innovate, and collaborate in an open and immersive design community. As our lead donor and alumna, Nancy Richardson (housing and interior environment, '82), further explains, “Design touches everybody, whether they recognize it or not. In our journey as entrepreneurs, Curt and I experienced first-hand the tangible benefits of multidisciplinary project management, and we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to encourage that same approach in design education at CSU.”

Industry Partners

Maja Rosenquist, Sr. VP and General Manager, Mortenson Denver Operating Group
I believe a multidisciplinary approach that is envisioned in the Richardson Design Center is one example of how CSU continues to prepare students to enter our construction industry. Our work at Mortenson is about problem solving. We believe engaging students from various design and construction majors will enhance their problem solving experiences and set them up for future careers.

Greg Schmidt, President and CEO, Saunders
We are pleased to be involved in the planning and construction of the new Richardson Design Center on the CSU campus. The faculty, staff and industry professionals who have helped shape the vision of this new center are absolutely correct to create space for multidisciplinary training of the next generation of designers, engineers, and construction professionals. This sort of collaboration in the educational environment more closely simulates what students will experience as they start their careers in the design and construction industry, and will make them an even more valuable asset to firms in this region.

Thriving for the Future

The Richardson Design Center will create space to grow CSU’s design-related fields of study, with anticipated new courses, a potential minor in design, and a critical tool in recruiting the best and brightest students to CSU. The goal is to make CSU one of the top 10 schools in the country for design. The Richardson Design Center will be more than a building. It will be a place for University-wide collaboration and interdisciplinary learning that sparks invention and empowers creativity. It will draw students, faculty, alumni, and the community and provide a unique face of the University. Ultimately, the Richardson Design Center will enrich CSU’s land-grant mission to provide the best in access, opportunity, and cutting-edge resources for talented, well rounded students and will help them launch careers as pioneers in innovative industries and communities.