What started as a gift became a vision of the future
In 2014, alumna Nancy Richardson had an idea. She wanted to help CSU through a donation, to creatively address an unmet need and to explore new opportunities. Thus began a series of meetings, visioning sessions, and conversations that ultimately led to the opening of the Nancy Richardson Design Center in January of 2019.
The RDC is available to the entire campus, not just design students. From my experience, I know that all students can really benefit from the curriculum.
Our Strat-Op brought together a team of 20 faculty, staff, students, alumni, design, and construction professionals from the Denver metro area. During the process, we realized the need for a new building to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations as well as provide greater visibility for design on campus, thus inviting and encouraging students from all programs to engage in design-thinking activities. Instead of programs and schools that are typically siloed and geographically distributed across campus, the RDC would become the hub for cross-disciplinary collaborations. This idea was so exciting, it grew until we had the funding and support to make it a reality.
Where our paths intersect, lies opportunity to learn from each other
Deciding where the RDC would be constructed led to inspiration. There was a natural path across campus that cut diagonally through a parking lot. The architects took note of this and preserved the path by building the RDC around it. Inspiration Alley, as it would come to be known, intentionally welcomes everyone to walk through the RDC and experience the space.
The construction process exemplified the RDC objective
Embracing the premise of design-thinking before we even knew it would be integral to the RDC, our visioning team grew progressively over the four years. With a collaborative spirit, a team of 12 grew to 82 and encompassed the audience we aimed to serve: students, faculty, CSU administration, industry, and community.