Design Studio

Design Studio is a studio-based course at the University of Michigan – Flint where students gain experience working with non-profit organizations, community partners, and/or on self-initiated community projects.

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We take a pedagogical approach which embraces the socially responsible design ethos, while critically examining the role (and effect) of design in the community. In the course, students are encouraged to critically analyze their role as designers, and the processes through which they arrive at solutions.


Students employ a problem solving protocol described as design thinking and embrace collaborative making and co-creation, highlighting the role of empathy in the design process. We work with – not for – our community partners.


Our collaborations with community partners manifests in many forms – from traditional graphic design (print, branding, publication design) to interaction design (web design, online oral archives, social media, and locative media) to place-based design (interpretive signage, public art intervention, landscape design, architecture, and community planning).


We are always down for collaboration.

Contact Design Studio director, Professor Benjamin Gaydos at gaydos[at]