University Design Center

Our Partners

University Design Center at Ball State partners with Building Better Communities, design firms, and other businesses to enhance student learning and to create an interaction with designers and community partners. A partnership with us is a cooperative relationship between students and professionals, pooling together ideas to create an effective solution. This gives the partner the opportunity to develop a relationship with the community partner and potentially be hired by them, to see the finished project through to the end.

Additionally, we work closely with Ball State departments where students share common knowledge. Students of architecture, construction management, and art may be brought into the team of interior design students to collaborate on a specific project.

Design Firms

We partner with IDO, an architecture and interior design firm in Indianapolis. Each firm has a unique focus and specialty. Depending on the project type, we ask one of these firms to partner with us for the particular project. Subsequently, the employees from the design firm will help the students by participating in the critique, presentations, and providing feedback to students, while they are working on the project. This will provide our community partner an opportunity to hear and interact with professional designers, while they are providing feedback to our students.

Building Better Communities

Building Better Communities is a division of Ball State University. BBC provides comprehensive services to community partners across Indiana by connecting them with Ball State University’s expertise and resources. Through our Building Better Communities Fellows program, teams of students work with communities, businesses, and government agencies to develop real-world solutions to real-world problems.We call this immersive learning, the hallmark of a Ball State education.

Industry Partners

We work closely with many industry partners such as Kimball Office Furniture, USG, and others. Partnership with these industries will provide our community partners with a fresh outlook on the products proposed by the students. Depending on the scope and needs for the project, we invite representative of these companies to work with the students closely to meet the community partners’ needs and budget, attend brainstorming sessions with the students, and come to our presentations to provide feedback related to use of their product in your design.

Depending on the scope and needs for the project, we invite representatives of these companies to work with the students closely to meet the community partners’ needs and budget, attend brainstorming sessions with the students, and come to our presentations to provide feedback related to use of their product in your design.

The Process

Here are the steps after review of your requirements and understanding the issues with your space and scope of the project:

1. A faculty member will set up a time with you to walk through the space, take photographs, and ask additional questions.

2. We will then set up a time for the students’ initial visit/interview, subsequent visits (if needed), two to four presentations given by the students. The presentations may be done at your location and/or on the Ball State campus, sometimes if needed via video conferencing.

3. After step 1 and 2, Building Better Communities will then draft a proposal and forward it on to you for revisions and/or approval. The proposal will cover key players, purpose of the project, goals, project deliverables, and project timeline.