DI Educational Programs

If you are a CU Denver students, faculty, or member of the community in Denver, greater Colorado, or beyond, you have a place at the CU Denver’s Comcast Media & Technology Center (CMTC).

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you or your organization turn its challenges into opportunities for success.


A program that helps organizations use design thinking and systems thinking as tools for strategic impact and organizational transformation. DI focuses on People, Process, Methods, and Principles. The Design Innovation (DI) approach starts with a focus on what the user and organization really need and wants. Our design process is user-centered and includes the execution of specific, flexible, and adaptable design methods. DI mindsets are an aggregation of inspirations, motivations, attitudes, and dispositions. DI principles are the foundations – the designer’s and innovator’s heart, mind, and soul — cherished and adopted into our design community and the organization via execution of DI sprints and Lean Start-up iteration through the methods and process.

Three elements make-up DI@Denver:

DI Professional Development Workshops and Boot Camps (Design Education) for professionals and organizations

DI Guidance – Mentorship and Co-Creation Projects with enterprise partners

Incubation, Intrepreneurship, and Entrepreneurship

DI Professional Development Workshops and Boot Camps: To help promote creative problem solving, we offer skills-based courses to help individuals, teams, and organizations to Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver their Design Innovation aspirations. We encourage organizations to send participants in groups to ensure the entire team acquire the same expertise and share the same language in Design Innovation. These modules (courses) are explicitly designed to help various roles in Design Innovation projects and would be highly relevant for leaders, managers, and implementers of any DI projects.

DI AWARENESS
Design Innovation (DI) Awareness (1 Day) –
Participants who are keen to gain a quick overview and immersive experience of Design Innovation and/or starting out on the Design Innovation journey.

DI LEADERSHIP
Design Innovation (DI) Leadership (2 Day) –
Managers or leaders who are strategizing or leading Design Innovation projects.

DI BOOTCAMP
Design Innovation (DI) Boot Camp (3 Day) –
Managers, leaders, and / or doers (and even users) tasked to explore, plan or/and implement
Design Innovation projects.

Design Innovation Guidance – Mentoring and Co-Creation Projects:

Design innovation helps enterprises to better identify, understand, and address the opportunities-problems that their businesses, customers, and users face. With a focus on delighting the end-users, design innovation will help increase brand awareness and brand loyalty, which translates to increased sales turnover. Design innovation allows enterprises to avoid huge resource investment into solutions that ultimately would not work because it keeps input flowing early and often and encourages the business leaders to incorporate that input in their process and thus increasing business competitiveness. DI Guidance Projects are typically carried out over a 3-12 month duration and are project-centered.


Est. Funding and Resources Needed:

For DI Professional Development, $500-$1,500 per day per participant for DI AWARENESS, DI LEADERSHIP, and DI BOOT CAMP, assuming a minimum number of participants. Rates are negotiable with each enterprise partner. For DI GUIDANCE, projects are negotiated on a case-by-case basis depending on the devoted time of personnel, prototyping costs, and facilities. Projects typically run from $10k to $500k.

Benefits to Donor or Organization:

The program aims at empowering participants and organizations with an extensive arsenal of advanced design, systems, and engineering methods that will allow them to work on real-life design opportunity statements, producing functional prototypes, system-service architectures, and implementation plans.

A key learning element of the College of Engineering, Design, and Computing (CEDC) is the Capstone project for all students. The capstone project aims to crystallize design innovation skills, disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and skills in our students, giving them a cumulative mastery of all their learning experiences at CU Denver. Capstone projects bring together students from across the College to work in design innovation teams, contributing their respective expertise, skills, and mindsets to solve real-world, industry- and enterprise-sponsored challenges. It also provides students with a realistic design opportunity and situation where projects span multiple disciplines and require team-based efforts to develop creative solutions.


Est. Funding and Resources Needed:

Student-centered funding and resources are needed to support the students’ development and prototyping costs, students’ interactions with and delivery to sponsors, administration of the course, and collaborations with sponsors, and facilities. Funded capstone projects may be in the range of $5,000-$10,000 per design team, plus new prototyping and testing costs as needed.

Benefits to Donor or Organization:

Investing in the youth, innovators, and leaders of the future; pipeline for attracting the next generation of engineering graduates to the sponsoring organization; innovative and tested concepts and ideas for strategic opportunities and problems of the sponsoring organization and marketplace.

The College of Engineering, Design, and Computing (CEDC) at CU Denver, in conjunction with the CMTC, is uniquely situated to offer the unique and state-of-the-art capability and projects in Additive Manufacturing (AM, 3D Printing). Support in this area will be for students, and faculty-led projects as additive manufacturing (AM) has matured rapidly in the past decade and has made significant progress towards reliable and repeatable manufacturing processes. The technology opens the doors for new types of innovation in product-service-system development. We provide a design process framework, and technology advancements, to explore these newly enabled design spaces. Significant work has been done to understand how to make existing products and components additively manufacturable, yet there still exists an opportunity to understand how AM can be leveraged from the very outset of the design process. Beyond end-use products, AM-enabled opportunities include an enhanced design process using AM, new business models enabled by AM, and the production of new AM technologies. We build on our foundation work in formalized design principles for AM, AM process capabilities, and AM fabrication. Our Design Innovation with Additive Manufacturing (DIwAM) methodology, through the combination of principles and methods under our DI framework, helps organizations better identify and realize new innovations enabled by AM.


Est. Funding and Resources Needed:

Funding would support undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, facilities, materials, and supplies. Project funding and resource needs are determined on a case-by-case basis. However, undergraduate and graduate student funding is needed in terms of scholarships, fellowships, etc.

Benefits to Donor or Organization:

Pipeline of talent in emerging and next-generation technology and skillsets; creation of new products, processes, services, and technology for differential offerings in the marketplace.

This program introduces students to contemporary principles, methods, processes, and practices of engineering design. Through a series of engaging interdisciplinary projects, workshops and exercises, students experience design and learn critical design innovation skillsets and mindsets for their future careers. These skill sets and mindsets include systems design, working with available technology, interdisciplinary design team interaction, human-centered design, design ideation, learn startup methodologies, design tradeoffs, iterative design, prototype design, and project management. Projects for the course will align with the strategic themes of the CEDC, such as Healthcare and Urbanism, and are human- and user-experience centered.


Est. Funding and Resources Needed:

Student-centered funding and resources are needed to support the students’ development and prototyping costs, students’ interactions with users, administration of the course, and collaborations with sponsors, and facilities. Funded sections of the course (approximately 50 students) need $10,000 – $50,000. Themes may be chosen for sections or teams.

Benefits to Donor or Organization:

Investing in the youth, innovators, and leaders of the future; pipeline, started very early on, for attracting the next generation of engineering graduates to the sponsoring organization; innovative and tested concepts and ideas for the program themes.

 

The CEDC offers several workforce development programs. Companies that provide traditional internships can recruit directly through the College to access students in advance of hiring timelines across the industry. Partners can also build intentional pipelines of future employees through co-operative educational programming and on-campus apprenticeships. The co-op program is a year-long experience where students work on-site for their employer, typically but not exclusively in their senior year. CEDC staff can help recruit and train students to enter co-op positions and offer opportunities to train new hires and their supervisors in Design Innovation. On-campus apprenticeships are similar to a co-op, but students do sponsored work on the UC Denver campus and are paid through the University, rather than through the sponsoring organization’s payroll. Students are then covered by the University’s workers compensation and supervised jointly between the organization and a CEDC staff or faculty member. The CMTC hosts up to 20 apprenticeships per year, employing students across many disciplines. The students work on industry-sponsored projects with supervision from high-level design experts and build professional-level portfolios to help them launch vibrant careers.


Est. Funding and Resources Needed:

Co-operative Education programs vary in cost based on the type of recruiting required and chosen training packages. The base cost is $5000 to run a customized recruitment campaign within the CEDC. Co-op and graduate recruiting offers the addition of a full-day Design Innovation training for all new hires and, if requested, their new supervisors. This is at a cost of $1000/per individual.

Benefits to Donor or Organization:

Early engagement with your future workforce; pipeline for attracting and vetting the next generation of engineering graduates; give students real-world experience prior to graduation

The Comcast Media and Technology Center, as Colleges seeks to make available a variety of undergraduate scholarships, provides students with valuable active learning experiences in the areas of research, creative works, and other initiatives. The generous funds from industry partners, alumni contacts, and other donors, directly supports the education of next-generation, versatile, and interdisciplinary professionals. Scholarships are intended to recruit highly qualified students from a diverse set of backgrounds and life experiences while enabling the students to innovate, obtain differential design and computing skills, and realize their aspirations as they co-own their education for the future.


Est. Funding and Resources Needed:

Student-centered funding and resources are needed to attract and support students throughout their educational experiences at the CMTC.

Benefits to Donor or Organization:

Investing in the youth, innovators, and leaders of the future; pipeline for attracting the next generation of engineering graduates; investment in social innovation for Denver, Colorado, and beyond.

A voluntary and outside-the-classroom mentorship and training program, led by the College of Engineering, Design, and Computing (CEDC) at CU Denver in conjunction with the CMTC, where students learn and apply principles of human-centric design to unleash innovation and social awareness, bridging the gap between theory, practice, and making a difference in communities. This is accomplished as the student participants (1) network with professionals from top public and private enterprises, as well academia, as mentors; (2) acquire design, computing and technical skills that are highly in demand by the knowledge- and innovation-based workforce; and (3) contribute to the betterment of society and touch the hearts of people through meaningful and impactful work. We offer three different and distinctive program, each of them thoughtfully designed to benefit students with different goals:

Social Innovation DRIVE
Recommended for students who have the desire to create, discover, and explore the path of social innovation and entrepreneurship (9-12 months);

Social Innovation LEAD
Recommended for students who are keen to develop their portfolio through a unique leadership experience; to inspire teachers and students from other institutions (such as K-12), working with them on social innovation projects through in-depth mentorship (6-12 months);

Enterprise Innovation
Opportunities for extended interaction with industry, recommended for students who would like to challenge their design acumen and work on real-world design projects on campus, followed by an internship with the enterprise.


Est. Funding and Resources Needed:

Student-centered funding and resources are needed for prototyping materials and supplies, delivery of skillset and mindset development workshops, evolution of learning modules, mentor and enterprise events, facilities, partnerships with K-12 institutions, and administration of the program; approximate costs $2,500-$5,000 per student per year; for 100 students, $250,000 – $500,000; donations and support can be provided in any amount.

Benefits to Donor or Organization:

Investing in the youth, innovators, and leaders of the future; pipeline for attracting the next generation of engineering graduates to the sponsoring organization; investment in social innovation for Denver, Colorado, and beyond.

A community-based, interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship program that blends creative, analytical, and entrepreneurial processes, methods, and principles (design innovation) to train our next generation of creative entrepreneurs and create scalable businesses to advance Colorado’s economy. This program capitalizes on the unique opportunity that exists to develop next-generation technology, services, and systems by leveraging the interdisciplinary, untapped startup potential of CU Denver students, local professionals, and mentors while developing future-ready skills and innovative mindsets in design innovation. Three primary units at the University of Colorado Denver form the foundation of the DESIGN HORIZONS program: College of Engineering, Design and Computing; College of Arts and Media; and the School of Business (Jake Jabs Entrepreneurship Center), where the interdisciplinary university center, the Comcast Media and Technology Center, drives the program’s operations and administration.


Est. Funding and Resources Needed:

Funding would support stipends for student program participants, as well as faculty, facilities, materials, and supplies to deliver programming and support the use of maker-X facility spaces for prototyping on the CU Denver campus. In addition, mentors and potential investors from the community and industry are needed for projects and participants; this engagement is an opportunity to work with young entrepreneurs and participate in pitch events. An individual participant can be supported with $4,000, or a full design team can be supported with $10,000-$15,000 inclusive of prototyping equipment and supplies. Sponsorship and donations for DESIGN HORIZONS’ themes and major subprograms may also be discussed and explored.

Benefits to Donor or Organization:

Investing in the youth, innovators, and leaders of the future in creative and technical industries; pipeline for attracting the next generation of engineering graduates to the sponsoring organization; innovative and tested business concepts for strategic interdisciplinary opportunities and problems of the sponsoring organization and marketplace.

The purpose of this program is to bring public art projects to the CMTC. By responding to “call for entries” from Denver Arts and Venues and other organizations, the CMTC hopes to leverage its expertise in Design Innovation (DI) methods and apply those concepts to impactful community-centered creative projects. Participation in Denver’s thriving art community will increase the CMTC’s profile, highlight our emphasis on interdisciplinary design, and showcase our staff’s ability to create meaningful user-focused experiences. Public art opportunities will also allow students to bridge the gap between theory and practice, provide real work experience, mentorship, and a chance to apply the principles of human-centric design. All while contributing positively to the Denver community.


Est. Funding and Resources Needed:

Student-centered funding and resources are needed to initiate design, development, and prototyping for accepted public art projects. Monies will directly support students’ interactions with users, design costs, facilities use, and project overhead.

Benefits to Donor or Organization:

Investing in opportunities give student’s practical experience in their chosen field and represents an investment in social innovation in Denver.

In today’s world, intuitions, employers, and organizations must be laser-focused on retaining talent to be successful. A vital tool for organizations interested in retention is to provide opportunities for individuals to grow and understand the hidden pathways that exist and how to navigate them. Having the space and time to find out what is wanted out of life and a career, works to galvanize and gives agency to individuals who may be wavering or don’t have confidence in their path. The Design Your Life (DYL) @Denver offers participants a chance to process, reflect, share, and plan their most ideal professional path. Perfect for individuals who consider themselves to be future shapers and are passionate about building their most ideal work-life, DYL@CU Denver offers learning opportunities that bring people together to collaborate and learn how to design a career that is both meaningful and fulfilling. The program utilizes a series of exercises to provide individuals with a sense of structure in their lives. These creative and thought-provoking actives allow participants to reflect on their experiences and determine what they should do with their future. Design Your Life has been adopted into the world-renowned Stanford-D Lab, where bestselling authors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans work to train individuals from around the world to design their best lives.


Est. Funding and Resources Needed:

Funding would support undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, facilities, materials, and supplies. Project funding and resource needs are determined on a case-by-case basis. However, undergraduate and graduate student funding is needed in terms of scholarships, fellowships, etc. The Center also facilitates and sponsors student organizations and student initiatives across the CU Denver campus and programs.

Benefits to Donor or Organization:

Investing in the youth, innovators, and leaders of the future in creative and technical industries.