The College of Design offers three learning communities for first-year design students to participate in, allowing them to explore the varied dimensions of the design disciplines and professions while building relationships with peers.
The Design Exchange and Design Collaborative communities are required for first-year students, who can choose one of the two to participate in. The third learning community is BUILD: Building Up Inclusive Leadership in Design, an optional learning community for first-year and transferring BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ undergraduate students.
The Design Exchange is a year-long, residential community housed in Friley and Linden Halls.
An upper-class design student, who serves as a mentor, lives on the same floor to answer your questions, and you can work in a studio space designated for Design Exchange participants. Throughout the year, you may take part in academic and social activities arranged by a peer mentor as well as field trips to design firms and art museums, and workshops geared toward helping you learn more about the different design disciplines and career options.
This learning community is accompanied by a required orientation seminar course (DSN S 110).
The Design Collaborative is a one-semester, non-residential community required for all first-year students who are not enrolled in the Design Exchange. It allows you to connect with peers and faculty members, expand your knowledge of the various majors in the College of Design, and enhance the skills you’ll need to succeed as a design student. This learning community is accompanied by a required orientation seminar course (DSN S 115).
BUILD: Building Up Inclusive Leadership in Design
The Building Up Inclusive Leadership in Design (BUILD) learning community is designed to aid first-year and transferring BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ undergraduates (BUILD mentees) in the successful transition to college and completion of the Core Design Program by pairing each new student with an upper-class student (BUILD peer mentor) in their intended major.
Peer mentors provide academic, cultural, and social support, guidance, and encouragement to students throughout their first-year experience in the College of Design.
Benefits of BUILD
- Work one-on-one with a peer mentor to help you successfully complete the Design Core program.
- Attend fun monthly social events to build community and strong connections.
- Meet twice a month with your mentor to discuss academic and social connections.
- Learn the basic software and programs needed for the various majors.
- Build a strong network of peers to support you through your academic journey.
A Cyclone in the Making
Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.