Design Camp students and councelors


About the Design Lab

The Design Lab is dedicated to teaching design as a way of thinking and delivering design education experiences to benefit the K-12 community and beyond. Through active partnerships with College of Design faculty, students, alumni, and friends, the Design Lab integrates collaborative, immersive, and interdisciplinary programming and resources for students and educators. We assert that design is a skill of everyday life, and seek to promote development of these skills for the betterment of the future.

Recent Features

pointer downAlumni Think Outside Traditional Design Firm Model

Alumni Think Outside Traditional Design Firm Model

pointer downA Winning Start

A Winning Start


As a part of its strategic mission, the Design Lab offers Pre-College programming for students who are interested in studying design at the college level. Current programs include Design Camp, Open Studio, Summer Studios, Weekend Workshops. If you are a student who is interested in design, these are opportunities not to be missed!

Design is a skill of everyday life, so it is important that K–12 educators have access to professional development opportunities and resources that will help them bring design education and design thinking into their classrooms. The Design Lab offers professional development programming for teachers in all subject areas and grade levels. Programs typically fall into one of two categories:

  • Education about design (How might I teach my students concepts and skills they would use to become designers?)
  • Education through design (How might I teach to meet curricular standards using concepts and skills such as design thinking and the design process?)

Learning about design as a way of thinking helps students apply skills in math, science, technology, reading, writing, and communication in and out of the classroom. We aim to help teachers immerse themselves in the practice of design thinking and the design process and bring this mastery into the classroom, expanding their students’ critical and creative thinking skills. In learning to think like designers, students ready themselves with the skills needed to confidently tackle the unforeseen problems of our rapidly evolving society in the 21st century.

As part of a major land-grant university, the Design Lab at NC State College of Design is committed to outreach, engagement and scholarship in K-12 design education. The Design Lab staff collaborate with College of Design faculty and staff, colleagues at NC State University, members of the North Carolina community, and K-12 design educators nationwide to support and contribute to the development and delivery of a variety of design education projects involving students kindergarten to 12th grade. As a hub for K-12 design education activity at the College of Design, the Design Lab is a resource for its faculty, staff, students, and affiliates interested in pursuing outreach, engagement and scholarship activities with K-12 students.