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Weekend Workshops

The Design Lab offers Weekend Workshops for high school students at our Design Lab studio here at the College of Design. Our workshops are brief, immersive design education experiences, offering a wide range of opportunities for teens interested in design. From skill-building to design thinking to concept-based projects to interdisciplinary design mash-ups and more, our talented instructors guide students in developing knowledge and experience in their focus area. Please continue to visit our website from time to time to learn about new workshops and programs we’re offering.

Fall 2023 // Weekend Workshops

Registration Opens Wednesday, September 27 at 8:00am // See the Link Below to Access our Registration System

The Design Lab is excited to offer seven discipline-specific, in-person, Weekend Workshops this spring. Each workshop will take place on Saturdays from 9:00am – 4:00pm with a one hour break at noon for lunch. See the weekend workshop schedule below. Students can register any time between September 27 and one week in advance of each workshop, and students can register for as many weekend workshops as they are interested in.

Workshops will introduce students to design thinking and the design process through challenge-based activities. Through these workshops, students will have the opportunity to develop a better understanding of our designed world and find answer to these questions: What is design? How do designers think?

Please send questions to Thanks!

Weekend Workshop Schedule // Fall 2023

Saturdays from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Middle School Workshops

Game Design: It’s Only a Game

Making a good game can be challenging. It requires a good design sense – what works, how it works, having a compelling story, thinking creatively to solve problems that may have more than one answer. Getting started making games should be simple and focused on creating engaging, memorable experiences that others can enjoy. This is an entry-level workshop on making games. No previous experience needed. We will learn what it takes to make a good game, and make games ourselves. By the end of the day you will have a game that others can play.

  • Grade Range: 6th – 8th Grade
  • Total Seats: 20
  • Cost: $60

Instructor // Hal Meeks

Hal Meeks has a Master’s in Art and Design and is currently working on his PhD at NC State University. He teaches classes in the College of Humanities. His background is in film and video production, particularly applied to digital media. He has an extensive vintage video game collection. His interests include art and design (naturally!), photography, architecture, old science fiction movies and coffee. He has a dog named Jodie that is almost as smart as he is.

Design & Delight: The Form Packaging Experience

Come join our exciting studio focused on form and packaging design! Get ready for a fun adventure where you’ll create visually scrumptious chocolates and cool packaging. We’ll spice things up by throwing in some random human attributes to inspire your designs.

You will get your hands dirty with prototyping and crafting along with brainstorming, form ideation, material selection and a bit of designing graphics. This project is all about letting your creativity flow and learning some handy design skills and is a great workshop for any student who loves to think outside the “box”, wants hands-on experience with prototyping, and wants to explore their creative side.

  • Grade Range: 6th – 8th Grade
  • Total Seats: 18
  • Cost: $75

Instructors // Anjali Upadhyay & Namita Sabnis

Hello, I’m Anjali Upadhyay, and I’m currently immersed in the world of design as a graduate student pursuing a Master of Industrial Design with a focus on Human-Centered Technology Design at North Carolina State University. My educational journey began with a bachelor’s degree in Automobile Engineering, which has provided me with a distinctive outlook on the design process, allowing me to merge aesthetics and functionality harmoniously. As a true car enthusiast, I channel my love for automobiles into captivating sketches and engaging discussions. Beyond the realm of design, I find solace in photography and painting, where I let my creativity flow freely.
Hey! I am Namita Sabnis. I am pursuing my master in Industrial Design at NC State University. I did my undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering in India and in my last year, I realized that I wanted to focus on how a product would look – the form, the feel, the user experience – rather than how the product works, and this led me to divert my career path to design. I love to sketch forms and play around with colors to create visually appealing, well-functioning products.

High School Workshops

Last Angles: Experimenting with different ways of thinking to approach footwear

In this workshop students will approach thinking about footwear design from design perspectives outside of Industrial Design. The goal of this workshop is to learn how other disciplines think and approach footwear from that angle. The focus will be for students to learn design thinking, design process, and footwear design process. Be prepared for interesting design constraints.. 🙂

  • Grade Range: 9th – 12th Grade
  • Total Seats: 20
  • Cost: $75

Instructor // Joshua Wall

Joshua Wall is an alumni of the NC State Industrial Design program. He is a husband, father, and thinker from a small place called Havelock, NC. He currently works as a freelance footwear designer with about 3-4 years of professional footwear design experience.

Industrial Design // Toy Design: Crafting Emotions

Experience the magical world of toy design! In this workshop students will engage the five senses and explore their connections with human emotions. Through focus group research, mind-mapping, sketching, and prototyping participants will explore the psychological aspects of diverse materials, shapes, and colors. 

Students will be introduced to the steps of human centered design process and emotional design. This one-day hands-on workshop promises a sensory journey of learning how user experience is applied in the industrial design field. The “Toy Design: Crafting Emotions” workshop is a unique opportunity to understand how design impacts people’s lives, and reflecting on the emotional connection to toys.

  • Grade Range: 9th – 12th Grade
  • Total Seats: 15
  • Cost: $75

Instructor // Gabriela Veiga da Silva

Hi! My name is Gabriela Veiga, I am 29 years old, I am from Brazil and I am an industrial design Master’s student at NCSU. I have been studying industrial, graphic, animation, and fashion for the last few years. A little bit of everything.
I also developed research about license, merchandising, and mixed media. In my search for what creates a better design experience, I ended up creating a design mix media methodology.
I have a very diverse background and studied different design, marketing, psychology, and art fields. 

When we develop a product or a service it needs to assist people’s needs and provide the best experience that they can have. I believe that everything that we create is to share a little bit of our views and make the world a better place.

Architecture: Designing Light and Shadow

In this workshop, students will engage in a multi-step process of design, research, schematic design, and final product for a small cubic space that creatively uses openings in order to diffuse and amplify directional light. The distinct purpose of the space is to establish mood, context and setting. Students will travel to a space on campus in order to draw a space from direct observation that they can reference for elements of design in the schematic design stage of the project. 

They will explore the following principles, including attention to types of openings/windows/cuts, overhead, high/low, vertical/horizontal, wide/narrow, center/corners, shape, size, distance and direction of the light source, color/temperature of light, diffusion of light, and reflection of light on surrounding surfaces.

  • Grade Range: 9th – 12th Grade
  • Total Seats: 20
  • Cost: $80

Instructors // Cynthia Cukiernik & Victoria Rodriguez

Cynthia Cukiernik is from Pfafftown, North Carolina. She attended the UNCSA high-school visual arts program before getting her BA in Cultural Anthropology and Minor in Studio Art from UNC Greensboro. She has ten years experience as a teaching artist and has taught both visual and performing arts. Cynthia is in the Master of Landscape Architecture program at NC State, where she is especially interested in social and environmental justice. She loves to spend time outside hiking, traveling, and gardening.
Victoria Rodriguez is from West Hartford, Connecticut. She obtains her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture from UNC Greensboro. After graduation she worked as an Interior Designer for 2 years and is currently in her second year Master of Architecture program at NC State. Victoria is interested in functional design of buildings and space to meet the needs and requirements of the people who will use it. She has experience as a teachers assistance in Design Camp 2023 and looks forward to continuing her journey as an instructor in upcoming weekend workshops.

Enchanted Realms: Designing Fantasy Worlds in Two-Point Perspective with Design, Ideation and Creative Storytelling

In this workshop, participants will embark on a journey into the realm of fantasy environment design, guided by the principles of two-point perspective. Throughout this immersive experience, attendees will harness the power of the design process, ideation techniques, creative thinking, and visual storytelling. The primary focus will be on the art of crafting enchanting landscapes that transport viewers to fantastical realms.

Students will also refine their skills in creating intricate and spellbinding small-scale detail drawings, with a special emphasis on textures and the inclusion of magical artifacts to breathe life into their creations. These meticulously crafted drawings will find their home on professional-grade paper, ensuring they are portfolio-ready for upcoming projects and presentations. As the workshop unfolds, participants will glean invaluable insights into the efficient techniques for conceptualizing and illustrating captivating fantasy environments on a smaller canvas, all while honing their artistic skills.

  • Grade Range: 9th – 12th Grade
  • Total Seats: 20
  • Cost: $70

Instructor // Gabrielle Edwards

Hello! My name is Gabrielle and I’m a recent graduate of the Masters of Art and Design Program at NC State University. I studied environmental lighting and color theory, gained a deeper foundation in drawing and design, and experimented with VR and AR while attending NC State. Recently, I have begun pursuing my dream of becoming a full time professional artist in painting and I am very excited to work with students again. In my spare time, I love visiting art museums, nature walks, and playing with my dog Ella. I am very excited to work with arriving creatives to help them reach their full potential and develop their self-confidence in their art and design abilities.

Building a Brand: Making Subscription Box Designs

How do you take something you’re passionate about, and make it so that others just HAVE to have it? Think about all of the brands you’re exposed to everyday, and how their designs try to persuade you. In this studio, we will cover the basics of logo design, typography, and brand identity to create a subscription box design. Whatever product speaks to you–maybe you want to build your own snack subscription, makeup, athletic wear, or even a toy subscription. We’ll create the logos, the color schemes, and plan out how it will look on the box itself. 

  • Grade Range: 9th – 12th Grade
  • Total Seats: 15
  • Cost: $75

Instructor // Jillian Swaim

Hi! I’m Jillian, and I’m a recent graduate of the Master of Graphic and Experience Design program here at NC State. I earned my BFA with a concentration in graphic design from Salisbury University, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. My work is a little all over the place, which is just a testament to how multifaceted design really is. In addition to traditional graphic design and illustration, my focus lies at the intersection of art, design, and technology using virtual and mixed reality for storytelling purposes.

Prior to Registering, Please Read the Following:

Registration Process and Policies

  • Registration will open on Wednesday, September 27, at 8:00am.
  • The registration fee for each online workshop ranges from $60 – $85. Payment is due upon registration. Students may register for multiple weekend workshops at a time. All forms and payment must be completed in order for registration to be finalized. 
  • Registration will remain open for each workshop up until 6 calendar days prior to its date (ie. registration will close for a workshop on the Sunday prior to when it’s being held). 
  • Those who have completed registration and payment will receive a confirmation email immediately. And all registrants will receive an email at least 5 business days prior to the start of their workshop with further information on procedures and protocols.
  • Each workshop will take place on Saturdays from 9:00am – 4:00pm with a one hour break at noon. Lunch will be provided for all workshops; our staff and instructor will accompany students to Clark Dining Hall, near our location on campus.
  • Students should arrive between 8:45am – 8:55am and students must leave or be picked up no later than 4:15pm. Drop-off, Pick-up, and Parking information will be shared after registration is complete.
  • Cancellations for In-Person Weekend Workshops: We must receive request for cancellation in writing via email to Cancellations made 10 calendar days prior to a workshop are eligible for a full refund. Cancellations made 5 calendar days prior to a workshop are eligible for a 50% refund. If a student is unable to attend a workshop due to a positive COVID-19 test result, or another illness, registrants can request a full refund OR request to have their program fees donated to our Design Lab outreach funds. If the workshop is cancelled by the Design Lab, full refunds will be issued. Refunds can only be issued by the same means of the original payment. 

If you have any questions, please email

Click Here to Register for Weekend Workshops

[Registration Opens on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at 8:00am]

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