Support the Design Innovation (DI) Initiative

Dear Friends,

As the inaugural executive director of the Design Innovation (DI) Initiative at Kent State University, I look forward to growing and building connections with you to engage our students in "challenge-based innovation" experiences on their paths to becoming fearless and powerful collaborators! 

DI brings together students, faculty, community and leading experts from ANY discipline who are thoughtfully addressing technology and society through design. Students then become creative, intersectional problem-solvers and fearless collaborators in the face of complex, messy problems. We strive to be innovators, activators and cultivators who evolve strong, collaborative design innovation mindsets in students, researchers and communities across the world.

I am humbled and honored to be helping to lead this foundational, timely and culture-changing initiative at Kent State. The new Design Innovation Hub is located in the center of campus in the former Art Building and helps us both ground and leverage the offerings of our entire Design Innovation Ecosystem. The building functions as an open and collaborative makerspace for the Kent State community that links our great network of existing shared-resource labs and makerspaces across the university, which we call the "DI Nodes." Like this collaborative initiative, this building too is “Shared by All. Owned by All.”

Please know that philanthropic support will be the cornerstone for which we can train more students, solve more problems and put our unique Kent State stamp into our communities. Please contact me with any ideas or questions.


J.R. Campbell
Executive Director
Design Innovation Initiative

JR Campbell photo

Support Design Innovation

DI Hub

The Design Innovation Initiative is focusing on the following key priorities to continue to provide an environment for our students to become innovators, activators and cultivators who evolve strong, collaborative design innovation mindsets:

  • DI Grand Challenges  - Donations support student involvement on interdisciplinary teams to address real and impactful challenge-based innovation projects.  Funds may be used to support student travel, materials, machine use and other needs in pursuit of their challenge objectives. 
  • DI Fellows Program  - Donations fund student Fellows who engage in challenge-based innovation projects and events such as the annual Fashion Tech Hackathon and bi-annual SkyHack Competition. Fellows must complete a series of collaborative, creative innovation experiences to be included in this program. Private gifts support students and their project expenses. Each fellowship requires $1,500 per year of support. 
  • DI Reactor/DI Ecosystem  - The DI REACTOR serves as the core of a collaborative series of makerspace environments inside the DI Hub, connected to the DI Nodes across the university. Gifts provide support to ensure continual access for students to these resources, especially students who face financial challenges.

Support Design Innovation


Student in DI Hub, working on a project

Each of these environments provides space where students are encouraged to take on new projects and cross-disciplinary collaborations.

  • Blank_Lab - This lab is a ”black box”' makerspace-style environment for immersive (AR/VR/Mixed Reality) applications. Funds will be used to purchase additional projectors and equipment.
  • MuseLab and the DI Gallery - This is an experimental environment for museum and exhibition innovations, co-managed by DI and the I-School. Funds will be used to support recurring exhibition costs for students, faculty and staff.
  • (I3) Lab - This is a collaborative 'accelerator' program co-managed by DI and LaunchNet. Funds will be used for mentorship and to support accelerating projects from challenge-based events and hackathons.
  • SparkLab - This makerspace is focused on pre-collegiate and community engagement with funds supporting material costs to engage pre-collegiate students in workshops.
  • Designer in Residence/Shared Faculty Studio - This is an open laboratory environment used for hosting our Designer/Innovators in Residence as well as supporting cross-disciplinary faculty projects. Donor support will allow us to host Innovators in Residence who will inspire and support our DI students, faculty and staff.

Select any of the links below to learn more about the most common options for giving to Kent State University:

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The easiest way to donate; contributions can be sent via check to the Kent State Foundation office, or you can make a credit card donation online.


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Payroll Deduction

Employees of Kent State University can make their contributions through automatic deductions from their paychecks.

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