DESIGN WITH A SOCIAL IMPACT
Serving the community and developing designers.
Taubman College launched the U-M Public Design Corps (UM-PDC) to fulfill students’ growing desire to make a positive impact in the built environment. The initiative was met with enthusiasm by nonprofit organizations and community leaders who typically are not able to benefit from professional design services. UM-PDC teams have served clients throughout southeast Michigan and outside of the state.
The Design Corps’ community-centric focus and hands-on approach creates a unique experience outside the bounds of the traditional studio. By challenging students to apply their academic theory and training in planning, design, and spatial intelligence to actual clients in real time, the program creates an experiential bridge from the classroom to the professional world.
The program works to broaden design and planning’s positive social impact, strengthen the role of public engagement in education and practice, and support U-M’s network of community partners in advancing their public missions. In the process, UM-PDC spotlights the full range of interrelated intellectual contributions that Taubman College’s faculty, alumni, and students make to the field of engaged scholarship and public interest design.
As a public university, the University of Michigan is mission driven: it exists to share and leverage its knowledge for the betterment of the people of the State of Michigan and the world. One way that Taubman College carries out this mission is through the University of Michigan Public Design Corps (UM-PDC).