Design U is a student-led pro bono consulting club at the University of Minnesota that strives to design for impact.

While our members come from a variety of backgrounds, we all share a deep passion for design, engineering, and business. Our interdisciplinary teams work with local startups, non-profits, and companies across the United States to provide each of our clients with kickass results.

We value our commitment to excellence and are proud to say that in 2016 and 2017, we were awarded the Tony Diggs Excellence Award of Outstanding Undergraduate Student Group of the Year, and the Tony Diggs Peoples Choice Award in 2017.


All of our members develop core competencies that define Design U culture.

Agile Problem Solvers

Agile is a fancy word that describes non-static, fluid, and long-lasting teamwork. We believe agile helps our clients and project teams shape their collective ambition. Though agile originates from the world of software engineering, we believe it is relevant to all careers and is the future of work. 

Consistent Communicators

There is no collaboration without communication, and we believe our best work has been born out of both.

From quick Slack messages to hours on Zoom, we see the value in staying connected and informed.

Above all, we believe communication is what makes us human.

Empathetic Investigators

We believe that good design is human-centered design. This means that we value empathy as much as other skills. We think about those we serve throughout our entire design process, and prioritize the

‘why’ before the ‘what’ or the ‘how’.


Design U has 3 main divisions: Prototyping, Research & Strategy, and Digital.

We also have an exploratory division called Design U Crash Course (DUCC).


Each division is made up of 3-4 teams of 5-6 designers.

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Product Research
& Concepting

CAD Models & Sketches

Fabrication  & Prototyping

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& Strategy

Comprehensive Benchmarking

User Interviews & Insights

Product Ideas & Suggestions

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User Research

Digital Content Structure

Wireframing & Website Creation

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Design U
Crash Course

Explores the

Three Different Divisions: 
Prototyping, Digital, Research & Strategy