Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Feb. 21, 1997

Design to strengthen university ties

Campaign Destiny will help college develop Rome Program

by Steve Sullivan
Creating a stronger connection with the rest of the university is a strategic aim of the College of Design. Its Campaign Destiny goals reflect that.

"One of our strategic objectives is to center what we do here within the university," said dean Mark Engelbrecht. "There is a lot of opportunity for interesting interdisciplinary work that could do a tremendous amount of good addressing a wide range of issues."

The college is seeking $4.1 million through Campaign Destiny to further develop a popular study abroad program, create a design festival, enhance the Institute for Design Research and Outreach and improve college facilities.

A substantial portion of the college's fund-raising campaign - $1.25 million - is earmarked for the popular Rome Program. Since it began in 1992, hundreds of architecture and interior design students have lived and studied in Rome, Italy. The program is unique because the students abroad study the same materials as those on campus, and, subsequently, lose no time toward graduation, Engelbrecht said.

Interest in the program has grown considerably and Campaign Destiny funds will help develop the program by funding more scholarships for students, expansion of the program to all design disciplines and permanent facilities in Rome.

Currently, officials are in the process of acquiring a multi-year lease on a studio classroom facility in Rome. The facility will provide focus and stability for the current architecture and interior design study abroad programs, the emerging program in the fine arts, and anticipated study programs in graphic design, landscape architecture, and community and regional planning, Engelbrecht said.

"We are highlighting the Rome Program because of its many links to the strategic plan. This is an exciting, stimulating program that offers great opportunity and benefits for our students," Engelbrecht said. "It also plays an important role in the internationalization of ISU's curriculum."

Another Campaign Destiny goal for the design college is to raise $500,000 for the Institute for Design Research and Outreach. The institute is one answer to the college's desire to promote interdisciplinary research projects with other Iowa State colleges, Engelbrecht said.

"We want to develop a research agenda capable of attracting other partners in other colleges, in industry and government agencies," Engelbrecht said. "Research in design disciplines involves a broad range of issues that many people don't always recognize, such as environmental issues and rural and urban development."

Other campaign funds will be used to develop the Design Festival, scheduled for every other academic year. The festival will include faculty and student exhibits, symposia, lectures and projects linked by a central theme.

"The Design Festival will bring what we do into the forefront," Engelbrecht said. "This is an event that would be a stimulating resource for the entire campus community and a mark of regional, if not national, distinction."

The first exhibit of the Design Festival, scheduled for the spring of 1998, will focus on human existence and its relationship to the environment. The exhibit will lead into the 20th anniversary of the college.

As a part of Campaign Destiny, design officials also are seeking $1 million in private giving to help fund additions to the college. Conceived as an important beginning to a long-range master plan for the collegiate environment, the project will include a major auditorium with multi-media capabilities, expanded shop and studio space, revitalized atrium and associated entry plaza, and, finally, infrastructure necessary to the computation initiative of the College of Design.

"The building expansion is an important part of our effort to center the college with the rest of the university," Engelbrecht said. "The auditorium and upgraded atrium will bring new life to the building and provide facilities the whole campus can use."

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