Design Lab 1

Design Lab 1 is a dynamically-configurable space tailored to support peer-to-peer learning, staffed and equipped to serve as a living “sketchpad” for creative and interdisciplinary projects.

a view of the Design Studio from the Central Collaboration showing the studios open, flexible collaborative workspace

Mon-Fri, Noon-9 pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday, Noon-6 pm
Walk-ins Welcome!

Location: 1321 Duderstadt Center



a photo of students working on with physical and digital design media in the Design Studio

Open design, idea-sketching tools, and a comfortable setting create a rich environment for collaboration and multiple types of engagement that can take place concurrently in the shared creative space.

The U-M, and in particular the disciplines of the North Campus schools and colleges, recognize the essential practices that underlie creative endeavor: collaboration across disciplines, teamwork and peer-to-peer learning, and access to spaces that support connected learning.

Design Lab 1 (DL1) provides a flexible and inviting space that fosters an evolving academic community centered in making, with digital video and animation tools, open source software, and flexible work areas. Designers from all disciplines collaborate to explore the practical and expressive potential of new tools, technologies, and aesthetic directions at the convergence of digital and physical space

To learn more about the successful practices that have made DL1 home to constantly evolving methods and tools to support new learning, teaching and research models, read our white paper:

Image of the cover of The Journal of the Society for College and University Planning which included the research study "Observations from an Open, Connected, and Evolving Learning Environment" of the Design Studio

“Observations from an Open, Connected, and Evolving Learning Environment” (PDF)

by Matthew Barritt, Linda Knox

Published in The Journal of the Society for College and University Planning,
Volume 42 Number 1 | October–December 2013
(subscription required)

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Create a project, learn a skill, give your workshop – here

DL1 is a dynamic environment for curricular and co-curricular projects that bridge disciplines, build networks, and explore new contexts for scholarship.

We welcome short- and long-term events and projects that leverage our special resources and bring related ideas and resources into the mix. We host:

  • individual student and faculty projects
  • workshops
  • course labs
  • course-based team projects
  • co-curricular projects
  • student organization meetings
  • art exhibitions and installations
  • music performances
  • design critiques or reviews
  • what would you like to do in DL1?

Email to begin a conversation with us about how DL1 can support your project, event, class or workshop.

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A community of hands-on creative learners

The most important resource you’ll find here: a community of learners; faculty, students, and staff, who inspire, support and advance the experience of connected learning in an environment rich with digital media tools.

  • Peer consultants: students with advanced skill sets and experience who support the academic and creative activities of all DL1 users. DL1 consultants are chosen because they have demonstrated both the technical skills and eagerness to support individual and team learning with the special tools found in the Duderstadt Center.
  • Professional staff who have have helped lead and create successful programs in connected learning and teaching with technology at the U-M for more than 25 years. They have demonstrated success in curating both the newest and existing technologies to help students find the best tools for their projects, and advising faculty to incorporate new techniques in course design.
  • The community of users who come to this unique project and learning space with a shared interest in exchanging ideas and problem-solving. One of the most common experiences in this open community is to make unexpected connections with people and ideas that inspire a “fresh take” or new collaborations on whatever project you might be working on.

Looking for hard-to-find expertise, or a collaborator? Drop in!

Want to schedule a special project or instructional workshop? DL1 welcomes one-off or regular meetings and projects that put our special resources to good use and bring related ideas and resources into the mix. We host workshops, course labs, course-based team projects, co-curricular projects, student organization meetings, art exhibitions and installations, music performances, design critiques or reviews, etc. All events are effectively open to the public, at least for observation.

If you would like to hold an event in DL1, email to tell us what you’d like to plan.

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  • Projector and giant screen as well as large digital display
  • Media editing stations and animation software
  • Light table, copy stands
  • Drawing and prototyping materials for design thinking:
    • whiteboards
    • small-project storage
    • tools and supplies for instant modeling and sketching
  • New for Fall 22:
    • basic electronics workbench
    • basic hand tools
    • bike repair bench
    • sewing machine
    • paper die cutting
  • Adjacent to advanced level resources and technology for projects:
    • Groundworks
    • Audio Studios
    • Fabrication Studio
    • Video Studio
    • Visualization Studio

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