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Design Closet

Raised toward our $2,500 Goal
32 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on October 31, at 09:00 AM CDT
Project Owners

Design Closet

Imagine you're a student entering the College of Design. You're full of inspiration and enthusiasm, ready for new experiences and eager to share your creative ideas.

It can be difficult to focus on building your skills and sharing your creativity if you can't afford the materials and supplies needed by a first-year Design student. Students in our Core Design Program take a required studio — Design Studies 102 — and a required introductory drawing and visual communication course — Design Studies 131 — along with other classes that provide the foundation for success in their chosen majors.

In their first year of study, College of Design students focus on the design process and build a portfolio of projects to submit for admission into one of our degree programs. We want them to be able to concentrate on their creativity and the quality of their work – not worry about how to pay for the materials needed to produce it.

Three years ago, our then-multicultural liaison officer, Audrey Kennis, established the Design Closet to provide first-year students who cannot afford the additional cost of the required supplies with recycled and gently used materials donated by other students, staff and faculty. We're building on that initiative to grow the impact of the Design Closet. Subsidizing the cost of portfolio kits and materials for Design Studies 102 and 131 can make a huge difference by lessening the financial burden so students can focus on creating their best work!


Portfolio Kit

A basic portfolio consists of a thick chipboard cover duct-taped on one of the long edges to form a hinge that allows the portfolio to lie flat once filled with its contents. Each portfolio includes a minimum of 19 and a maximum of 24 pages showcasing work completed in the DSN S 102 and DSN S 131 courses. The Iowa State University Book Store sells pre-made portfolio-building kits of materials that include 26 sheets for the interior pages plus the front and back chipboard covers for $19.99. A $25 contribution will cover the cost of the portfolio kit plus additional supplies like tape, spray adhesive, photocopies or printing, etc.

Drawing Kit

The supply list for DSN 131 includes a portfolio case (to carry flat work in); supply caddy (to store and carry all the pens, pencils, erasers, etc.); sketchpad; sketchbook; cardboard; tracing paper; a variety of graphite, mechanical and colored pencils; multiple erasers; various pens and markers; charcoal sticks; watercolor palette, paints and brushes; masking and Scotch tape; X-acto knife, scissors and T-square. While many of these materials can be reused by students after the first year, they represent a significant initial investment. A $50 contribution will allow us to provide a student with an introductory supply kit for this class.

Our goal is to make Design accessible for every student. We hope one day to be able to provide new portfolio kits and drawing kits to every first-year College of Design student. With your support, we can!




Choose a giving level



We all create because we were inspired by someone or something in our lifetime. Thank you for being an inspiration!



Our students are on a journey of imagination. Your contribution will help them make their ideas a reality one collage, model, sculpture, drawing, or video at a time!



When our students create, they all start with a draft – a preliminary sketch, a small-scale model, a rough outline — that serves as the foundation for that final, polished project. Your $25 donation will purchase one portfolio kit for a Design Studies 102 student. The kit contains all the basics they need to put together their Core portfolio, which is the foundation for future success in their degree program.



Once they have a draft, our students learn to refine their work until it's the best reflection of their inspiration, imagination and skill. A gift at this level will provide supplies needed for the Design Studies 131: Design Representation class, which teaches methods of visual thinking and drawing as tools for creative problem solving, design development and visual communication. These supplies are essential for the first year, and students continue to use them in their degree programs.



When students have refined their projects to the best of their ability (and deadlines are at hand!), they're ready to submit their work. Donations at this level will provide a comprehensive package of needed supplies for the Design Studies 102 and Design Studies 131 courses and allow students to focus on submitting their best work!



Once a project is submitted, it's time to celebrate! With our students' supply needs met, we can focus on the Design Closet space itself, providing proper organization, storage and upkeep of everything purchased and donated.



Our dream is to provide all College of Design students – regardless of financial need – with their required first-year supplies so they can focus on what matters: turning their creative ideas into reality and preparing for their future studies. Donations at this level will help us help more students and sustain the Design Closet for years to come!

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