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Our Work

Our work is grounded in design tools and methods to create engaging courses and programs, collaborative workshops, and meaningful partnerships that cultivate creativity, critical thinking, and innovation and entrepreneurship skills.

current collaborations with UMD departments and programs
IDEA course students each academic year
of IDEA258A students increased their creative confidence AY 22-23

Ultimately, our goal is to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at UMD that supports new ways of working and thinking. The Academy is also part of an ever-growing, campus-wide innovation & entrepreneurship ecosystem that's cataloged on the UMD Innovation Gateway.

Current & Past Collaborations

UMD Collaborations

The Academy receives requests from many UMD departments and programs every year to do innovation trainings and workshops, strategic planning meetings, radical brainstorms, and more.

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Four students sitting around a table making low resolution prototypes out of paper and felt
Students creating a low resolution prototype
Carillon Communities
Established in 2013, the collaboration between the Academy and Carillon Communities focuses on integrating design into the students' first-year college experience by designing their My Maryland Plan.
Violinist playing while people sit on the floor meditating in a circle in front of him
NOI Fellow playing while audience members meditate
National Orchestral Institute
The Academy partners with the National Orchestral Institute (NOI) through a semester-long course (IDEA459/659) and a summer design studio, called The Innovation Studio. The Innovation Studio is a space for design thinkers and musicians to work together to push the margins of what the symphony might become.

Over the years, The Innovation Studio has experimented with audience engagement and produced numerous multidisciplinary performance experiments, such as making chamber music feel like a Destiny’s Child Concert, engaging in storytelling through projection and lighting design, and providing meditation space with music by J.S. Bach performed on violin and viola.

External Collaborations

We collaborate with external partners in the government, non-profit, and corporate sectors. These workshops and trainings typically focus on applying design thinking and lean startup processes to projects, accelerators, or facilitator training. Past collaborations include the Department of Health and Human Services, NASA, USDA, Hope for Henry, Rare, and Emergent BiosolutionsRead more about our collaborations below.

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