Corporate & Community Partnerships

CCAD creates outstanding collaborative learning partnerships for talented students and alumni, expert faculty, and forward-thinking organizations to solve the real-world challenges of today and tomorrow. In the 2019–2020 academic year, we developed 24 projects in 28 courses with approximately 380 students working alongside organizations like Airstream, Cardinal Health, E. & J. Gallo Winery, This One Dress, Madison-USA, Odam Publishing, the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio, COSI, Keep Ohio Beautiful, and the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System.

Our students have redesigned beds for families in need; told veterans’ stories through animation, film/video, and podcasting; reimagined systems within the operating room; developed branding for a polytechnic academy in Somalia; and unveiled public art for Columbus’ growing electric car infrastructure. CCAD offers our partners a new generation of creative problem solvers, ready and excited to make an impact.

fbco build students from above

CCAD Industrial Design students construct their table and chair designs for a 2018 project with the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio. Photo by Ty Wright.



We create outstanding collaborative learning partnerships for talented students and alumni, expert faculty, and forward-thinking organizations to solve the real-world challenges of today and tomorrow.



We will transform global culture, commerce, and community from inside the classroom as trusted partners in reimagining health care, social justice, transportation, education, retail, sustainability, contemporary culture, and the other conversations critical to our collective future. Organizations from around the world will seek out CCAD’s creative students, talented alumni, and expert faculty for collaboration. Every student will leave CCAD with professional level, real-world experiences relevant to their major that demonstrate how they can immediately impact their chosen profession and the world at large.


student giving presentation to cardinal health

Maxine Fang (MDes, 2020) presents to Cardinal Health leadership on the concept of creating on-demand surgical drapes to fit each patient and procedure using 3D body scanning technology, custom design software, and on-site drape fabrication. 



  • We create learning partnerships that benefit students and organizations equally. We invite our learning partners into the classroom through kickoffs, feedback sessions, and coaching. Our students respond with novel, status quo-busting solutions that regularly surprise and delight our partners.


  • We focus on building a strong relationship with our learning partners. We offer multiple lengths and levels of engagement, from 36-hour design sprints to full-semester special topics courses during which we deep-dive into organizations’ unique needs. Our first project together is often the first of many.


  • We intentionally cultivate collaborations across commerce, culture, and community. Our students come to CCAD wanting to make a difference. Our goal is to engage equally with community and corporate organizations to deepen and diversify our impact across disciplines, sectors, and geography. 


  • We communicate expectations and outcomes clearly. We develop structured agreements that lay out learning objectives, schedule, deliverables, and terms. We maintain strict confidentiality in projects with sensitive inputs and outcomes. 


  • We prepare our students to succeed in the project, and in the workforce beyond graduation. Many organizations are so impressed with our students’ capabilities and creativity that they want to continue working with them beyond the project as interns, collaborators, freelancers, or employees. 



Abbott Nutrition
American Greetings
BigMouth, Inc.
Cardinal Health
Chase Bank
Craftsmen for Kids
E. & J. Gallo Winery
Easton Town Center
Education First Credit Union
Franklinton Neighborhood Association
Furniture Bank of Central Ohio
General Motors
Goodwill Industries
Greater Columbus Film Commission

Hano Academy
Keep Ohio Beautiful
McMillan Manufacturing
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Odam Publishing 
Ohio History Connection
Red, White & Boom!
Short North Stage
Smart Columbus
This One Dress
Three Oaks Vineyard
VA Central Ohio Healthcare System

group photo of students

CCAD Fashion Design students gather with COSI’s President and CEO, Frederic Bertley, Ph.D. (center) and Vice President of External Affairs, Strategic Initiatives, and Business Development Stephen White, Esq. (far right) to celebrate their final presentation of new uniform concepts for COSI’s staff. Photo by Stephanie Wott.



Do you have a project idea you want to explore? Let’s connect.
Do you want to hire our students for a small project outside the classroom or an internship? Hire them here.
Do you have some open space that you’d like to show student work in? Feel free to post it here.



“We’re providing value for students with real world problems. These are the kind of projects that will get them a job and give them a really unique experience. Because of our size at CCAD we are able to pivot and make adjustments on the fly. Most competitive schools can’t do that.”

Thomas Gattis, Dean of Undergraduate Studies


“Right here in Central Ohio, you’ve got these kids coming out with new ideas and new thinking, and that is a business opportunity.” 

Jim Schimmer, Franklin County’s Economic Development Director

“It’s honestly the most amazing thing I’ve been a part of in my life.”

Tristan Carrillo, CCAD student



“I’m really blown away. The breadth and the depth of the creativity is just mind blowing. We love the results!”

Bob Wheeler, CEO of Airstream

“To see students do the work usually done by professionals, people are amazed.”

Russell Kittel, CCAD student



CCAD’s Corporate & Community Partnerships office has innovation at its core. Originally founded in 2010 as the MindMarket, it was collaboratively envisioned and developed by local business, civic, and academic leaders to serve as the college’s entrepreneurial and innovation springboard. CCAD would like to thank these founding supporters for their visionary leadership and support of the original MindMarket initiative, which has gone on to flourish into an ethos that is interwoven with every area and major at CCAD. Their impact continues to reverberate and strengthen the lives and futures of our students and alumni today and beyond.

Founding Supporters:

Huntington Bank

L Brands Foundation

Wolfe Associates, Inc.

City of Columbus

Franklin County

Corna Kokosing Construction Co.

Ingram-White Castle Foundation

Beverly A. Ryan