The CCAD MindMarket is a learning lab that connects students with industry and non-profit partners who are looking for creative and innovative solutions. Here’s how it works:

  • Our partners reach out to MindMarket with specific questions or interest in brainstorming new ideas in an environment that are different from their own.
  • Our students work with our faculty to research, strategize and design new ideas and concepts that relate to what our partners are setting out to do. In workshops with both parties, these ideas are discussed, tested and modified to find the best solution possible.
  • Our students gain exposure to real-world creatives and the work they do while expanding their own portfolios and networks. Our partners have access to fresh creative perspectives and emerging talent in the industry.

In a larger sense, we hope to serve the community and support commerce by using our resources to prompt creative innovation and anticipate trends in both existing and future markets. 

Basically, it’s a winning proposition for everyone.

If your commercial or community organization wants to take advantage of the innovative partnerships, workshops, and programming that happens in the CCAD MindMarket, please contact us at 614.437.7555.


In CCAD MindMarket’s sponsored projects, students gain the opportunity to learn and lead design processes, and our partners get access to the kind of unique and innovative thinking they can only get from CCAD. Students from all programs can apply their education in high-impact, real-world experiences with a variety of community and commercial organizations. We partner faculty and experts who are diverse in backgrounds but aligned in their purpose, to engage students to develop critical-thinking, problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills. Our partnerships have included companies like Airstream, Aramark, Cardinal Health and General Motors, and also non-profits and government entities like Pelotonia and the City of Columbus.

100+ Industrial Design and Interior Design students alongside faculty researched, designed, and constructed a custom Airstream as part of a multi-month project.

STUMP co-owners Emily Brown (Industrial Design, 2016) and Brian Kellett (Media Studies, 2007) treat plants like living art installations in their retail chain that came to life after a MindMarket research project.


CCAD MindMarket Workshops are designed to inspire, enrich and uplift. Regardless of background or profession, our mission is to open up minds to innovation and allow everyone to see the power of design thinking.

About the workshops:

  • Programming is free and open to the public. For a reasonable fee, programming can also be custom designed.
  • Free public events bring in world-class authors and thinkers like Kit Yarrow and Roger Martin as speakers on the tremendous potential for design thinking and innovation.
  • Paid workshops provide organizations with an insightful experience based on current trends in art and design.
  • Workshop structures are open and flexible; we can tailor them to suit any group interested in boosting the quality of collaborative engagement and learning within their organization.

Thought Leadership

From business courses in CCAD’s new business minor to the CCAD Women’s Leadership Institute, we have invested in programming and leadership opportunities for students to learn the ins and outs of the creative industry. Focused on promoting personal and professional development, CCAD’s thought leadership philosophy allows students, faculty, and partners to collaborate with leaders across the country. Here’s how:

  • CCAD is an active member of the Partner for Academic Leadership in Sustainability (PALS).
  • We’ve taken the lead in registering one of the first institutional research boards (IRBs) for human-centered research at an art and design college.
  • MindMarket is an avenue for our faculty and students to get their work and research published in professional academic journals.

Students at CCAD helped EAS Sports Nutrition create a playbook for their customers, from bodybuilders and active dieters to clean eaters and endurance athletes. 

MindMarket Testimonials

“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

“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

“Getting your hands dirty all the time — it was a great experience!”
— Kassandra Quintero, CCAD student

“To see students do the work usually done by professionals, people are amazed.”
— Russell Kittel, CCAD student

“It’s honestly the most amazing thing I’ve been a part of in my life.”
— Tristan Carrillo, CCAD student

“When I learned about CCAD’s MindMarket, I realized it was exactly what I needed to move forward: working with people who understand the importance of creative integrity.”
— Annie Weihrauch, CCAD student