Interior design faculty member named director of CSU’s Richardson Design Center

Laura Malinin

Laura Malinin, assistant professor of interior design in the Department of Design and Merchandising, has been named the new director of the Richardson Design Center at Colorado State University.

“I’m looking forward to working with Dr. Malinin as she leads the Richardson Design Center at CSU,” said Jeff McCubbin, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. “She is highly qualified to help transform the unique vision for the RDC into reality. She has already brought her expertise to the initial design of academic spaces within the RDC, providing significant oversight working closely with University Facilities and the building architects. Under her guidance, the RDC will utilize interdisciplinary and hands-on learning to train future design leaders for many areas of industry.”

‘Qualified and passionate’

CSU broke ground on the $16.5 million Richardson Design Center last September. Nancy and Curt Richardson, co-founders of OtterBox and Blue Ocean Enterprises, donated $8.1 million toward the state-of-the-art building that will house design studios; fabrication, prototype, and ideation labs; presentation spaces; classrooms; and computer labs for students and faculty from design disciplines across campus. The building is expected to open in early 2019.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Malinin will be the inaugural director for the Richardson Design Center,” said Nancy Richardson, a 1982 graduate of CSU’s interior design program. “She has terrific vision for the RDC and all of its potential. I cannot think of anyone who is more qualified or more passionate about the project.”

Malinin is a registered architect (Texas) and cognitive scientist at CSU where she has received awards for teaching and research excellence. She holds an undergraduate degree in architecture and art and art history from Rice University, an M.Ed. in educational technology from the University of Texas, and a joint Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in design and planning through the College of Architecture and Planning and cognitive science through the Institute of Cognitive Science.

Interdisciplinary cooperation

In the director role, Malinin will lead the development of new curriculum in design thinking, including a certificate program. She will also identify and coordinate opportunities for interdisciplinary cooperation across CSU, as well as organize programming such as a guest lecturer or designer-in-residence program.

“I’m delighted to be a part of this exciting vision to foster and support creative collaboration and cross-disciplinary design opportunities across campus — through the beautiful new building as well as innovative curriculum and other unique learning activities,” said Malinin.

The Department of Design and Merchandising is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.