Community Engagement

Creativity doesn't happen it a vacuum—it thrives on human connection. 

More than a college, KCAD strives to be a conduit through which individuals, organizations, and communities can collaborate across the barriers that divide us and leverage the transformative power of creativity to not just envision a better future, but make it a reality. 

Learn more about some of our community engagement initiatives below, and contact us if you have an idea of your own you'd like to discuss. 


The KCAD
Design Academy

young man working at a computer

The KCAD Design Academy provides Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) students with vital opportunities to explore the world of design and the design process firsthand through hands-on learning experiences guided by KCAD faculty members. All Design Academy classes are free to GRPS Students thanks to the generosity of Steelcase and the Grand Rapids Public School Foundation. 

Wege Prize 
Student Design Competition

A group of young people huddled together showing off a trophy

Organized by KCAD with support from The Wege Foundation, Wege Prize is an annual competition that ignites game-changing solutions for the future by inspiring college/university students around the world to collaborate across institutional, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries to accelerate the transition to a sustainable circular economy. 

Wege Prize 
High School Collaborative Studio

A group of people gathered around a table looking at notes on a piece of paper

Building on the successful framework of Wege Prize, the Wege Prize High School | Collaborative Studio is a free two-week program that gives West Michigan high school students the chance to collaboratively learn design thinking and creative problem solving strategies and employ them to envision solutions to real-world challenges faced by people in their own communities.