UNLV Downtown Design Center (DDC) is a university-based non-profit organization founded in 2008. It works to make university-based research and student learning activities useful to local communities in the State of Nevada and in the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts. This is to contribute to establishing more sustainable environments for the citizens and businesses in the region, addressing citizen-needs, and appropriate financial capacity.
The Downtown Design Center (DDC) operates from the Historic Fifth Street School in Downtown Las Vegas giving it a prime location to connect with local municipalities and communities. The DDC provides its services by partnering architecture students with a community to work on specific design (or design-related) projects. The projects on which students work are identified in cooperation with different levels of government, the professional architecture community, and the non-profit community. Projects – and the student work devoted to these projects – have important outcomes for each of these. The work of the DDC helps urban design, architectural and landscape architectural, planning, engineering, and construction initiatives mature more quickly than might otherwise be the case, saves both financial and human resources, and enables attention to community needs, activities and projects that might not otherwise receive attention. Emphasis is typically on civic projects, but the DDC is also open to a role with appropriate private projects.
The UNLV Downtown Design Center (DDC) works to ensure that each engagement is collaborative, and that appropriate attention is paid to the perspectives, needs, and opinions of its partner-organizations.