Design & Innovation Center

A creative space built to convene and engage, the Design & Innovation Center exists to further Downtown and regional economic and community development initiatives and strategies.

Main Goals:

  • It serves as a resource of data when pursuing investment in Downtown.
  • Through videoconferencing, it provides the capacity to access resources from across the country to assist in the design and economic feasibility of proposed projects.
  • The Center’s technology provides a state-of-the-art presentation space to market the development of Downtown. Such presentations may be videos or power points outlining projects recently completed, under construction or in planning.
  • The Center offers the opportunity for collaboration with universities in the areas of design, economics, real estate and urban development.
  • It is an environment that inspires, connects and fosters strategies to further develop the economic viability of Downtown Wichita for the region.

Downtown Wichita, in partnership with the Knight Foundation Fund of the Wichita Community Foundation and a number of private sector partners, founded the center, which opened in 2011. An initiative of Project Downtown, the facility offers resources to further the development of Downtown.

Funding partners:

  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • Wichita Community Foundation
  • Cargill
  • Cole Consultants
  • GLMV Architecture
  • Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architects
  • Emprise Bank
  • Morris Laing Evans Brock & Kennedy Law Firm
  • Professional Engineering Consultants
  • Janet Miller
  • Richard L. Honeyman
  • J.P. Weigand & Sons Inc.
  • Marketplace Properties
  • Hite Fanning Honeyman, L.L.P
  • Gary Schmitt
  • Phil Ruffin, Jr.
  • The Fiber Studio
  • Fidelity Bank
  • Real Development
  • Trans Pacific Properties
  • Westar Energy
  • digitalBRAND Communications
  • John A. Marshall Co.
  • Accent Lighting
  • Belford Electric Inc.
  • Mary Wright
  • Lavonta Williams

Interested in learning more? Connect with us.

Educational Engagement

Engaging the community and bright young talent to further the development of Wichita’s urban core is vital to our mission and future. In collaboration with community partners, we consistently engage students and design studio classes to explore new possibilities for Downtown.

Westar Summer Design Internship

We have partnered with Westar Energy for the sixth consecutive year to engage a student for a summer design internship. This student has the opportunity to work directly with developers, City of Wichita officials and other business professionals by assisting with urban design concepts for catalytic properties and buildings.  

Interested in applying for the Downtown Wichita Design Internship Program? Connect with us.

K-State Conceptualizes City-Owned Catalyst Sites

Through a grant from the Knight Foundation and support from local design firms, we were able to sponsor an urban design studio class from Kansas State University for the Spring Semester 2013. This project provided nine visionary urban site plans that build upon the long-range urban framework proposed in Project Downtown. The work was completed by 17 mid-level students in the Masters of Landscape Architecture program at Kansas State University under the leadership of Assistant Professors Blake Belanger and Jon Hunt. The Kansas State design studio was a collaboration with the Downtown Wichita staff, City of Wichita staff and local design professionals.

Download full Wichita Metropolitan Studio Document

KU Architecture Students Visualize Boathouse Concepts

In the spring of 2012, University of Kansas Architecture students worked with Wichita State rowing officials, City of Wichita Staff and local design professions to design conceptual boathouse projects for the west bank of the Arkansas River. The fourth-year architecture students made several site visits to Wichita and a team of local design professionals, City staff and WSU representatives traveled to Lawrence for student critiques. The students’ work offers the possibility for a creative and iconic solution for a boathouse facility along the river that would give a permanent home to the Wichita State crew team and local rowing association.

Interested in seeing the concepts presented? Connect with us.