Why Design Collaborative

It's the question every firm tries to answer when pursuing a project. Why us? What makes DC so special and sets us apart from our competition? We’ve made it a point to determine the crucial factors that separate us from the rest of the pack, and we want everyone to know why DC is different.


We're architects, engineers, and interior designers—an expert group of problem-solvers who value teamwork, guidance, and originality. But that doesn't mean we dictate solutions. We don't lecture. We don't decree. We listen. We learn. We lead.

We work best with clients that value relationships as much as buildings. We engage each client as a partner, spending time finding unique goals, personality, and vision. Together we explore new possibilities and make sound decisions, while meeting timelines, budgets, and project goals. Giving form to your vision—creating something from nothing—isn't an easy process, but with our guidance it will feel that way.

We don't just design buildings, we design around people's lives. We design spaces that are both beautiful and meaningful. Our goal is to make life better for the people who live, work, play, learn, heal, or worship inside. We find innovative, original ways—big and small—to meet each client's unique needs. The result is truly original solutions that improve people's worlds. 


  • "The finished product has always met the expectations and I think that's due to the fact that they have a very experienced and very skilled group of people working for them."

    Bill Bean, CEO, Hanning & Bean Enterprises
  • The University of Saint Francis has retained Design Collaborative as our primary architectural firm since 1995, and the collaboration between the University and Design Collaborative has been immensely beneficial and rewarding for both USF and DC.

    The architects and staff at Design Collaborative have keen insight into and a strong heart for the non-profit sector, and they are true collaborators and partners with their clients. They have the ability to transform ideas and goals into campus and facility planning and to ensure that the physical plant not only meets needs but is an expression of the organization.

    We have never felt the need to revisit our ongoing relationship with Design Collaborative, and instead we continue to be more than satisfies with not only the services that they provide for us but also with the rich professional and personal friendships that have grown out of this relationship.

    Sister M. Elise Kriss, President, University of Saint Francis
  • "We worked with Design Collaborative on a large renovation project of our Warrior Fieldhouse. This project also included adding other amenities to campus including a water feature and an outdoor fireplace. Design Collaborative did a great job coordinating multiple construction contractors, all while keeping the project on budget and on time. Their expertise and experience in a university setting is key to getting us not only what we ask for, but also what we need."

    Judy Roy, VP of Finance & Administration, Indiana Tech
  • "Design Collaborative has been “our” architect for the past 10 years and quite frankly, I’m not sure we want to “share” them with anybody. They are that good. They are great listeners, they respond well, they are extremely creative and they have been a huge part of our campus transformation. I recommend them highly."

    Michael Bock, Sr. VP of Operations, Trine University
  • "During my business and academic administrative career, I have had the opportunity to supervise a number of construction projects. None have ever gone as well as our projects with the Design Collaborative banner. There are no finer folks to work with."

    Thomas Dunn, III, Chief Operating Officer, Grace College & Theological Seminary
  • "People on our campus met with the architects to design something that brings people out of their spaces where they’re living and learning on our campus, and come together and start learning and dialoguing with one other. It’s building intentional community spaces that encourage learning to occur outside of the classroom."

    John Jones, Vice President for Technology and Facilities Services, Indiana Wesleyan University
  • "I have had the honor of knowing so many wonderful people in the Design Collaborative team from the beginning of the early days of the firm. What they stood for then is what they stand for today: passion, process, and people that deliver instinctive and personal solutions for their partners. The level of understanding of their client's core values and inspired mission is astounding, and creative approaches to solving program and space needs is second to none. I recommend Design Collaborative to every professional I meet with. It is best advice I give!"

    Dr. Todd S. Voss, President, Southern Wesleyan University
  • The Design Collaborative Team was very focused on meeting our needs as their client. They listened closely to our vision for the building, and worked with us to see that the design met our needs. Everyone was very helpful and professional throughout the entire process. We are very pleased with the results.

    Rae Gonterman, Executive Director, Oncology Service Line, Parkview Hospital
  • "Biomet had many expectations for this particular project; most importantly we needed a contemporary space that used the latest technology to present our orthopedic products to our customers. Design Collaborative managed to create a professional looking environment that exceeded our expectations. Our experience with the equipment has shown the control system to be extremely user friendly, allowing personnel to have complete functionality over the system with little or no training

    Design Collaborative successfully completed the project on-schedule, ensuring that all milestones were met. Although the scope of the project remained somewhat fluid throughout the construction process, the entire project fell within 3.3% of our initial budgeted amount.

    Overall, your firm delivered more than just an aesthetically pleasing space; it is an active, working area able to convey Biomet’s level of expertise in the market, as well as our successful orthopedic product lines. I was pleased to join forces with Design Collaborative on this project, and would recommend their process, communication, and expertise to potential clients seeking a talented architecture/engineering firm."

    Chad Dawson, Biomet Surgeon Tour Manager, Biomet Orthopedics, Inc.
  • "M/E Engineering, P.C. has had the opportunity to work with Design Collaborative, Inc. on the Wilson Greatbatch Manufacturing Facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Your firm has been exemplary to work with and has done an exceptional job of completing an engineering peer and code review, and assisting in the construction administration of this complex project. The project was completed on schedule and within budget. Through all phases of this project, your staff has communicated effectively with all team members including the owner, architects, engineers, designers, and contractors.

    Based on our experience working with Design Collaborative, Inc., we would endorse your firm, without reservation, for any potential projects."

    Calvin J. Puffer, PE, LEED AP, Principal, Mechanical/Electrical Engineering Consultants
  • "The association we have developed with Design Collaborative, for our Wells County YMCA project, has been a perfect fit. The goal we have is to be more than just a fitness, or workout, facility. To accomplish this task for our project we deemed it necessary to employ an architectural firm that along those same lines was more than just a technically superior firm. While having great technical knowledge of their field, Design Collaborative also understands, is sensitive to, and fully embraces the spiritual, moral, and human aspects that are unique to YMCA projects. They have gone above and beyond to understand those parts of our project. They have attended volunteer board meetings, YMCA functions, and done their homework regarding a "feel" for the community. They have taken it to the personal level that we were really looking for. Design Collaborative has immersed themselves in all phases of our project, including the lofty ideals of the project. We are completely pleased with their efforts, and would not hesitate to engage their services on future projects, or to recommend them to anyone. Design Collaborative and their super staff have become our friends, as well, in this project!"

    Lance Hershberger, Former Executive Director, Wells County YMCA
  • "What I found refreshing and different and excited me was they weren’t satisfied unless I was satisfied, and when I was satisfied, they celebrated."

    Bill McDowell, Former VP of Financial Affairs, Indiana Wesleyan University
  • "Our architecture is not about our buildings. Our architecture is about how people use our buildings. It’s really about the difference we’re making in their worlds."

    Kevin Scully, Partner, Design Collaborative