Design Factory

Have you ever wanted to be an inventor, a consultant, an entrepreneur?

Are you interested in building real products that support solve real-world problems?
Are you looking for a more exciting, hands-on way to learn and at the same time to earn college credit?

Join the CPS Design Factory

What is the Design Factory?

Design Factory

The Design Factory is a new concept based on the Aalto Design Factory. The Design Factory is an interdisciplinary product design and learning center that connects students, faculty, and industry leaders. Our mission is to develop a culture of passion-based learning at St. John’s University that pays special/unique attention to strengthen highly sought professional skills such as problem solving, innovation, and entrepreneurship for our students.

Design Factory Components:

The Design Factory requires a few components to exist:

  1. Excited and Intellectually Curious Students: At the core of who we serve, we are student centered first, we believe that one of the best way for students to learn is by presenting them with a problem and allowing them the freedom to define and develop a solution.  
  2. Passion (Project)/Problem-Based Learning: We believe that students that are pushed to learn through intensive project based learn develop skills that make them leaders in various industries world-wide. The Problem-Based Pedagogy allows for students to become self-involved and engaged with the learning process.
  3. Partners: We work with various companies and organizations all over the world in order to hear their challenges and deploy our students as consultants to help them with solving their problems. Learn more about our partners here
  4. Lab Spaces: In the Design Factory, having unique lab spaces allows for our students to cross collaborate with other students from various fields and disciplines. It also provides the locations for creative freedom. We invite you to see our current lab spaces that are a part of the Design Factory at St. John’s.
  5. Diverse Faculty: We connect with various faculty from all over St. John’s University and the world in order to develop projects that would spark the intellectual curiosity of our university students. We believe that it takes research and risk taking to contribute to changing the world.

What does a typical semester at the Design Factory look like?

  1. At the beginning of a semester, students can apply to be a part of a student consulting team. Click here to apply.
  2. Students are paired with other students and are given a project from a company.
  3. Students will work with that team to develop a solution in collaboration with the partner organization.
  4. During the semester, the faculty members will act as mentors and guide them through their project.

The only requirement is to enroll in an innovation track as specified below. Projects will generally be developed over two semesters, so we ask you to enroll in two courses, one in product development, the other in entrepreneurship/business opportunity course.

Business Opportunity courses: ENT 1003, ENT 1007, MGMT 1001, …

Product Development course: CUS 680, CUS 690, ENT 1000, …

These are examples of an innovation track:


Business Opportunity course

Product development course

Entrepreneurship minor

ENT 1003

ENT 1000

MGT 1001

ENT 1000

Computer science (Robotics)

ENT 1003 or ENT 1007 or Independent Study

CUS 690

Computer Science (Analytics)

ENT 1003 or Independent Study

CUS 680



Mass communication

ENT 1003 or Independent Study




Sport Management



Courses ENT 1000, ENT 1003, ENT 1007, and MGT 1001 are all part of the entrepreneurship minor.