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Design Innovation Institute
4015 Ibis Street, San Diego, CA 92103
phone: (619) 299-0433


Design Innovation Institute (Dii) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Founders Calvin Woo and Susan Merritt, longtime members of the local and international design communities, were inspired to organize the Institute to give San Diego a venue completely focused on design.

Vision is to attain a balanced and progressive world through a culture of responsible design.

Mission, to realize its vision, is to enable and inspire the public in understanding and celebrating nature in design.

Positioning, to achieve its mission, is to foster and encourage thoughtful design experimentation and cross-pollination among traditional and non-traditional areas of design by way of educational programs, research, museum, and a foundation.

  • The Design Education program will promote awareness and appreciation of design as a way of enhancing and enriching life. Through workshops, seminars, conferences and televised programs, Dii will foster cooperation between disciplines and across cultural boundaries.

  • The Design Museum will display collections and artifacts that demonstrate innovation, mount exhibits, and develop publications that feature innovative design solutions.

  • Discovery and innovation will be furthered through Design Research, which will serve as a venue for experimentation between different disciplines, and applied and scholarly research on design processes and systems.

  • The Design Foundation will seek funding for internal and external Dii projects and programs.

Dii launched its first event, "Behind the Design Scenes," at IKEA in Mission Valley on September 30, 2004. Over 75 civic leaders, educators and design industry professionals attended this inaugural event, which showcased both the impact of IKEA’s design and marketing process on consumer behavior worldwide, and introduced Dii to the community.

Our continuing Speaker Series, sustainable design workshops, Behind Design visits to local design firms and expositions, DesignCamp, and scholarly cross-disciplinary research projects will continue to encourage alliances among the most talented design minds in the region.

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