What is the KCDC?

Located in the heart of downtown Kansas City, the Kansas City Design Center (KCDC) is a nationally-recognized, nonprofit, partnership among local civic leaders, professional designers, and the architecture and planning programs at the University of Kansas and Kansas State University. 


Our mission is simple: promote excellence in the design of Kansas City’s built environment. We accomplish this in two ways:


The KCDC engages university faculty and some of the region’s most talented architecture and planning students in a unique learning laboratory that actively explores real-world issues facing Kansas City’s future development. Our educational programs are built around our resident urban design studio, through which faculty and students form partnerships with local client groups and stakeholders to develop design concepts and implementation proposals addressing major architectural, urban design and urban planning issues throughout metropolitan Kansas City. 


The KCDC serves as an independent forum for critical dialogues about architecture and planning issues, and offers technical assistance to public agencies and local community organizations. This includes everything from hosting free lectures by internationally renowned architects to collaborating with local organizations and non-profits on projects that seek to improve Kansas City's livability. 



The KCDC has been generously supported by:

William T. Kemper Foundation
Hall Family Foundation
Kansas State University
University of Kansas

PARTNERSHIPS & Collaborations

The KCDC actively seeks to partner and collaborate with community organizations, stakeholders and residents, local governments, and design professionals to promote excellence in urban design and the built environment. Current and past partnerships and collaborations include:  

KCMO City Manager’s Office
KCMO Planning Department
Mid America Regional Council
KCK Unified Government Planning Department
KCMO Office of Culture and Creative Services
KCMO Downtown Council
KCMO Parks and Recreation
KCMO Central Industrial District Association
KCMO Industrial Council
KSU Urban Water Institute
Urban Land Institute
American Institute of Architects Kansas City
Kansas City Young Architects Forum
Better Block KC
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Public Improvements Advisory Committee  
Housing and Urban Development
Historic West Bottoms Association
Asian Americans For Equality