Collaboration and information exchange are the primary tactics for a globally connected locally produced design - through - production process. With strategic industry partners, Ball State University students test knowledge through real - world applications. While the open access to knowledge in the global environment is critical, it is also imperative to consider the ethic of production and regionally specific conditions under which work is enabled. To this end, the paper will reveal specific design - throughproduction industry - partner collaborations, while exploring the regional implications of making locally, and consider the role of the university to serve as a local catalyst for change in a shifting global economic climate.