The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by the US Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense” NSF is the primary source of non- defense engineering research support for America’s colleges and universities, including design research and education. Financial support influences directly and indirectly the areas of inquiry we pursue and their positioning in our market-based cultures. Dr. Judy Vance, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University and a recognized authority on virtual reality in design, is currently serving as the NSF program director for Engineering Design. Judy is also the Chair of the Design Engineering Division of ASME. I am pleased that she has agreed to share some of her experiences and vision, and thus offer us some food for thought.