Thought Design Learning Studio to introduce a unique approach to learning to the Rockford Community

RibbonCuttingThoughtDesignAn exciting new business has opened its doors in Rockford. Thought Design Learning Studio celebrated its official opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 31. Located next to Paperdoll in the Promenade building, Thought Design can best be described as a “fitness center for the mind”. Taking inspiration from the latest research on brain health and fitness, Thought Design offers space and opportunity for people to learn in fun, exciting new ways. Studies have shown that adults need four critical things every day to have healthy, alert brains and postpone dementia and age-related disease: sleep, learning, nutrition and exercise. Rockford’s new fitness center for the mind offers everything but the sleep!

The Learning Lab offers classes of all kinds for the community – everything from improv to parenting to writing workshops, all with a beautiful riverfront view. Business groups will love the state-of-the-art technology and “write-able” wall surfaces for meetings, planning sessions and training workshops.

The Culinary Studio is the perfect setting for cooking classes of all kinds. Over the summer, our community can enjoy the Riverfront seating at an outdoor grilling class, “Pack Your Picnic Basket” before the Blues concerts on Tuesday nights or learn how to use your Farmers Market purchases from a local chef on Saturday mornings. Free chef demos (with samples!) will be offered at 1, 3 and 5 pm on Saturday, June 15 during the Start of Summer Celebration. Other upcoming classes include “Street Food” on June 14 with chef Molly Clauhs (owner of GR Cooking School) and “Strawberries!” with the Canning Diva on June 25.

The Yoga Studio offers 24 classes a week for all levels. Classes are designed to be comfortable, safe and brain-boosting. Along with several types of yoga, The Groove Class, a fun, easy dance-type class is offered three times per week. Studies have shown that yoga is one of the most helpful types of movement for an adult brain.

Owned by Rockford native Denise VanEck, Thought Design Learning Studio is truly one of a kind. “Around the word, the time we live in is being called the “Century of the Mind”, says VanEck. “Because of the incredible advances in technology in the last few years, our knowledge about the human brain is increasing at an unprecedented pace. People are becoming more aware of how important it is to take care of our brains, and also how we can actually keep all those brain cells we think we’ve been losing! Learning doesn’t have to be hard, but we have to do it every day.” During her time as Chief Learning Officer for a financial services company in Southern California, VanEck began dreaming of a way to create a place where adults could learn and connect as a community. Her hometown of Rockford seemed to be the logical place to do it. “I love Rockford” says VanEck. “My family settled here in the early 1800s and many of my family members have owned businesses here. I couldn’t imagine creating this beautiful space anywhere else.”

Class schedules are updated weekly and posted on and on the Thought Design facebook page.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.