Faculty Research & Practice

Our faculty advance design through their practice and research. Faculty explore and discover through a process of making things, creating new methods and building new theories of design. Projects range from co-creation of sustainable transportation systems to fighting the rise of obesity to the role of technology in the design studio to robots recovering from service mistakes to documentation heightened sexuality of counter cultures through location.

The scale and scope of projects range from multi-institution collaborations to self-initiated, solo exhibitions. Many include faculty from departments across the campus. Students participate both as research assistants and through projects they undertake in classes.

Projects undertaken across our faculty point to a set of on-going and emerging themes, including: transitioning, documenting, visualizing, designing, educating and emerging boundaries:

Transitioning

Research in this area refers to design-led societal change. It explores the role design can play in negotiating and contributing to the transition to more sustainable futures.

Documenting

Research in this area involves representing past, present and future worlds, as well as describing products, communications, services and environments.

Visualizing

Research in this area involves visualizing and communicating systems, patterns and data at multiple levels of scale. Faculty investigate new forms of representation across a wide spectrum of media and experiences.

Designing

Research in this area involves investigating and integrating new design methods and theories for academic research and design practice.

Educating

Research in this area investigates how people learn and develops new ways for them to do so. It also explores how both designers and non-designers can be educated and changed through design.

Emerging Boundaries

Research in this area explores new materials, future based scenarios and new forms for communications, products, services and environments. It also investigates how design thinking can treat new technology as a material and means for imagining entirely new worlds.


Faculty members have conducted research for organizations such as:

  • General Electric
  • Samsung
  • United States Postal System
  • Oracle Corporation
  • Disney Research
  • LG
  • Heinz Endowments
  • General Motors
  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History