Research, Engagement, & Creative Scholarship

As part of a top tier research university, the College of Design prides itself not only on teaching the next generation of designers, but on conducting groundbreaking research and sharing our expertise with a wide variety of communities. The College of Design’s research, engagement, and creative scholarship units include centers, laboratories, museums, consortia, and institutes of regional, national, and international importance. These units focus on providing innovative solutions to design problems, new information to their constituencies, and thought-provoking opportunities for student learning.
Explore our research collaborations.

Research Highlights

Wearable Technology Lab

Wearable Technology Lab

Assistant Professor Brad Holschuh has devoted his career to inventing and developing garments to improve life both in space and here on Earth. Holschuch and his colleagues at the Wearable Technology Lab (WTL) were featured in a recent issue of Minnesota Alumni magazine. Learn more about how the WTL is taking their expertise in space suit design and applying it to soft robotics in order to create compression garments that initiate compression after they're on the body.

Center for Design in Health

Center for Design in Health wrong-patient, wrong-procedure prevention

Together with cardiac anesthesiologists, the Center for Design in Health is designing and testing information that will give cardiac surgery patients a better understanding of blood transfusions. The goal is to fully involve patients in decisions involving their need for blood. A blood transfusion can be thought of as a "transplant in a bag," so designing information that enables patients to better understand when a transfusion might or might not be necessary will help empower them when they make decisions about their care.

Center for Sustainable Building Research

Center for Sustainable Building Resarch MPCA Grant Prototype

The Center for Sustainable Building Research collaborated with the Project Uniting Southwest Hmong (PUSH) and partners in Tracy and Walnut Grove to develop a vision for The Southwest Hmong Community Center: Tsev Njeeb on the Prairie. The project used a design process to develop the vision that would allow their intergenerational community to gather in building and landscape spaces and amenities.

Goldstein Museum of Design

Goldstein Museum of Design object of the week example

The Goldstein Museum of Design's collection of 34,500 objects is becoming more accessible thanks to grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to create a digital catalog. Nearly 10,000 objects have been photographed, most with four to seven views available, allowing for close inspection. As a result of this digital catalog, the museum was asked to contribute to the Berg Fashion Library in the fall of 2019. Approximately 1,500 images and associated metadata for 500 records will become part of Berg's on-line data­base, operated by Bloomsbury Fashion Central of Bloomsbury Publishing, London. View the digital catalog.

Minnesota Design Center

Minnesota Design Center Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority prototype for transit options and street layouts

The Minnesota Design Center is part of a National Science Foundation grant looking at the implications of shared autonomous vehicles (SAV’s) on our streets, public realm, and parking lots and ramps. In partnership with the Head of the Department of Landscape Architecture, Joseph Favour, the MDC staff – Joseph Hang and Javkhlan Nyamjav – and director – Thomas Fisher – have looked at the impact of SAV’s on a series of intersections along Marshall and Lake Streets in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Professor Favour presented this work at the national Transportation Research Board conference in Washington D.C. in January 2019.
Learn more about the center.