design + engineering + business + sustainability

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Real-world experience that prepares you for life.

InnovationSpace is a transformative experience, where students build the skills of the future and develop their capacity for collaboration and innovation as they produce extraordinary projects. Sign up for one of the diverse projects and work with clients, sponsors and team members from other schools in a brand new space at the Novus Innovation Center.

purpose + experience + excitement + growth

We’re looking for passionate, motivated students in all majors who want to do work that matters. Explore the 2020/21 projects below.

Re-Imagine the hotel of the future using universal design.

Monday 12:15 pm- 3:15 pm

In a typical 400-room hotel property, only 2 rooms are designated as American Disability Act (ADA) approved. The challenge for this project is to create a universal design that allows a vast majority, if not all, of the rooms to be used by able bodied customers as well as customers with physical limitations. Use technology, physical spaces, service design as only a place to begin. Rooms might be single designs or an electro-mechanical trigger that reconfigures the room as needed for different populations. Imagine it.


Creating a Circular Economy for Small Format Packaging.

Monday 12:15 pm- 3:15 pm

Currently, small products and packaging are not recyclable due to size and difficulty in sorting. Working with the Sustainability Consortium(Colgate, P&G, Clorox, and others), students will conduct a landscape audit, redesign the equipment used to recycle, package design and manufacturing, service design and the business case for it all. 

Help former foster youth grow into healthy, independent lives.

Thursdays, 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Today, there are over 15,000 foster youth in Arizona. Twenty-four percent of them experience homelessness, and nearly 70% spend time in jail. To help youths grow into secure adults, graduate student teams will collaborate to develop solutions aimed at providing mentoring and job preparation solutions with the express intent to reduce the alarming rate of homelessness among this vulnerable population.

Create a Science Museum for Children.

Wednesdays, 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

Start from scratch to imagine, research, brand, market, design and create a museum that teaches children about STEAM. For this exciting project, engineers, product designers, museum designers, education designers and marketing specialists will work together to create a science museum in a dedicated exhibit space in the new Novus building.

Design a trauma-informed school for the communities of South Mountain.

Thursday, 9:00 am -12:00 pm

Work with communities and youth in South Mountain to collaboratively imagine and create a school that reduces the impact of trauma in its student’s lives. This project includes human-centered research, facilitation of creative work sessions, learning and environmental design.

Hacking 4 Defense (H4D)

Wednesday 1:45 pm- 3:30 pm

Sponsored by the Department of Defense and Intelligence Communities, this course is an opportunity to rapidly address the nation’s emerging threats and security challenges. Student opportunities include developing solutions with the potential to create real-world impact and experiencing the Lean Startup Method in preparation for future entrepreneurial or startup initiatives. Find out more information here. This project does not require an application so you can register for the course here.

Questions please contact Samantha Hiller.

In partnership with:

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
School for the Future of Innovation in Society
W. P. Carey School of Business
and J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute

InnovationSpace Faculty and Staff

Cheryl Heller, Program Director
Nyasha Stone Sheppard, Program Manager
Anthony Kuhn
Michelle Fehler
Rhett Trujillo
Scott Reeves


Course description

The InnovationSpace program provides students with a unique opportunity to complete a real-world product-development project. Using the Integrated Innovation model, teams of students from all majors spend one to two semesters researching, developing and refining concepts. Throughout the yearlong program student work includes:

  • exploring user, societal and environmental needs;
  • analyzing market trends and consumer demand; and,
  • investigating new technologies.

All final deliverables are accompanied by proof-of-concept and appearance models as well as detailed Innovation Proposals. These proposals summarize user research; present a product concept; provide engineering specifications; outline a product-communication strategy; chart a comprehensive business plan; and detail a comprehensive roadmap for sustainability.

InnovationSpace is for you if you want to:

  • contribute to a better society
  • engage with top-performing students in other disciplines
  • learn from top-notch faculty and real-world corporate mentors
  • acquire valuable experience in cross-functional teamwork
  • gain a solid grounding in how to commercialize a product

Student spotlights

Javier Chavez



Jon Paul White

Jon Paul White Wins Second Annual Paul Rothstein Scholarship. Read more

Jennifer Truong

Jennifer K Truong, a finance and marketing major, has been named the Turken Family Outstanding Graduating Senior for the ASU W. P. Carey School of Business for fall 2011. Read more

InnovationSpace alumns

Alum taps InnovationSpace for product development, improvements Read more

David Vanderiet

Spotlight on InnovationSpace engineering student David Vanderiet. Read more [PDF]

Raphael Hyde

Industrial design grad Raphael Hyde brings good design to the assistive device market  Read more


InnovationSpace alum Chris Miranda and Team PACR featured in Latino Perspectives Magazine Read more


Team Nexus Wins Round Two in Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative. Read more

Ah Herman

Heman Au Wins Inaugural Paul Rothstein Scholarship Read more

Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith, senior industrial design major, cooks up a healthy design. Read more