Research + initiatives

 Our research activities leverage our skills and experiences as designers.

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Design research + initiatives

As a discipline, design functions in part as a mode of cultural communication, imaginative experimentation and personal critique of the world around us. Research is a fundamental component of the work of our community.  Our research activities leverage our skills and experiences as designers, providing tools to explore the issues which inform our teaching, critical practices, and engagement with local and global communities.  

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InnovationSpace is an entrepreneurial joint venture with The Design School, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU. Read more.

solar deck

Solar Lab + Deck

ASU’s Solar Laboratory is a nationally recognized facility for research and education in active and  passive solar heating/cooling/electricity and in climate responsive building material design concepts. Read more.

Cluster Project

Cluster Project

The Interdisciplinary Cluster Competition is an annual competition held within The Design School that fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration among our junior students, providing students an opportunity to apply knowledge, gained within the studio, to solve real-life design projects. Read more.

Green Roofs in hot air climate

Green Roofs

Green roofs are living systems designed to provide multiple ecological and resource benefits. Municipalities in the United States and abroad are using green roofs to enhance urban sustainability. Read more.

shade / solar decathalon

SHADE / Solar Decathlon Project

SHADE: Solar Homes Adapted for Desert Equilibrium is a prototype designed and constructed for the U.S. Department of Energy's 2013 Solar Decathlon, a biannual International Competition for net-zero homes built with integrated photovoltaics and other sustainable features and technologies. Read more.

frame a dream

Frame a Dream

The “Frame a Dream” project is in partnership with the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Design School sophomore students are asked to “frame the dream” of long care patients.  Each student was given a patient’s “dream”.  Read more.

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The Biomimicry Center

The Biomimicry Center offers educational programs for both students and professionals across disciplines to learn to create sustainable and effective design solutions by answering the question: "What would nature do?".  Read more. 

Our researchers

Prasad Boradkar: Designing Things

Featured Researcher: Prasad Boradkar
Project: Designing Things

Prasad Boradkar, Associate Professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, is the recipient of the Institute for Humanities Research Transdisciplinary Humanities Book Award. His book, Designing Things: A Critical Introduction to the Culture of Objects, draws on his extensive design studies and his theory and philosophy of visual culture. Boradkar is the Director of ASU’s Innovation Space. This video was produced by OKED videographers/editors, Alexander Chapin and Gitzel Puente

Danielle Foushee in front of a Phoenix Mural

Researcher directory

We support the scholarly inquiry, applied research and creative activity of more than 50 faculty.

Faculty resources

Resources for researchers

View current funding opportunities and make sure your research is getting the support that it merits. 

Top Stories

When Emeritus Professor Ron Roedel retired in 2011 after 30 years of teaching and research in electrical engineering, there was one thing his longtime colleague and friend Michael Kozicki thought was...
Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. To read more top stories from 2017, click here . Bouncing back. How do you recover from a setback? It’s an age-...
Biomimicry is an approach to problem-solving that looks at how nature has already done it. In this philosophy, people create a sustainable lifestyle by observing how animals and plants have overcome...

Herberger Institute-wide initiatives

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Created in 1996 with an endowment from Katherine K. Herberger, ArtsWork unites ASU artists and scholars with community leaders in research and programs focused on children and the arts.

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Design and Arts Corps

The Design and Arts Corps partners with communities to place designers, artists, scholars and educators in public life, in places like schools, hospitals, social profit organizations, community centers and government agencies.

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Creative Health

Working with health and allied health disciplines at ASU and in the community, Creative Health Collaborations advances research, curricula and programming at the intersection of arts, design and health.

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Ensemble Lab

The Ensemble Lab is a cooperative of artists, researchers and civic leaders working across disciplines to explore the role of artists, increase professional opportunities for artists and equip artists to be engaged civic partners.

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Creative Placemaking

At the Herberger Institute, our definition of Creative Placemaking is the strategic integration of arts, culture and community engaged design into comprehensive community planning and development.

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Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programs

The Herberger Institute Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programs was established to coordinate cross-institute programs and activities that engage directly with entrepreneurship and enterprise development in design and the arts.