Research + initiatives

 Our research activities leverage our skills and experiences as designers.

Home / Research + initiatives

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.  



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 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.

Indigenous Design and Construction Initiative

Indigenous Design Collaborative

The Indigenous Design and Construction Initiative (IDCI) is a use-inspired design and construction program, which brings together tribal community members, industry and a multidisciplinary team of ASU students and faculty, to co-design and co-develop solutions for tribal communities in Arizona. 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

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 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.

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. 

reDesign at The Design School


ReDesign.School is an online platform created by The Design School to listen and engage with the best minds in the design world and rethink the future of design education. The platform is part of the larger redesign initiative to examine how to meet the needs of a new generation of young designers. Through local and national roundtable discussions and committees focused on key areas of design education, we are collaborating to create an innovative design school for the New American University. Read more.

Our researchers

Featured researcher: Wanda Dalla Costa

Between Classes: Episode 4, Wanda Dalla Costa

Danielle Foushée

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

A lack of sustainable energy sources in far-flung underdeveloped regions is among the most daunting roadblocks to quality of life still plaguing much of the world. The challenge is not only...
Guns — few issues evoke as much passion and raw emotion from almost all corners of society. No matter what your opinion of them is, they are a defining part of what it means to be an American....
Editor's note: Friday's events at the Barrett & O'Connor Washington Center focused on helping professional athletes transition out of their playing careers, new ways of...

Herberger Institute-wide initiatives

Artswork graphic


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.

graphic of city with several icons that represent different creative mediums

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.

Graphic of maroon and white gear cogs

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.

Urban Sol graphic

Urban Sol

Urban Sol promotes the urban artist culture of DJs, MCs, graffiti artists and dancers in the Valley of the Sun.

CounterAct Yellow and Black


CounterAct is a multidisciplinary, campus-wide effort to reduce sexual assault and center healthy sexuality using the arts. The initiative will catalyze 880 creative acts to counter the 880 acts of sexual violence that occur each day in the U.S.

Creative Health Collaborations graphic

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.

Group of young women admiring work at the ASU Art Museum


The LACMA-ASU Master’s Fellowship in Art History pairs rigorous academic instruction through traditional master’s-level coursework and a thesis with on-the-job work experience.

Student mapping collage

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.

photograph with people moving, with motion blur

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.

Herberger Institute Day crowd

Projecting All Voices

The Projecting All Voices initiative aims to explore what equity means within a 21st-century design and arts school and at art institutions across the nations.