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Immersive Design Research Lab

Coordinator – Associate Professor Heather Barker

Responding to a need for active design research as a critical component of design practice, we are building an immersive design research lab in the department of design. The lab is designed to engage in a continuous program of interdisciplinary research: initiating, evaluating and applying behaviors in high- and low tech participatory environments. At the core of the research is the changing human experience and response to technology and space. The immersive design research will provide a collaborative foundation for innovative teaching, interdisciplinary collaboration and community engagement and service.

Graphic data representation on left and VR user on right

Applied Research, Teaching and Practice 
The lab provides an opportunity to create designed environments that simultaneously stimulate and read human behavior. The research allows for a low-expenditure means to study human learning and response within real-world simulations. This work has applications ranging from disaster relief training to strategic merchandising and consumer behavior studies. Interdisciplinary at the core, the research is designed to develop a hybrid material/immaterial context and draws on expert collaborations from engineering, psychology, behavioral science, computer science, sociology, business, film, human factors, geo-spatial expertise and the arts and design.

Made possible by a substantial donation from Nissan Design America.

Special thanks to the Department of Design, Arléna Kauppi, Director of Development, COTA and Cyrus Parker-Jeannette, Dean College of the Arts.


Oculus Demo VR day, left with Lab Researchers, right