Daniel Neubauer

Daniel Neubauer

Associate Teaching Professor, Industrial Design

Signature Research Areas



Campus Office: 0070 Armory

Mailing Address
Industrial Design Department
158 College of Design
Ames, IA, 50011
Social Media


Bachelor of Fine Arts-Furniture and Engineering --2011

Master of Industrial Design --2015



Dan joined Iowa State College of Design in 2015 as a lecturer after having worked in the furniture industry with a focus on creating furniture designs that optimize the manufacturing process. He graduated from Iowa State with a Masters in Industrial Design and began work with the Forward Learning Experience. The Forward Learning Experience (FLEx) allows for K-12 students, teachers, and local business to receive hands-on experiences with virtual reality, immersive visualization, interactive circuit building, and 3-D printing. 

Research and Teaching

Dan's research interests include: Collaborative Design Processes for Non-designers and "Makers", additive manufacturing and new materials, and how augmented and virtual reality are shaping the design process. He is teaching the Sophomore studio for Industrial Design in which the students learn the core skills to develop as industrial designers.

Research Interests

Examining our reliance on single-use and traditional petroleum-based plastics in product development, emphasizing the need for innovative alternatives. While plastics play a crucial role in maintaining sterility and protection, environmental concerns prompt a reevaluation. The research critically examines designed environments, encouraging exploration of novel approaches to design. The goal is to empower designers and students alike to create innovative solutions for eco-conscious materials and sustainable product systems. By fostering a shared material repository through collective exploration, the research aims to reduce the ecological footprint of product development while preserving essential functions provided by plastics. Ultimately, transforming perspectives on the role of plastics, promoting a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future.

Current Projects

Student Design Consultancy at ISU

Leading the Student Design Consultancy, where Industrial Design students engage in real-world projects. Collaborating with the Office of Commercialization, the consultancy focuses on patents held by ISU inventors. Beyond campus, students provide design services to community members and collaborate with entities like Drake University, the Music Department, Kinesiology Department, Electrical Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine. This hands-on experience integrates academia with practical applications, showcasing Dan's commitment to shaping the future of design professionals and contributing to community-driven design innovation.

Bio Materials in Design

Dan is actively involved in bio material development within the design community. His work extends beyond conventional materials, exploring the application of bio materials and regenerative materials in the design process. This innovative project not only contributes to sustainable design practices but also aligns with the broader research goal of identifying consumer awareness and preferences for regenerated or bio-based materials. Dan's commitment to pushing the boundaries of material exploration reflects his dedication to creating environmentally conscious and consumer-friendly design solutions.

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