Research and Outreach

Over $2,000,000 in research funding received in 2023

Designing a better world

Design is a pervasive and inseparable element that affects everything we do, every day of our lives. It comes into play in everyday items and products. It determines the way we live, work, play, and travel. It helps us navigate through real and digital environments, make informed decisions, and imagine alternative futures.

Through the College of Design’s research projects, strategic goals, and initiatives, our community of designers seek to improve the quality of life experiences, whether that is defined by ease of use, legibility, information content, aesthetics, safety, sense of place, productivity, environmental impact, or any other number of descriptors.

Hands-on research experience

Don’t wait until you’ve graduated to start leaving your mark on the world. At the College of Design, students have the opportunities to work with faculty on research projects as undergraduates.

Faculty research projects

Design research plays a transformational role in the well-being and life experiences of the world.

Through design, faculty and staff are working to build affordable housing, create trauma-informed environments, prepare communities for natural disasters, and more.

The College of Design provides internal opportunities for faculty and staff to apply for research funding, as well as resources for funding opportunities across the university.

Learn more about research funding

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) advances the Iowa State University research mission in collaboration with partners in colleges, interdisciplinary research centers, and central administration.

Learn more about Iowa State research

Professor of Architecture teaching a class.

Research units

The College of Design’s faculty, staff, students and partners envision an improved world, and the college invests in seeing those dreams becoming reality. By providing, supporting, and/or partnering with state-of-the-art, technologically-advanced research facilities, designers at Iowa State can brainstorm collaboratively, experiment and create through innovation.

Research stories and news

College of Design student researching.

A Cyclone in the Making

Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.