We don’t just dream of the future, we enable it

The College of Design’s students, faculty, and staff are constantly learning and exploring new techniques and systems within design industries. We are committed to making the world a better place, and our research is vital to finding solutions to societal and environmental challenges. Numerous independent and group research activities take place every day in a wide range of disciplines.

Recent research

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    Iowa Innovative Housing Project

    The 3D Affordable Innovative Technologies Housing Project aims to address the shortage of affordable housing in Iowa by exploring faster, more cost-effective solutions through the use of 3D-printed homes.

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    Creating an automated heat warning system

    This project harnesses innovative machine learning technology to improve preparedness for extreme heat. The research team aims to gather data and develop an automated heat warning system for susceptible Des Moines neighborhoods.

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    Rural Shrink Smart Project

    This groundbreaking research project at Iowa State looks into why some rural Iowa towns are thriving, even as their populations shrink. The team hopes that this research and its findings provoke data-driven, honest conversations in small towns in Iowa and throughout the Midwest.

  • Funding Opportunities

    Internal and external funding opportunities for faculty and staff in the College of Design.

    Funding Opportunities
  • Research Units

    The College of Design at Iowa State University hosts several research units for faculty, staff and students that focus on various aspects of design and related fields.

    Research Units
  • College Outreach Programs

    College Outreach Programs foster creativity and engagement through diverse initiatives aimed at connecting the university with local communities, businesses, and industries to inspire innovative design solutions and enhance societal well-being.

    College Outreach Programs

Recent Fulbright Awardees

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    Eisman receives Fulbright Scholar award

    April Eisman, an Iowa State University associate professor who teaches art history in the Department of Art and Visual Culture, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Award for 2023-24 for her project “Adapting to Capitalism: The Impact of Reunification on East German Artists.”

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  • Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock headshot

    Grevstad-Nordbrock wins Fulbright Scholar award

    Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock, an Iowa State University assistant professor of community and regional planning, has received a 2022–2023 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Award to Norway for his project on “The Social Impacts of Heritage Policy: Gentrification and Displacement in Oslo.”

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  • Johnny DiBlasi headshot

    DiBlasi awarded Fulbright Scholar grant

    Johnny DiBlasi, an Iowa State University assistant professor of art and visual culture, has received a Fulbright US Scholar Program in Creative and Performing Arts – Visual Arts award to Austria for the 2020-2021 academic year.

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Iowa State University College of Design exterior blue artwork

Institute for Design Research and Outreach (IDRO)

The Institute for Design Research (IDRO) at the College of Design, Iowa State University, provides extensive assistance to faculty and staff involved in research activities. The team supports faculty and staff seeking assistance with internal and external funding opportunities, research development, administrative support, and guidance across all stages of the research project lifecycle.

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.