Offering transformative opportunities for improving the quality of life

The Institute for Design Research and Outreach (IDRO) encompasses the research, extension, and outreach missions of the College of Design. Broadly defined, IDRO’s overall mission is to stimulate and support research, extension, and outreach efforts in areas of strength and relevance to the design disciplines.

The institute promotes interdisciplinary design research, facilitates communication with design professionals and the public, and responds to the needs of the people of Iowa in areas associated with the design disciplines. Projects often are conducted collaboratively, and individual faculty may be involved in several different programs at the same time. Through IDRO, faculty and students work together with citizen groups, businesses, communities, nonprofit organizations and government agencies in addressing problems to improve the quality of our built environment and our lives.

Ongoing research projects

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.

  • Architecture Model

    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.

A professor critiques students on their latest project.

Faculty and Staff Research Showcase

One of IDRO’s goals is to showcase and celebrate the research success of the College of Design’s faculty and staff. All faculty and staff are encouraged to submit research interests and activities so that IDRO can promote ongoing research on various platforms throughout the college.

Students working on class project in the King Pavillion.

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.