Our faculty engage with the broader public by:

  1. participating in research projects in support of the community,
  2. collaborating with practitioners in research,
  3. publishing in non-academic venues,
  4. providing online resources to support community needs,
  5. collaborating with corporate organizations to enhance teaching, and
  6. incorporating community service projects in seminar, lecture and studio classes.

Community-based Research Projects

The outcomes of D+EA faculty community research projects range from guidelines provision to building construction. Partners include other Cornell entities, as well as international foundations. A summary of community-based research projects in the recent five years.

man giving a talk at a mic

Excellence in Public Engagement

Collaborating with Practitioners in Research—As the relationship between practice and research has strengthened through the development of research-informed design, alliances between researchers and designers/architects have become more desirable. Examples of recent projects by D+EA faculty and practitioners include the current study by So-Yeon Yoon and Hessam Sadatsafavi in collaboration with Delos Living LLC regarding the impact of WELL design features on workplace outcomes and Mardelle Shepley’s research on mental health design in collaboration with Architecture+ and Shepley Bulfinch.

Publishing in non-academic venues—As part of our program mission to conduct translational research, we serve as a link between practice, academia, and work to share our creative endeavors and scholarly research findings with practitioners and the public. Our faculty members take advantage of university opportunities that support these activities. For example, the Provost’s Office of Faculty Development and Diversity at Cornell has supported approximately 20 university-wide faculty per year since 2015 to participate in the Public Voices Fellowship Program, an initiative of the OpEd project “to increase the public impact of Cornell’s faculty.” The fellowship provides resources, training, and access to media venues to support their efforts to shape public conversations. Every year since its inception, a member of the D+EA faculty has received the honor of being made a fellow and given the opportunity to strengthen Cornell’s voice of under-represented scholars. Our faculty’s published work includes: 

“When designing a workplace, here’s why diversity matters,” -Hua, Ying. We News, May 2016.

“Mental health hospitals have an unpleasant reputation,” -Shepley, Mardelle. Brattleboro Reformer, April 21, 2015.

“U.S. nature policies and human health—what we can learn from Sweden,” -Wells, Nancy. The Hill. April 23, 2017.

woman giving a talk

Collaboration with Corporate Contacts to Enhance Teaching

A hallmark of D+EA is the variety of external organizations engaged in teaching activities via lectures, design critiques, and reviews. When financial support for corporate and industry meetings and travel is not available from the client, the department and college often augment or provide support to ensure a strong educational experience and archival reporting. The list of corporate/business interactions has grown quantity, and the typology of projects ranges from healthcare to workplace strategy to education. Recent alliances during the past five years include those described in Appendix 6-C

One of our main industry engagement endeavors is the leadership role D+EA plays in the Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures, the first academic center in the country to combine health, hospitality, and design into a broad-based platform to improve service in healthcare, wellness, and senior living. To achieve this goal, the institute develops and supports multidisciplinary educational programs; sponsors and disseminates research; and hosts conferences, roundtables, meetings, and practicum projects. Individuals and industry supporters are invited to participate in research projects, industry seminars, roundtables, symposiums, and other special events. See http://ihf.cornell.edu/member-organizations/.