D+EA faculty are involved in a number of departmental research programs. Their common characteristic is that they act as an umbrella framework for a variety of research projects carried out over time. In many cases, graduate students' theses are done under the auspices of these research programs.

Architectural Robotics Lab

The built environment made interactive and adaptive by embedded computation has great promise to support and augment the lives of people. Led by Keith Evan Green, the Architectural Robotics Lab focuses on the design and evaluation of, specifically, robotic built environments. First established in 2005 by Green with Ian Walker at Clemson University, the Architectural Robotics Lab recognizes the physical, built environment, from furniture to the metropolis, as a next frontier at the interface of design, computation, and human behavior. The lab is home to human-centered, trans-disciplinary research teams sufficiently complex in composition to address problems and opportunities in an increasingly digital society.


Design-User Experience-Technology [DUET] lab, led by So-Yeon Yoon, is devoted to the empirical and interdisciplinary study of emerging technology and design variables affecting the way people feel, think, and act in designed environments. DUET research areas of emphasis include but not limited to virtual reality and augmented reality simulation for design and visual communication, human-computer interaction and design computing.

Intypes Program

The Intypes (Interior Archetypes) Research and Teaching Project, initiated in 1997, creates a typology of contemporary interior design practices that are derived from reiterative historical designs that span time and style and cross cultural boundaries. The research identifies design traits that have not been named, generates a design-specific vocabulary and publishes a digital database of interior architectural photographs. Developed by the principal investigators, graduate students and associated educators at Cornell, the Intypes project produces a new knowledge base for the creative dimension of design from practice-led research by creating the first typology of contemporary design practices that are derived from historical sequence. The project also offers an innovative approach to further design criticism and design sustainability.

Health Design Innovation Lab

Founded in 2013, Health Design Innovations Lab (HDIL), is a connecting hub for academics, community partners and practitioners. We are committed to applied research, providing innovative, cost effective, evidence-based, and human-centered solutions for real-world challenges in healthcare. The Health Design Innovations Lab became affiliated with Cornell’s Institute for Healthy Futures in 2016. At HDIL, our focus is a multidisciplinary and system approach in which designers, engineers, clinicians, and administrators work together to optimize medical care environments and support healthcare professionals to deliver the best quality of care to their patients. The following are our key focus areas:

  • Manage symptoms and improve quality of life for patients with critical illness with effective and low cost solutions (e.g. palliative care, palliative design, reduce medication use, reduce emergency visits, reduce sleep and circadian disturbance)
  • Optimize work environment for staff, (e.g. reduce infection transfer, reduce steps, reduce incidents, improve safety)
  • Develop new products and solutions to optimize healthcare environment (e.g. development of the Automated Environment and Behavior Monitoring System, Program for Improving Environments for Sleep [PRIME™], Cost Benefit Estimator for Better buildings[CBE])

To provide a multidisciplinary and systems approach to solving healthcare problems, HDIL has ongoing partnerships with experts at Weill Cornell Medicine, Hunter School of Nursing, and Cornell Engineering (Systems, Biomedical and Electrical).  HDIL has worked with local, State, and national health providers. The lab is a rich environment for undergraduate and graduate research. At HDIL, we offer research mentorship programs to incoming students annually in which they receive basic research training, observe projects, and receive mentorship from upper-level students. Thus, upon graduating, our students have already been mentoring others. The lab’s alumni have had impressive post-university placements in leading organizations or admission to graduate or medical school.


Ecotecture design is grounded on natural dynamics, healthy materials, biological principles, human ergonomics, cultural respect, and compassionate understanding for the planet and all living creatures. This is a new research program intended to push the boundaries of thinking on what constitutes sustainable or "green" design.

International Workplace Studies Program

Since its inception in 1989 the Cornell University International Workplace Studies Program (IWSP) has systematically explored how innovative workplace strategies and the ecology of new ways of working can enhance the triple bottom line: health and productivity, economic viability, and environmental sustainability. Today, the IWSP focuses its research on innovative workplace strategies in three separate but related areas: the Corporate Workplace, Healing Environments, and Sustainable Planning & Design. An overarching focus is the relationship between how the built environment is planned, designed, managed and used and outcomes that range from aspects of human work performance such as health, safety, teamwork, collaboration and comfort and satisfaction to environmental performance ranging from energy costs to flexibility and adaptability of the facility over time.