The Center for Design Research (CDR) conducts advanced research that emphasizes the cross-disciplinary use of design as a problem-solving tool. Students who take classes there have the opportunity to work on industry-sponsored projects for companies such as Ford Motor Company, Bayer HealthCare, and Sprint. This creative process emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration, bringing KU students, faculty, and industry professionals from diverse disciplines to create imaginative yet practical solutions to complex problems. These may be "blue sky" applications, to validate a corporation's internal direction or new developments that may help position that company for the future.
This work goes far beyond simple aesthetics. Other elements that might be included in our design analysis include human factors, industrial and interaction design, cognitive psychology, persona and scenario development, economics, and rapid-prototyping. Hybridizing cutting-edge technologies in unprecedented ways is particularly important in our work.
The advanced students admitted to the classes that execute these projects are drawn from programs throughout the university, including industrial design, visual communications and interaction design, mechanical and transportation engineering, architecture, the health professions, and business.