CfD Research

The Center for Design opens up a new space for these interdisciplinary exchanges; it is where the design research agenda is collectively shaped and innovative solutions are collaboratively conceived and developed through joint research initiatives. Building solid ground for the bridges that CAMD faculty members have already established internally and promoting new collaborations with other areas both within and beyond Northeastern University, the Center for Design gathers the critical mass needed to leverage existing research initiatives, providing them a fertile environment to grow and systematically sustain them.

Research Areas

Faculty Coordinator: Ang Li

All That is Solid is a series of material experiments conducted in collaboration with a building material recycling center in Philadelphia that explores the cultural and environmental legacy of synthetic “miracle materials” on the post-war building industry, with particular focus on the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam as a material substitute for monolithic construction.

Faculty Coordinator: Kristian Kloeckl

  • Performance and non-script based frameworks for experience design.
  • Improvisation-based design for interactions in hybrid cities.
  • Design and the future workplace.
  • Human-robot collaboration in the seafood industry (NSF-CRISP).
  • Mobile eye-tracking supported research of human experience in urban environments.



Faculty Coordinator: Casper Harteveld

Faculty Coordinator: Miso Kim

Aging is a gradual shift of autonomy from physical control to relational connectedness. Service as a social system was developed to provide this connection to human network. Scholars from the fields of design, nursing, engineering, and health informatics are collaborating to develop services that support older adults’ autonomy and healthy longevity.


  • Technology Literacy

  • Emergency Evacuation

  • Health Autonomy

Design + Communications + Environment Health

This interdisciplinary research group is seeking to understand attitudes in young adults (18-24) regarding climate change and how it affects mental health and health behaviors. We hypothesize that climate may be experienced emotionally by youth in two key ways: as stress, ongoing underlying feelings of concern, malaise or anxiety, or as shocks, coping with a sudden catastrophic environmental event, like a good, storm, landslide, or wildfire.

The Co-Laboratory for Data Impact focuses on narrative data strategies and is committed to advancing civic-oriented and impactful visual storytelling for issues of public urgency in the areas of diversity, transparency, and sustainability.

The lab serves as a university hub for faculty, sta, and students looking to communicate visually with data in the public sphere and for external partners of various kinds seeking expertise in this domain.

Through creative practice and research, the lab contributes to the fields of design and data journalism, exploring areas such as visual poetics, metaphors, and evidentiary aesthetics. We aim at facilitating sense-making around digital information, while providing the tools for public audiences to understand the world in new impactful ways.

Faculty Coordinator: Mark Sivak

Using an Iterative Design Process to teach students about Iterative Learning. A series of lectures and reflections were created to assist students in understanding how to leverage their metacognition and prior knowledge to become better learners.

  • Iterative Design and Learning
  • Faculty Scholars
  • Student prototyping work

Faculty Coordinator: Dietmar Offenhuber

  • Design and evaluation of public displays and civic technologies.
  • Design factors of citizen feedback and collaborative governance platforms.
  • Material displays and citizen sensing in environmental conflicts.
  • Design studies of urban platforms in the global south (Philipines & Indonesia).




The Design for Emergency (DfE) initiative interprets the theme of the Italian Design Day 2021 edition, “Design and Matter”, by moving the focus from the product to the process of design: Design for Emergency is a catalyst of creativity, a platform established to enable designers of all levels and provenances to tackle the challenges of the current pandemic and other future emergencies. Ideas are the matter here, and design is applied to create the conditions for designers to make an impact on a societal scale.



We envision a meta-platform – a platform of existing and new platforms – for building a common understanding and fostering collaborative action, composed of talks, seminars, documents, and other shared initiatives. We aim at sparking conversations within and outside the design field, both in the academic context and in the professional domain: we are reaching out to practitioners, design lovers, academics, and industry players.

Take a look at the discussion so far on our Notion repository here and join the conversation!

Partners: Paul Pangaro, Hugh Dubberly, Silvia Barbero, Remy Bourganel, Michael A. Mages, Nathan Felde, Vandhana Baskharan

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