The Center for Research Design and Innovation provides an organizational structure and resources to facilitate interdisciplinary research at Penn State.
Design is an intellectual fulcrum that integrates concepts and skills across disciplines and professions to shape and reshape the world. We live in an age of design. Most disciplines practice some form of it, but in order to create truly effective solutions we need people skilled in its practice who can master the breadth and depth of technical knowledge and skills in the context of diverse and subtle human and societal issues. It requires in-depth exposure to different communities of practice and the concepts, techniques, and tools each uses to understand phenomena and to create solutions.
Some of the specific areas of scholarship are: Innovation in Design, Design Decision Making, Automated Concept Generation, Design Organization, Product Family Design, Systems Design, Visualization, Remote Design Collaboration, and Design for Human Variability. These areas of research are integrated by two themes: (1) human contexts and (2) design technologies and tools. Human contexts include cognitive science and social science bearing on design work. Design tools include design languages, design methods, and computer-aid design technologies. The Center enhances our ability to conduct research across these disciplinary boundaries.