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Nathan King DDes. 

The Center for Design Research (CDR) links the academy, industry,  and design practice by creating opportunities for collaboration through applied research; establishes corporate partnerships and sponsorships within the prospectus of design research; expands capacity by building relationships within the design professions and affiliated industries; initiates collaborative research projects within and beyond the boundaries of the university; and strengthens all areas of research through cross-disciplinary team building, and the integration of teaching and research. The work of the CDR and its participants expands the scope of design and embraces collaboration across many scales and disciplines with the goal of technological innovation and paradigm shifts that enable more with less in ways that have the potential to expand the research of design/designers to influence systemic global impact.

The CDR is embedded within the Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design and serves as a workplace of collaboration where performance criteria co-mingle with cultural forces, and calculation is challenged by societal precepts producing works of use, surprise, and wonder. Through the design studio, the Center establishes the place and occasion for disciplinary collaboration, the simultaneity of teaching and research, the inculcation of research at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and the merging of design, technology, business, and society.




Robert Dunay, FAIA
Joe Wheeler, AIA

Co- Director


Professor Dunay is an ACSA Distinguished Professor and the T.A. Carter Professor of Architecture. As the Center's founder, Dunay champions the integration design related fields  through teaching, research and building. Professor Dunay maintains the strategic vision for the center and leads a number of outreach and research efforts. (Full bio) 

Dr. Nathan King leads reserach and infrastructure development relating to Computational Design, Design Robotics, and Digital Fabrication. In addition King has developed the Center's Impact Design Initiative and manages a number of strategic industry partnerships, while teaching in Industrial Design, Architecture, and Building Construction. (Full bio)

Professor Joe Wheeler leads the Center's nationally recognized FutureHAUS programs while pursuing professional research in environmental and sustainable design. Professor Wheeler is involved in many multidisciplinary full-scale research projects and teaches in Architecture studios and related courses. (Full bio) 



Affiliated Faculty and Academic Collaborators 

Brian Katen, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Virginia Tech   

Ed Dorsa, Associate Professor of Industrial Design, Virginia Tech  

Donna Dunay, Professor of Architecture, Virginia Tech    

Mark Leach, Wood Shop Supervisor - School of Architecture + Design, Virginia Tech 

Jon Rugh, Woodshop Craftsman - School of Architecture + Design, Virginia Tech

Clive Vorster, Instructor of Architecture - School of Architecture + Design, Virginia Tech  

Ashley Johnson, Assistant Professor of Practice, Myers Lawson School of Construction - Virginia Tech  

Dr. Matthew Eatherton, Associate professor -  Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Stefanie Pender, Faculty - Glass and Foundation Studies, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) 

Dr. Marjan Colletti, Institute for Experimental Architecture - University of Innsbruck 

Georg Grasser, Institute for Experimental Architecture - University of Innsbruck

Galo Moncayo, Institute for Experimental Architecture - University of Innsbruck 

Affiliated Practitioners and Industry Collaborators   

Gustav Fagerström, Digital Practice Leader, Walter P. Moore Engineering (NY)

Erik Verboon, Principal and Managing Director, Walter P. Moore Engineering (NY)

Michael Murphy, Co-Founder and CEO, MASS Design Group 

Alan Ricks, Co- Founder and COO, MASS Design Group

Matt Jezyk, Senior Product , AEC Conceptual Design Products  

Nick Cote, Design Roboticist, Advanced Reserach Lab, Autodesk-OCTO

David Benjamin, Founding Principal - The Living 


Current Research Associates and Students 

Sophia Angelis, Program Manager - Impact Design

Bobby Vance, Program Manager - FutureHAUS; Candidate MS.Arch

Ed Coe, Program Manager - Additive Manufacturing and Design Robotics Laboratory; Candidate, MS. Arch

Martin Angst, Design Roboticist; Candidate, Masters of Architecture

Michael Folta, Impact Design Associate; Candidate, Bachelors of Architecture 

Sarah Ahart, Impact Design Associate; Candidate, Bachelors of Science in Industrial Design 

Michael Wantanabe, Impact Design Associate; Candidate, Bachelors of Science in Industrial Design 

Mathew CoxReserach Fellow - Impact Design and Design Technology

Cam Buss,  Reserach Associate - Design Technology, Student - Mechanical Engineering

Andres Salazar Del Pozo,  Impact Design Associate; Candidate, Master of Architecture

Dhawal Jain,  Impact Design Associate; Candidate, Master of Architecture

Sponsors (opens in a new window) 


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