The Center for Design Research
The Center for Design Research conducts advanced research that emphasizes the cross-disciplinary use of design as a problem solving tool. It is housed at the CDR complex which is located on KU’s west campus, and operates under the auspices of the School of Architecture, Design & Planning.
Led by director Professor Gregory Thomas, students enrolled in classes at the CDR have the opportunity to conceptualize and develop new consumer products and services using cutting-edge smart technologies in many subject areas. The majority of the projects done at the CDR are the result of partnerships with some of the world’s leading companies. Below are some examples of recent projects done with industry sponsors at the CDR.
Designers Envision Robots Helping Chronically IIl-Children
The idea, CDR Director and Design Professor Greg Thomas explained, was to explore the innate capabilities of the robot – e.g., facial and speech recognition, movement, data capture – in a pediatric health care setting.The findings from this fall-semester class was the latest research project in a long-running collaboration between the CDR and Overland Park-based Sprint. SoftBank Robotics, an arm of Sprint’s Tokyo-based parent company, SoftBank Group Corp., loaned the robots to the CDR for the project. The class is an extension of his previous work with technology applications in health care design. Read further in this article.