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From CDR Director Gregory Thomas

In the Spring of 2011 students, faculty, and friends of the School of Architecture, Design & Planning met on the west campus of the University of Kansas to celebrate the official opening of the Center for Design Research.

However, the guiding principles behind the CDR’s exciting work, which emphasizes the use of design within a sponsored-research educational model, had already been going on for several years. Since then we’ve had the pleasure of completing more than a half dozen projects involving more than two dozen of the most important companies in the world.

Our aspiration is to offer a valuable, cross-discipline, team-based learning environment for graduate students and advanced undergraduates from the university’s design, architecture, engineering, health professionals, and business programs. We team these individuals with faculty from these programs and professionals from our industry partnerships to create an unparalleled experience for all of the participants.

The object of these partnerships is to stimulate intellectual property development and technology transfer in the transportation, healthcare, consumer products and consumer services industries, and attract high-caliber working professionals and students to KU for graduate and undergraduate design-related education.

For me the most fulfilling part of being the CDR’s director has been teaching and experiencing firsthand the growth and achievements of more than 100 students.

Prospective students and those who are already enrolled at KU, as well as potential industry sponsors can contact me if they are interested in participating. Those who are interested making a donation can go to the Giving tab.

Thank you for your interest in the Center for Design Research. Please contact me with your questions.


Gregory Thomas
Professor of Design
Director, Center for Design Research
School of Architecture, Design & Planning
University of Kansas



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