School of Design
Faculty Research & Creative Activity

Instructor Jay Margalus, adjunct Rudy Ristich, and their students received a $40,000 sponsorship to collaborate on a yearly hardware project where they design and develop over 1,700 custom game platforms for the local hacker event Thotcon.   

International Design Awards

Assistant Professor Nathan Matteson and his design company, Obstructures, received a Gold Medal First Place Award in product design at the International Design Awards (“Other Products” category) for their new all-aluminum bass guitar.     


The School of Design Talks series invites leading designers who have created innovative responses to the personal, local, and global challenges of the 21st century. Design Incubation Colloquium 5.1 was one of the many recent events held at CDM as part of the series.   

2 young ladies looking at analytical data on a tablet in a classroom.

21st Century Learning Analytics, a project of the Technology for Social Good Research and Design Lab, brings together design, data mining, and learning analytics to create new tools for educators understand and visualize data.   


Highlighted Projects

Sheena Erete giving a presentation

Dr. Sheena Erete and her students in the Technology for Social Good Research and Design Lab are working with resource-strained communities in Chicago to design technologies that support community-led efforts to address issues such as violence, civic engagement, and STEM education. Her research will lead to the design and development of technologies that support community development by amplifying local community assets and initiatives.

artist explore with digital and analog media

The Virtual and Augmented Design (VAD) Lab hosts classes and projects to research and develop experimental games on emerging platforms. Lab director, Brian Schrank, Ph.D., is currently leading AR project development with Apple pushing the affordances of ARKit on iPhone. The current VR game project explores deformable virtual surfaces via hand and foot trackers.

playing with wet flour at a park

The Equity & Health Innovations Design Research Lab focuses on the evaluation and design of technologies that support health-related experiences and position design as a catalyst for social change related to health and racial equity.

Creative Areas

Shiro Akiyoshi

Digital imaging, illustration, and montage, combining digital and traditional Japanese image making processes.

Anna Anthropy

Digital and tabletop game design, accessible game creation, play and the feminine, interactive fiction, game history, zine-making, witchcraft.

Mike DeAnda

Games studies, queer studies, gender and media, design research.

Sheena Erete

Social computing, community informatics, designing technologies for local communities to address social issues, facilitate civic engagement, and encourage prosocial behavior.

Caleb Foss

Game development, interactive media, multimedia.

Christina Harrington

Design, Human Computer Interaction.

Jay Margalus

Game development, hardware, data analysis.

Nathan Matteson

Design, interactive media.

Daniel Mittleman

Collaborative technologies, interactive media, information systems.

Denise Nacu

Design of technology tools, learning, design thinking, data dashboards and visualizations, online social learning networks, learning analytics, design patterns, experience design.

Heather Quinn

UX design, design futures, design fiction, augmented reality, academia and industry collaboration.

B. Rich

Transmedia storytelling, design, virtual reality, filmmaking, photography.

Brian Schrank

Game design, virtual reality, augmented reality, physical games, folk games, art games, games and the avant-garde, serious games, political games, experimental games, indie games, game criticism.

Lien Tran

Design, Game Development, Strategy.

Paige Treebridge

Information experience design, information architecture, usability, augmented reality, usable security, secure design, creative code, programming.

Allen Turner

Interactive fiction, exploring culture and metaphor with play.

LeAnne Wagner

Design, education, game development.

Jessica Westbrook

Design, creative coding, graphics, photography, visualization, 3D modeling/animation, emerging and experimental media, critical social theory, research design, educational research.

Dolores Wilber

Design, multi-media installation, art and documentary cinema, photography, photomontage

Lee Zelenak

Graphics, animation, design, branding, typography.