Research at the School of Design

Neighborhood Crime Prevention Sign

Dr. Sheena Erete and her graduate students in the Technology for Social Good Research and Design Lab are partnering with Cure Violence to design and develop of a mobile application that uses predictive analytic techniques to provide violence interruption workers with the most effective intervention strategies based on data from over a decade of prior interventions.          


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

Meeting between residents and local goverment officials and law enforcement.

Dr. Sheena Erete and her graduate students in the Technology for Social Good Research and Design Lab are working with underserved Chicago communities to understand how they use technology to engage local government officials and law enforcement in decision-making. Her research will lead to the design and development of technologies to support community engagement in local governance.

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.

Game screenshot

Dr. Doris Rusch and her students in the Deep Games Laboratory developed the fast-paced platformer mobile game Blood Myth, which is dedicated to raising awareness for sickle cell disease and re-educating teens suffering from this genetic illness about self-care measures. The game was made with members of the Chicago sickle cell community and with subject matter expert and leading hematologist Dr. Lewis Hsu.


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.

Sheena Erete

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

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

Color theory, nature and natural systems, modern art and design, textile design and patterns, printmaking, letterpress, typography, hand drawn letters, visual trends, vintage books, paper, drawing, sketchbooks, design theory, and process.

B. Rich

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

Doris C. Rusch

Game design, social impact games, experience design, play, mental health activism.

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.

Adam Trowbridge

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, graphics, emerging media, creative coding, photography/imaging.

Dolores Wilber

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

Lee Zelenak

Graphics, animation, design, branding, typography.