Doctor of Design at NC State College of Design

Doctor of Design Research Areas

Meet our DDes Student Practitioners

Check out these general research domains and activities. They represent current DDes student/faculty interests, some of which cross more than one domain. Do your interests relate to one or more of these transdisciplinary categories?



Human-Computer Interaction, Digital Design & Communication (8)


Computational design, innovation, and HCI (human-computer interaction):

  • Lee Cherry (Co1) ethics and artificial intelligence
  • Carla Delcambre (Co1) adapting VR techniques for teaching landscape construction
  • Justin Johnson (Co1) video game design for restorative therapy

User-centered design, e.g. digital media, communication, and accessibility:

  • AJ Polanco (Co1) equitable testing for deaf and hard of hearing children
  • Elyse Girard (Co4) universal design for equity and inclusion and information literacy
  • Shruthi Manjula Balakrishna (Co4) visual rhetoric and persuasion in branding


Design Methods, Materials & Education (8)


Design methods: new materials and design/construction techniques:

  • Lexi Namer (Co4) alternative formats for K-12 design education

Design education: theory, assessment, and outreach:

  • Jonathan Williams (Co2) designerly knotting as a curricular asset
  • Iyare Oronsaye (Co3) engaging children of color in digital design and game industry
  • Will Lidwell (Co3) principles of universal design for cross-species communication


Engaged Social Design & Organization Strategies (6)


Community access, engagement, and empowerment by design:

Organization social design, innovation, and entrepreneurship:

  • Kevin Fitzgerald (Co2) using frame theory for public discourse on wicked problems
  • Chris Mismash (Co3) promoting design innovation in service organizations


Spatial & Environmental Design (7)


Resilient urbanism and/or environmental systems design:

  • Mike Ortosky (Co1) resilient community-based food systems
  • Juhann Waller (Co1) early warning flood-control system for at-risk communities
  • Joe Moore (Co2) assessing NEA’s Main Street program for revitalization outcomes
  • Astrid Haryati (Co3) strategies for managing growth in coastal Indonesia

Environment, behavior, and wellness (across scales from materials to spaces to systems):

  • Anne Spafford (Co2) therapeutic gardens for youth rehabilitation and wellness
  • Meghan Bausone (Co4) design for pre-and post-natal wellness