Students research wearable technology for all kinds of bodies, including dogs.

Discovery Through Design

The School of Industrial Design at Georgia Tech focuses on design solutions that are based on research. We think that adds a fundamental element to the end user's experience of the objects we design. That's why we offer students and faculty the facilities to conduct this research.

We currently offer students the opportunity to participate in three different academic labs, access to College of Design and industrial design-led facilities, as well as assistantship possibilities in affiliated College of Design research centers and labs.

School-Run Labs

Our labs are run by School of Industrial Design professors and tied to both our undergraduate and graduate programs. Over the course of lab-related studios, students have access to the latest and emerging technologies to enable design discovery. Often they collaborate with peers in mechanical or biomechanical engineering in our labs. Additionally, students are often introduced to industry professionals as they take part in sponsored lab projects or present the results of their research.

Our students can take part in these academic labs:

Interactive Product Design Laboratory staff and students experience the Light Orchard.

Interactive Product Design Lab

This lab focuses on smart technologies and student collaboration (undergraduates through Ph.D.) between designers, engineers, and computer scientists. Wearable technology is a feature of this lab's work, with emphasis on the importance of product concept and audience. Half of the time in the lab is spent on storytelling and figuring out how to communicate the use, value, and meaning of a product to users of that product. The prototyping facilities of this lab come in handy when researchers incorporate models in their communications.

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Students in the Body Scan Lab discuss the 3D printout of a body scanning project.

Body Scan Lab

This lab studies the body shape variations of individuals and global populations in order to create better fitting products that improve the quality of human life. Research includes creating design tools for the human body using high-resolution 3D scanning, free-form CAD software, and digital manufacturing methods. Faculty and students are encouraged to use our scanning facilities and equipment for developing their own body fitting and creative design projects.

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Students in the GM Human Machine Interface lab "ride" in the transformable automobile.

GM Human Machine Interface Lab

This lab is an interdisciplinary group including students from industrial design, computing, psychology, mechanical engineering and other engineering fields. Research here imagines the future of transportation design and specifically human-machine interaction -- imagine it, prototype it, create it, and test the efficacy of it. A real-world driving simulator allows for easy and rapid change control points and surfaces to test ideas. Students who join the lab can expect a track involving all majors, progressing through learning-by-doing, from basic to advanced skills.

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College of Design and Related Campus Facilities

Industrial design research is iterative and requires prototyping. Our students get exclusive access to College of Design resources. The Georgia Tech campus also provides multiple maker spaces, enterprise incubators and innovation spaces.

College of Design Shop

Industrial Design studio classes teach the prototyping process as part of a user-centered design philosophy. While students can learn the fundamentals of prototyping through cardboard cutouts, popsicle sticks, and paper clips, industrial design classes require more sophisticated models. The College of Design Shop, located on the ground floor of the Architecture East building, provides industrial design and architecture students with the machinery and space necessary for building accurate and rapid prototypes. The facility affords these students capabilities in metalworking, woodworking, plastic fabrication, and rapid prototyping.

College of Design Digital Fabrication Lab

The Digital Fabrication Lab is a College of Design facility for the fabrication and assembly of prototypes and mock-ups, ranging from human scale to building scale. Much of the coursework, equipment, and research in the lab focuses on the transition between digital inputs and physical outputs using CNC equipment. The lab supports College of Design studios, electives, and research, by providing access to workspace and training on machines. The lab also houses a small structures and materials characterization lab.

Innovation and Design Collaborative

Together with the College of Engineering, we built the Innovation and Design Collaborative space in the Georgia Tech library that helps collaboration and research happen spontaneously. The collaboration that happens in the here provokes a new way of thinking for students, Georgia Tech and the larger world. It also fosters a persistent curiosity in students that fuels right-brain thinking and making. We hope to build collaborative inclinations in Georgia Tech students from wide-ranging disciplines. To get there, we'll develop a team-based culture, where our differences combine to make stronger solutions. Visit the IDC >>

Affiliated College of Design Research Centers and Labs

The College of Design houses seven research centers and labs, addressing some of the world's most pressing problems. From accessibility and healthcare, to big data, spatial analysis and sustainability, our researchers use design to tackle topics that are traditionally seen as computing, engineering, or science territory. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are the most collaborative college when it comes to Georgia Tech research.


AMAC Accessibility Solutions and Research Center is committed to promoting technological innovation and developing effective user-centered products and services for individuals with disabilities. Our goal is to address unmet accessibility needs in government, non-profits, and corporations by providing products that benefit those with physical or cognitive impairments. AMAC is a leader in content engineering in the postsecondary arena and conducts research and development on a variety of electronic information and assistive technologies in an effort to increase accessibility globally. 


CATEA is a multidisciplinary engineering and design research center dedicated to enhancing the health, activity and participation of people with functional limitations through the application of assistive and universally designed technologies in real world environments, products and devices.


​The SimTigrate Design Lab is an interdisciplinary research effort dedicated to driving healthcare innovation through the integration of evidence-based design and simulation. The SimTigrate team seeks to transform healthcare, predict and optimize outcomes and decrease cost.


The IMAGINE (Interactive Media Architecture Group in Education) Lab is composed of researchers and students with a mission of serving the Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC) community. Primarily, the IMAGINE Lab provides exemplary applications of cutting edge, architectural visualization technologies; and prepares students in the use of these technologies. It is housed in the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization (CSPAV).