Centers + Institutes
Extending our Impact
Our centers focus in three primary areas: funded research, scholarship, and community engagement. Each center extends the work of our college and provides opportunity for collaboration within the university and with industry, government, and communities across the Commonwealth.
College of Architecture, Arts, and Design
Community Design Assistance Center
Director: Elizabeth Gilboy
The Community Design Assistance Center was established in 1988 through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education program. The two main goals of establishing the center were to provide underserved communities in southwest Virginia with low-cost planning and design assistance and to provide landscape architecture, architecture, planning, and building construction students with an opportunity for paid experience related to their future careers that also taught students about participatory design and planning processes.
School of Architecture and School of Design
Center for Design Research
Directors: Joe Wheeler, Bob Dunay
The Center for Design Research (CDR) links the academy, industry, and design practice by creating opportunities for collaboration through applied research; establishes corporate partnerships and sponsorships within the prospectus of design research; expands capacity by building relationships within the design professions and affiliated industries; initiates collaborative research projects within and beyond the boundaries of the university; and strengthens all areas of research through cross-disciplinary team building, and the integration of teaching and research. The work of the CDR and its participants expands the scope of design and embraces collaboration across many scales and disciplines with the goal of technological innovation and paradigm shifts that enable more with less in ways that have the potential to expand the research of design/designers to influence systemic global impact.
Center for High Performance Environments
Director: Jim Jones
The Center for High Performance Environments (CHPE) serves as a first-of-its-kind resource for designers, engineers, system consultants, teachers, school administrators, facility managers, building owners and others interested in improving the design and operation of built environments. The CHPE takes a holistic approach to the design of buildings and focuses on a range of multidisciplinary activities, including energy efficiency, sustainability, systems integration, evaluating the building envelope, and integrating appropriate technology into indoor environments of the 21st century.
International Archive of Women in Architecture
Director: Donna Dunay
The International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA) was established in 1985 as a joint program of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the University Libraries at Virginia Tech. The purpose of the Archive is to document the history of women's contributions to the built environment by collecting, preserving, and providing access to the records of women's architectural organizations and the professional papers of women architects, landscape architects, designers, architectural historians and critics, and urban planners.
School of Visual Arts
Director: Jeff Joiner
FourDesign is a faculty-led, student-run design studio in the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. We work with local, regional and national clients to develop well-designed, strategy-based branding and marketing materials that help them build stronger relationships with their customers.