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The Center for Design Research

The Center for Design Research is a community of scholars focused on understanding and augmenting engineering design innovation and design education. We are dedicated to facilitating individual creativity, understanding the team design process and developing advanced tools and methods that promote superior design and manufacturing of products. We develop concepts and technical solutions for design thinking, concurrent engineering, distributed collaborative design, and design knowledge capture, indexing and reuse. We focus on methods and tools for improving the design of specific engineering systems, with research in structural integrity evaluation and system modeling, virtual design environments, biomimetic robots, haptic controls and telemanipulation, vehicle dynamics and driver assistance systems.

The Center for Design Research encompasses the following Labs:

The Biomimetics and Dextrous Manipulation Laboratory (Professor Mark Cutkosky, PI) research activities include modeling and control of dextrous manipulation with robotic and teleoperated hands; force and tactile feedback in telemanipulation and virtual environments; and design and control of compliant "biomimetic" robots with embedded sensors and actuators.

The Collaborative Haptics and Robotics in Medicine Lab (CHARM Lab) (Professor Allison Okamura, PI) develops principles and tools needed to realize advanced robotic and human-machine systems capable of haptic (touch) interaction. Systems for teleoperation, virtual environments and robotic manipulation are designed and studied using analytical and experimental approaches. Application areas include surgery, simulation and training, rehabilitation, prosthetics, neuromechanics, exploration of hazardous and remote environments, design and education.

The designX Lab (Professor Larry Leifer, PI) is focused on graduate-level research in the larger subjects of design innovation, design methodology, and design education. Our designX community is comprised of fulltime members who arrive from a diverse range of disciplines including sociology, product design, neuroscience, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, economics, business and architecture. While our lab reflects a range of interests across multiple disciplines, we share an interest and commitment to better understanding Design Thinking – A research and design paradigm which is user-centered and is proving to yield superior outcomes in the face of contemporary problems.  We are actively developing understandings of design as a research topic, as a research method, and as a philosophical approach.

The Designing Education Lab (DEL) (Professor Sheri Sheppard, PI) investigates a broad range of engineering education topics, from the persistence of students and alumni in engineering fields to the impact of exposure to entrepreneurship on engineering students' career interests. DEL researchers are engaged in national and international collaborations with colleagues within and outside of engineering. Our activities and projects emphasize the relationship of research to academic and professional practice by informing the redesign of engineering course pedagogy and curriculum and the dissemination of findings in conference papers, workshops, webinars, online resources and publications.

The Center for Design Research is centrally located on the Stanford University campus, easily accessed from both U.S. 101 to the east and Interstate 280 to the west.

Center for Design Research

424 Panama Mall, Bldg 560
Stanford, CA 94305-2232

From I-280 and Foothill Expressway

Exit I-280 at Page Mill Road East (toward the Bay). Turn left at Foothill Expressway/Junipero Serra Boulevard. Take Junipero Serra Boulevard north to the second traffic light. Turn right on Campus Drive East. At the first stop sign, Mayfield Avenue, turn left. Continue on Mayfield as the road bears to the left.

From U.S. 101 and El Camino Real

Exit U.S. 101 at Oregon Expressway West (away from the Bay). Turn right (north) at El Camino Real. Take El Camino Real north to University Avenue/Palm Drive. At the overpass intersection, turn left on Palm Drive. Continue on Palm Drive to Campus Drive; turn right at the stop sign. After the third stop sign, turn left on Via Ortega.


Metered parking nearest CDR can be found along the south side of Santa Teresa Street. Visitor parking vending machines in the Tresidder Union lot (Mayfield Ave x Lagunita Dr) accept credit cards for longer stays or those without enough change.

Permit parking nearest CDR can be found at the Santa Teresa Street or Tresidder Union locations as well as the open lot and multi-level structure at the intersection of Panama Street and Via Ortega, opposite the Yang and Yamazaki Environment and Energy building.

Parking is not enforced at most campus locations (other than where indicated) after 4 p.m. or on weekends.

For assistance with directions or parking, please contact:

Crystal Pennywell
Voice: (650) 498-9887